The 6th Habit Is Here

Can you believe the 6th habit is here? You’ve accumulated 5 months of healthy habits to your credit. You’re awesome!


Are your efforts beginning to materialize and compound?

It’s a new month and we are launching the 6th and final habit in our 6 Pillars To Better Health & Vitality program. But this doesn’t mean we’re done. We’re just beginning

My overall goal is for you to lose the weight you need to, so you can benefit from improved health and longevity as you make these 6 habits your own. Part of your new healthy lifestyle.

Sure, there’s some effort required, but doesn’t anything worthwhile require some work? Of course it does. And you are well worth every bit of this and more!

Besides, these habits are designed to be sustainable. It’s pretty simple stuff when you think about it. And the payoff ‘in the form of results’ is HUGE! Life-changing in fact.

So, what is our 6th habit? Drum roll please………………

Your 6th healthy habit is…


I know what you’re thinking – “WTH? Calories aren’t a habit!”.

Okay, you’re right. But stay with me as I explain my thinking here and make it abundantly clear.

Calories play an important role in our lives.

And some people would lead you to believe that it’s only about calories in and calories out – PERIOD.

It’s not! But in a way, it is. However, there’s more to it.

So over the next 4 weeks, we’ll unpack this concept and make it easy to understand, and follow.

There’s a lot to cover, so let’s dive right in.

Science has proven that a difference in the number of calories consumed vs. the number of calories burned will result in either a loss or an increase in body weight, over time.

It’s indisputable; however, there may be other factors at play.


My objective for this habit is to increase your awareness about “calories”. And help you incorporate some meaningful healthy disciplines around this important yet misunderstood topic.

I will teach you how to turbocharge your metabolism and turn your body into a fat-burning machine that starts to build lean muscle.


And this happens when you activate the Health Triad by stoking your metabolic furnace with great nutrition, intense exercise, and adequate sleep.

And it’s all natural…

So stop chasing the latest diets and supplements. Those quick-fix gimmicks only play to your emotions, and are designed to lighten your wallet; not trim your waistline.

Diets are not the answer… even though they’ve been around for years. If they worked, wouldn’t 90% of us be thin?

And it’s not just about going to the gym either. There are plenty of people that exercise every day, yet can’t seem to lose weight.

If this describes you, then break the cycle. If you’ve been dieting and exercising for years, and are frustrated by lackluster results, then GO to the beginning of this program. Commit to 6 months, follow the program, and enjoy your transformation. You can do this!

Now back to this week’s topic.

Let’s begin with some calorie basics.

  1. What’s a calorie?

A calorie is simply a unit of energy. Nutritionally, calories refer to 2 things. Energy “consumption” based on what we eat and drink. And energy “usage” that we burn through physical activity.

  1. Why are calories important?

We need energy (calories) to live. And we acquire this energy directly from the food and drinks we consume. Without this energy, we wouldn’t survive.

  1. How many calories do you need?

We each have a specific number of calories that our bodies require to function properly. Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is a metric that quantifies the actual number of calories your body needs to consume daily, including any calories you burn during exercise and physical activity.

TDEE is calculated by scaling your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR; not BMI) to your level of activity. Your BMR is the amount of energy expressed in calories that your body needs to function at rest.

But don’t try to calculate this manually. There are plenty of good online calculators. Click here for a TDEE calculator.  And if you’d like to calculate your BMR separately, click here.

Your TDEE calculation is the first step in identifying the number of calories you need to consume every day. And remember, as your weight, age, and activity level changes, so does your TDEE.

But there’s one thing I don’t want you to calculate. That’s your body mass index (BMI). In my opinion, BMI is an inaccurate, ridiculous statistic that means nothing. So I want you to forget about it.

  1. What are macronutrients?

Macronutrients are the main components of our diet. Macronutrients perform vital functions and supply our bodies with energy (aka calories). The 3 main types of macronutrients our bodies need include protein, carbohydrates, and fat.


  1. Calorie math.

Let’s take a closer look at how these add up.

  • Protein contains 4 calories per gram
  • Carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram
  • Fat contains 9 calories per gram
  • Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram*

*Alcohol is obviously not a macronutrient because it is not necessary for survival. But it does provide energy, and the calories do add up. In the United States, a standard drink (which is defined as 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits) contains 14 grams of pure alcohol. So, at a minimum of 98 calories per drink with NO nutritional value, it’s easy to see why alcohol is referred to as “empty calories”.

  1. Quality matters.

Bigtime! As it does with so many things in life, the quality of our food choices makes a big difference. And it’s not only limited to the food we consume. It includes the intensity we put into our exercise. There’s that “calories in – calories out” thing again.

Some best practices:

  1. If you’re trying to lose weight, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to keep a food journal. This will allow you to evaluate what you’re actually eating. Keep it for a week or two.

Track everything you eat and drink by date and time. Also note exactly what you consumed, including the size of your portion or volume of the container. The purpose of the food journal is to simply track everything you consume. Not to judge it or over-think it. You need a point of reference, and there’s no better place to start than where you are today.

Remember, we’re trying to make better choices, to build better habits, which will ultimately develop sustainable disciplines for lasting results and lifelong happiness.

  1. Weigh yourself every morning. As long as you understand that sometimes your weight will fluctuate based on what you did or didn’t do the day before. You may also retain water differently on some days. So don’t be consumed by the number day by day.

The main point about doing this every day (at about the same time and under the same conditions) is for the feedback you receive. That number staring back at you can give you clues about what’s working and what’s not. And that information is invaluable.

  1. Wear a heart rate monitor when you exercise. This will help you measure your exercise intensity and track your actual calorie burn. Go to for options.

We have only skimmed the surface here. Next week we will continue the discussion, and I’ll share some of my frustration about the health & wellness industry.

CaloriesThank you for sharing your time with me. I hope you found value.

Now it’s time for YOU to take action…

What’s your Win to be Thin? Leave a comment below.

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Walk This Way, or Else…

You can walk this way, or else… you may end up suffering from the consequences of being sedentary.


We already know that walking and staying active is SO important to our health & wellness.

But do you understand the negative impact we face by not getting enough steps? Or for sitting too long?

We’ll answer this as we wrap up our “walking” habit for Month 5.

So what’s with this week’s title?

Well, last week I built our theme around a great Pink Floyd song to help you maximize your daily step count with machines. This week, I couldn’t help but incorporate a great Aerosmith song to reinforce the importance of walking.

We’ve all heard and read about the importance of taking 10,000 steps every day (aka 10K a day!). In fact, over the past 4 weeks we’ve covered numerous benefits of walking:

10,000 steps began as an arbitrary number. It was originally created as a promotion by a Japanese pedometer company. Since then, studies have confirmed that 10,000 appears to be the sweet spot where people lose weight and gain control of their health & wellness.

See how you stack up:

  1. Under 5,000 steps per day is considered “sedentary”. This is where health risks begin.
  2. 5,000 to 7,499 is “low active”. This is the category most people fall into. But you don’t want to stay here.
  3. 7,500 to 9,999 is categorized as “somewhat active”.
  4. Log 10,000 to 12,499 steps per day and you are considered to be “active”. With consistency, this is a great place to be.
  5. And over 12,500 puts you in the “highly active” category.

Congratulations if you fall into one of the last two categories.

So what if your activity level has you categorized as sedentary or low active? Should you be concerned and what does this mean?

SedentaryWell the answer to the first part of the question is yes, you should be concerned if you’re sedentary.

You think, “OK, I’m concerned. So what does this mean for me?”

First off, it may indicate that you’re not getting enough exercise. Walking is important to your health & wellness, but it’s not the only thing you need to do.

In addition to walking, you need to include a few strength training and a couple of cardio sessions every week.

This all contributes to your 10K a day, but walking by itself is probably not enough. Your body benefits from strength training in so many ways.

I’m not suggesting that you enter a power-lifting competition like my son-in-law Chris. For us middle-aged and older folks, this includes lighter weights, bodyweight exercises, and machines.

In addition to the benefits of strength training, the sustained intensity from aerobic exercise (aka cardio) is beneficial to your heart, lungs, brain, circulatory, and respiratory systems.

Cardio will also improve your stamina and endurance during strength training sessions, and vice versa.

Many studies have been done to evaluate the consequences of being sedentary. Problems include an increased risk for heart disease, obesity, diabetes, dementia, and some cancers.


Here are 2 good articles worth reading:

If you are sedentary, let this be the catalyst to help you start moving. And make sure to get your doctor’s approval before beginning any new activity, nutrition or exercise program.

Remember, the consistency of slow and steady for long-term results always trumps quick fix!

If you’re new to us, you can link back to the first post of our 6-month series here. And don’t worry about the time of year. We started in January because that’s when most people think about their health & wellness goals. But you can start anytime.

Like TODAY!!!


Same goes if you started but have fallen off-track. Go back to the first post of the series to re-calibrate and get yourself back on-track.

It’s a simple concept: One new habit per month, reinforced weekly to help you build the discipline. And since there are only a half dozen habits to build, it’s easy to manage, once you get into the groove.

But as Jim Rohn used to say, “What’s easy to do is easy not to do”.

6 months to build 6 healthy habits and disciplines that you can sustain for a lifetime.

Here’s how. By…

  • taking action, one habit at a time.
  • consciously (and consistently) making good choices.
  • knowing what to do and learning from your missteps along the way.
  • allowing your new habits to become part of your long-term plan and healthy lifestyle.

It’s up to you how long it takes to reach your goal. And then you have a lifetime to enjoy your new healthy lifestyle. How cool is that?

One last thing before we go.

I have a few words of caution about walking as we wrap up.

  1. First for the ladies: Never walk alone. Especially in the dark or in desolate places.
  2. And for all of us: Always be alert and walk against traffic if you’re forced to walk in the street. Distracted driving is a big problem.
  3. Safety should always be your main goal.

Next week we’ll introduce the 6th and final healthy habit of our 6-month series. In the meantime, don’t forget to Walk This Way!


Or get moving to one of your favorite walking (or running) songs…

Thank you for sharing your time with me. I hope you found value.

Now it’s time for YOU to take action…

What’s your Win to be Thin? Leave a comment below.

Click here to subscribe. You’ll receive an email with a link to each new post. And if you know someone that can benefit from this content, please share it with them.

Welcome To The Machine

Hey 10K! Are you hitting it every day?

Cardio machineIf you need some help, you’re going to like this post.

So how can you increase your daily step count?

I have a few ideas to share that work for me, and I’m hoping they’ll work for you!

Full disclosure: I am not the type of person who likes to spend hours in the gym. I don’t have the time or desire. My average workout time is 45 minutes, which works for me.

I enjoy walking outdoors, so I supplement my workouts with it. Walking improves my thinking, problem-solving abilities, and creativity. And it’s relaxing despite doing it with intensity.

But I’m always looking for ways to log more steps.

And although running is great for so many reasons, it’s not really an option for me anymore. The lingering foot or knee pain I experience from the impact is something I now try to avoid.

But I have found other ways to increase my step count while keeping my heart rate elevated.

Cardio machineWelcome to the machine… Well, I should clarify… Low-impact cardio machines.

Let’s look at a few examples:

  1. Ellipticals: My favorite cardio machine is the Octane Elliptical. After using it for a while, and experimenting with different modes and levels of resistance, you can get close to a “running experience” without any impact on your knees, ankles, feet… And you’ll rack up a lot of steps during an intense 35-minute session.
  2. Bikes: It’s not my “go to” cardio machine, but it’s a good leg workout that will maximize your step count. For a super-intense session, hop on a “spin bike”. Remember your headphones and some loud, ass-kicking music for support and motivation. If you can ride outside, I’m sure my cyclist friends will agree that riding outdoors is more fun and exciting.
  3. Steppers: These cardio machines won’t give you the same high ratio of step count per hour as an elliptical or a bike will, but it’s an intense leg workout that gets (and keeps) your heart rate up.
  4. Treadmills: Aside from the obvious walking (or running), treadmills enable you to control speed or elevation to intensify your workout. I’d much rather walk outdoors at a fast pace than on a treadmill. But a treadmill is a good alternative when you need it.
  5. Jump rope: Surprisingly, I don’t experience pain from jumping rope like I do from running. So I jump rope frequently. If you haven’t jumped rope in a while, you may find that your endurance is low at first. Stick with it and increase the duration every time you jump. And before long, 15 to 30 minutes will be no problem.
  6. Walk the Mall: If the weather is bad or you want a change of scenery, walk the mall. You can window shop. But don’t stop when you see something you like. Instead, wait until you’re done with your walk. And use the stairs for added resistance and intensity.

My goal was to help you find different ways to maximize your step count, by pairing it with some of your cardio training sessions for efficiency. To make it a little easier to get to 10K a day.

Cardio machine

Thank you for sharing your time with me. I hope you found value.

Now it’s time for YOU to take action…

What’s your Win to be Thin? Leave a comment below.

Click here to subscribe. You’ll receive an email with a link to each new post. And if you know someone that can benefit from this content, please share it with them.

There’s An App For That…

You’ve heard it a million times… “There’s an app for that”. Well stay with me, because it applies directly to this week’s theme.

So 10K a day is your new mantra.

And you’re R’acking up the steps. Congratulations!

But how are you T’racking your results and progress?

You know the saying, so say it along with me.

There’s an app for that…

As we discussed last week, there are plenty of apps for iPhone and Android to track your steps. And if you’re an iPhone user, the built-in Health app is incredible for tracking your step count.

But it doesn’t only track your daily step count (automatically), it retains all of your recorded data from Day 1.


For example, in the fitness category, you can also track your active energy (calorie burn), minutes exercised per day, number of workouts, and a few other key metrics.

Aside from the step data, the data for the other fitness categories needs to be entered manually. This info is “tracked” and displayed on a dashboard. And represented visually in graph format based on the time frame of your choice – by Day, Week, Month, or Year.

In addition to tracking your steps, you may find a few other apps useful during your walks.

Here are four of my favorites:

  1. Audible: It’ impossible to read when you’re walking briskly, working out intensely, or driving. I use those times to listen to audio books. For about $15 a month you can get an Audible subscription and continue feeding your mind. If you like reading, it’s a way to maximize your reading time. If you don’t like to read, give it a try. You may take a liking to listening to audio books.
  2. Podcasts: Another great source for learning while you’re on the go. And it’s free. You can follow your favorite thought leaders and listen to their content based on your
  3. Music: Sometimes you just want to listen to music or need some motivation to put a little spring in your step.
  4. Your calendar: I do some of my best thinking during a walk. And I want to capture those thoughts. So instead of slowing down to type, I dictate my thoughts into a new calendar event, which allows me to remember the idea when I’m done or at a later time.

And of course, there are other ways to track your step count in addition to using your smartphone. From high-tech pedometers, fitness bands and smartwatches.

Perhaps this will help to put tracking in perspective for you:

“What gets measured gets managed.” ~ Peter Drucker

Or put another way, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure”.

TrackThe most important point here is to get moving.

Then, “measure” your activity and “track it” with an app or a device.

On another note,

I recently improved my work habits by going to a standing desk, which I love. And there’s huge a side benefit.

Although it doesn’t count for steps, this one move can improve my cardiovascular health by helping me stay “less” sedentary.

Recent research claims that even if you exercise regularly, sitting for long periods of time is unhealthy for a number of reasons.

Here are a few articles on the subject:

“Don’t be a ‘sitting duck for cardiovascular disease’ — move more, sit less,” ~ Dr. Barbara George, director of the Center for Cardiovascular Lifestyle Medicine at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y.

If you want to get a handle on how much time your daily sitting is adding up to, check out this sitting calculator. And pay close attention to the notes, which I’ve included in the image below.


‘Nuf said. Now it’s time to go get some more steps…

Thank you for sharing your time with me. I hope you found value.

Now it’s time for YOU to take action…

What’s your Win to be Thin? Leave a comment below.

Click here to subscribe. You’ll receive an email with a link to each new post. And if you know someone that can benefit from this content, please share it with them.

Can You Give Me 10,000?

I need your help please. Can you give me 10,000?

I’m not asking you to write a check. But I won’t stop you if you feel so inclined…

It’s Month #5 and we’re launching our next habit – walking.

10,000 steps

Walking has been proven to be a healthy habit. Something we need to be doing all the time. Our bodies are powerful and resilient. And we’ve got to keep moving to remain healthy, vibrant and strong.

Walking is low impact. But it’s great exercise in so many ways.

For example:

  1. At a brisk pace, walking strengthens your legs and core.
  2. It gets your heart rate up. So it aids in circulation and breathing.
  3. And helps to clear your head. Personally, I do some of my best thinking and problem-solving when I’m on a walk (next best place is the shower).
  4. And if it’s sunny, you get to boost your Vitamin D production. Just remember the sunscreen.

Dr. Mehmet Oz recommends 10,000 steps per day (aka “10K a day”). And he’s not the only one.

10,000 steps

By the way, logging 10,000 steps is no small feat. You’ve got to be deliberate and make time for it. Otherwise you will struggle to get anywhere close to hitting that goal every day.

Let’s clarify a few things.

I’ve created this brief Q&A to help you get started with your new walking habit.

(Q1).   What counts as a step?

(A1).   Everything. But as with most things, quality matters. The faster or brisker your pace, the better. We are all at different fitness levels. And you will know when the steps you’re taking are meaningful, and when they’re not. Regardless, find a way to get to at least 10K a day!

(Q2).   How do I track my daily step count?

(A2).    The easiest way is with your smartphone. Or you can use a pedometer, fitness band / activity tracker, or smartwatch.

(Q3).   How do I track my progress?

(A3).    Your smartphone. As an iPhone user, I use the built-in Apple Health app. It automatically tracks your step activity, as long as your phone is with you when you’re moving. It also displays your “daily average” steps on a dashboard. Plus, a whole lot more health-related data. There are plenty of health-related apps on the Android. I’m just not aware of an all-inclusive one like the iPhone offers at this time.

(Q4).   Why 10,000 steps?

(A4).    Well first off, 10,000 steps equates to approximately 5 miles. Based on my research, I discovered that 10,000 began as an arbitrary number. It was originally created as a promotion by a Japanese pedometer company. But since that time, studies have confirmed that 10,000 appears to be the sweet spot where people lose weight and gain control of their health & wellness.

This article is packed with useful information about activity, ways to increase your step count, and top picks for pedometers, fitness bands, and smartwatches.

Will you commit to 10K a day?

10,000 steps

I hope so.

Just don’t do what I did last May, and you’ll avoid making a similar bonehead mistake. Click here to learn what ‘not’ to do.

This one incident set me back a few months, while the pain lingered for at least 6. But it’s a valuable lesson and I am happy to pass it on. So remember to leave the light on.

Thank you for sharing your time with me. I hope you found value.

Now it’s time for YOU to take action…

What’s your Win to be Thin? Leave a comment below.

Click here to subscribe. You’ll receive an email with a link to each new post. And if you know someone that can benefit from this content, please share it with them.