10 Rules To Live, Train and Eat By

10 Rules To Live, Train and Eat By
Follow these basic guidelines and you'll be in great shape!

A good friend of mine and veteran fitness magazine editor recently asked me, "If you had to condense all of your advice on health, fitness, training, diet and supplements into just 10 take-home points, what would they be?" He wanted them to be points that anyone at any level of fitness, from a 70-year old grandmother to a 25-year old competitive bodybuilder, could use. So I took a stab at the top 10 list. 

I like these types of assignments: Boiling down health and fitness to the most critical elements. Of course, there are many details, tips and tricks that will inevitably be left out of such a list, but if you can nail these basics consistently for the long-term you'll be in great shape, literally. Most of these you may already know, but it never hurts to be reminded. My philosophy is, any fundamentally important tip or piece of advice is worth repeating many times over.

So here they are – my 10 fitness rules to abide by:

1) Be Positive

It may sound cliche, but it is absolutely critical that you keep a positive mind set and not let negative thoughts, from yourself or others, knock you off your path. This truly is the one major thing that separates those who achieve their goals from those who don't. People who reach their goals maintain a positive attitude. Sure, they may have bad moments and failures along the way, but how they react to those failures determines how successful they are. Those who stay positive in the face of adversity get back on their feet and keep climbing. This is important in every aspect of life, including your fitness goals. Whether your goal is losing 20 pounds or more, or gaining 20 pounds, staying positive will keep you progressing consistently.

I constantly hear from people on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and here on JimStoppani.com that share with me their results. Some of these people have made amazing progress in a short period. For example, some have gained over 20 pounds of lean muscle on my programs in less than 3 months. And some have lost over 20 pounds in less than 2 months. Sometimes people comment that it is simply impossible that these people achieved these results in that period of time. My response: Why would thousands of people lie about their results? They're not lying. These are examples of people who stay positive and reach results that others only see as impossible. Those people who see these results as impossible are negative thinkers and will likely never see such results or any of the results that they hope for. Stay positive and set no limits and you won't believe what you are capable of.

2) Choose Protein

The easiest trick when it comes to dieting is to choose protein. Whether your goal is fat loss or muscle building or both, focus on protein at every meal, including snacks, to keep you on mark with your diet. For breakfast, make sure you are eating eggs and don't worry about the carbs like toast or cereal or even fruit. Sure, a piece of fruit when complemented with eggs or other protein source makes a great breakfast, but when you're rushed for time, do NOT grab just an apple and call it breakfast. Hard boil a few eggs, throw them in a Ziploc baggie and take them along. THAT is a breakfast, even if there is no fruit with the eggs.

Any time of day when you don't have time for a meal, make a protein shake. That's a perfect substitute for a meal. Always keep a container of Pro JYM and a shaker bottle nearby so that you can mix up a quick shake wherever you are. When you go out to a restaurant and you're not sure what to order, do NOT order the pasta. Order a steak or chicken or fish or pork. If it's questionable about how it was cooked, don't eat the rice or potatoes that came with it; eat a side salad instead. Between meals when you're hungry and want a snack, do NOT grab pretzels or even a piece of fruit. Grab beef jerky, low-fat string cheese or a Greek yogurt instead. Stick with protein and you will lose more fat and build more muscle.

3) Change Is Good

When it comes to weight training, stop worrying about what exercise works the chest or abs or triceps the best. No ONE...

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