Fitness guru Bob Greene, Oprah Winfrey's longtime personal trainer, has been in the business 30 years. So he's heard the laundry list of excuses for not exercising and not eating right -- from the ''hectic schedule'' cop-out to "I have small children at home," and lots of others in between.
Greene, 52, has personally overcome those obstacles, and others. He and his wife have two young children, so they know about fitting in fitness between parental responsibilities. He travels, writes books, lectures, trains, and makes appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
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Recently, he's become more concerned not just about our less-than-stellar lifestyle habits, but the harm they can do -- such as the diabetes epidemic. It alarms him, he says, from a global and a personal perspective: Both his parents have type 2 diabetes.
"For the most part, type 2 is preventable," he says, citing research that a healthy diet and physical activity go a long way.
To help the estimated 23 million people in the United States with diabetes, he's written the Best Life Guide toManaging Diabetes and Pre-diabetes, applying the principles of his Best Life Diet (healthy eating plan, calorie control, physical activity) to those who have been diagnosed with diabetes or told they are on the borderline.
Greene has also recently released his first fitness DVD -- the Total Body Makeover DVD, aimed at people with hectic schedules.
Despite his own hectic schedule, Greene manages not only to stay in top shape but to help keep his high-profile clients healthy, too.
Lack of motivation? Not a problem. He's woven dozens of no-fail tips into his life. Here, he shares some of his best -- and perhaps surprising -- ways to stay motivated with weight loss and fitness goals:
1. Get Serious About Your Efforts
Greene knows that not everyone will tune in to his healthy messages. ''When you launch a new program or a new book, you will reach maybe 20% of your readers," he says. "I don't get too frazzled by the stats. I concentrate my energy on those willing to change their life."
Only by making a serious commitment to change, he said, will you achieve success. To get there, he says, stop expressing negative thoughts about the lifestyle changes required to lose weight and get fit.
"Stop fighting it and stop negotiating with yourself," he says. "Do it because you care about yourself, not to lose 10 pounds."
2. Ease Into Weight Loss
When most people decide to lose weight, they go cold turkey on the Chunky Monkey and chips and dive into a Spartan menu of vegetables and cottage cheese, determined to do an immediate overhaul of their diets.
Wrong approach, Greene says. Gradual is better. "Don't radically change your entire diet overnight," he advises. Phase in healthier foods a little at a time.