When we eat too much, we get fat. Everyone knows that. But trainer Jackie Warner says that the amount of food we intake is not nearly as much a factor in obesity as what we eat, why we eat and how we eat. In her book, "This is Why You’re Fat (And How to Get Thin Forever)," Warner says the secret is to eat more, cheat more and live life with intensity. Here's an excerpt:
This is a book for the fat and frustrated, for the sad and energy-challenged, and for all of you who know deep down that your life and body should be working better for you.
I am not a doctor, dietitian, or psychologist; I am a fitness, nutrition, and energy specialist. I wrote this book because I have a deep desire to share my life’s experiences and intense personal work to help you get thinner and happier.
I’ll do it by giving you knowledge and as many simple tools as possible to plug into your own life. Oh, and at forty, I have finally found the key to getting my hottest body, and higher levels of personal energy than ever before. So I can confidently say that yes, I have unlocked the secrets of how to get lean, healthy, and happy forever.
Let me just say this, too: I hate diet or fitness books that are complicated, elitist, and recommend stuff that’s expensive or hard to find. Not everybody has access to top trainers, or amaranth grains, or special weight-loss herbs handed out by expensive Hollywood doctors. I wanted to write a book that breaks down the strongest, best-supported research principles into a program that anyone can follow, no matter what their shape, geographic location, or income level. In this book, you will find that program.
And it’s a program that will give you what you really want: a hot and healthy body. I remember a client who weighed around three hundred pounds. Her heart, her blood sugar, her cholesterol — everything was a complete wreck. And she was addicted to prescription painkillers and antidepressants. As I gave her my speech that she would probably die from complications due to obesity, she looked me in the eye and said, “I don’t care about all of that. I just want to walk into the Gap and buy a pair of jeans.”
Okay. I get it. Scary statistics don’t work in today’s body-conscious culture. It’s about you wanting to feel sexy in a bikini, tight jeans, or anything that comes in a smaller size. It’s getting thin healthy that matters. Some people are even saying: “Accept your fat.” That’s delusional. If you believe this, give it up. There’s nothing loving, acceptable, or positive about eating your way to unattractiveness, fatigue, cancer, depression, and other terrible problems.
So yes, I get it, size is important to you. You care about your weight, and it’s one of those numbers you keep tabs on. Clothing size, pounds on a scale, inches on a tape measure — all these numbers greatly impact your life. You feel great when you go down a size or two and horrible when you go up. It’s that out-of-control roller-coaster ride that can affect your whole life. I’m going to show you how to get off that roller coaster and find stable ground.
I have a great advantage over most people because of the unique experience I gain through my work with thousands of clients at my gym. Such experience has led me to landing my national television show and forced me to stay on top of cutting-edge sports and nutrition science. But it was from my family background that I gained the most valuable advantage of all. I grew up in a dysfunctional family that struggled with depression, along with a number of chemical disabilities. My father was mentally ill with postwar schizophrenia and took his own life when I was eighteen. The challenges and pain from my childhood made me very empathetic to emotional struggles. I gained a strength that led me, through diet and exercise, to battle and cure my own depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, skin cancer, and, at times, crippling low-self-esteem issues.
As a kid, I was a sugar and junk-food addict. Comfort food was my drug of choice in dealing with emotional pain. I was thin, but was completely bingeing on mass quantities of processed food and sugar. And while no doctor told me, somewhere inside I knew it was causing my depression, learning disabilities, and terrible ADD. My teens and early twenties were filled with starvation diets followed by bouts of bingeing that left me feeling horrible about myself and out of control in my life — so much so that I even went to Overeaters Anonymous to combat my unhealthy relationship with food. Each diet I tried didn’t work fast enough, or long enough, and led to feelings of failure and self-loathing.
Not until I reached my thirties, and started really researching and applying the science of how the body changes with different foods, exercises, and metaphysical work did I finally turn the corner for good. I started adhering to a few commonsense rules for myself. These simple lifestyle changes have stuck with me and countless clients throughout the years.
Changing my lifestyle and my body has shown me that only I control my life and what it throws me. We all lose control and make bad decisions for ourselves. The key to weight loss and great self-esteem is decreasing the frequency of those mistakes. Losing control can be really fun in the moment, but almost always has negative long-term repercussions. This is true with anything in life, but especially with food. If you feel insecure and desperate about your body and eating habits, you are unhappy, and you must make a change in life now before your self-esteem is damaged so badly that it takes years to reverse. Trust me, it can be done. I’ve done it myself.
And you will do it with my eating and exercise program. It is so commonsense that you won’t get confused, and your body will get so positively addicted to healthy food and exercise that you’ll want to follow this program forever. It’s different and better than anything out there.
Most of you reading this book have never been able to stick with a diet for more than a few months and never reached the goals you desired. Look, any great trainer can help you take off ten pounds of fat and push you to eat better. The problem is, the weight almost always comes back, and you fall into old patterns. My job is to give you all the information and secrets so that your weight stays off.
Let me be very clear: You will learn how to achieve results and stay that way for as long as you choose. You will lose pounds and inches while gaining confidence and wellness. There are three simple rules in my program that will help you do that:
1. No overcomplicated diets or routines.
2. Deprivation does not work.
3. Live with intensity.
If you apply any three random principles from this book, your body will respond tremendously, and you will lose weight. These principles and disciplines have saved me, and pushed me to success and happiness.
On our life-changing journey together, you’ll learn about the three forces that are making you fat: your body chemistry, sugar, and toxic organs. I will talk about all of these and tell you how you can overcome them. Being fat isn’t your problem — meaning it’s not totally your fault — but staying fat is! You can take control of these forces and take back your life and your weight. My program is like nothing you’ve ever done before. Here is what it offers.
Add food to lose weight Other diets take food out. Mine is the only diet that adds food in. These foods include natural, fat-burning foods that will help you get to your goals — and stay there. I will also tell you about all the body-killing, fat-storing foods to avoid. By adding certain foods in and subtracting offending foods, you won’t ever crave any of the nasty stuff again. Expect your food cravings to almost disappear in two weeks!
Enjoy hormone-balancing foods and detox foods All the fad diets and “miracle” slimming products out there fail to recognize that weight gain is a result of out-of-whack hormones, excess sugar, and poorly functioning organs. When you address these things, you will succeed. My program shows you how to balance your hormones through diet and exercise, ease off sugar, and detox the organs responsible for fat loss. This approach makes weight loss easy, because you’re giving your body what it really craves —balance. On my program, you’ll eat better, feel better, look better, and become happier. Your body will become a fat-burning machine!
Be a weekend cheater Here’s one of the best parts of my program: You eat clean (healthy foods) for five days and enjoy two treat meals on the weekend. Yes, you get to “cheat” for two meals! My clients love this about my program. Sure, some programs allow one treat meal a week. I know human nature, and one treat meal a week is not gonna cut it for the rest of your life. So during the week, you’ll eat like you’re at work, knowing the light’s at the end of the tunnel on the weekend!
My program is not about punishing yourself. It’s about giving yourself permission to have less-than-healthy foods for two meals, with the understanding that you’ll spend the rest of the week eating hormone-balancing and detox foods to burn fat. This is how I eat and live. On the weekends, I allow myself ice cream, a martini, or candy at the movies. This is so doable, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is. And guess what? After five days of clean eating, your brain doesn’t have the same desire for junk food! This is one of the secrets to long-term weight loss: tricking the brain not to feel deprived. With my program, you will naturally stop wanting the large quantities of food you used to eat . . . without any thought!
Eat more Give up starvation diets. They ruin your metabolism. Many of the heaviest people who come to me have one thing in common: They try to starve themselves down to size by skipping meals. That will get you nowhere fast, except into a larger size and a permanently slow metabolism. Deprivation does not work! Nutrient deprivation is responsible for much of your weight gain. When you skip meals, your body thinks it’s being starved, so it slows your metabolism and stores fat it would normally burn. And the next time you eat, your body will store fat almost twice as fast. On my program, you eat more than before, not less, and that means five times a day. Eating hormone-balancing and detox foods throughout the day is a key to getting thin.
Look and feel great You want to be thin—and gorgeous. Well, the two go hand in hand. The things that will help you drop sizes are the same things that will make you look beautiful. See, to make the most of your hair, skin, and nails, you’ve got to give up the trans fats, cheap sugars, excess sodium, and unpronounceable additives dumped into junk food. This stuff is ugly — and it makes you ugly, fat, and wrinkled.
You’ve got to feed your body the best possible stuff — like protein (lean meats), fruits and veggies, and whole grains (like brown rice). Skip them and you’ll never even know your beauty potential. The foods on my program will give you flawless skin, a toned body, and tons of energy. They will also de-age you. I guarantee that if you follow my program, people will tell you you look younger and more attractive.
Get thin in the real world I used to tell overweight clients exactly what to eat and when to eat and exercise. They would do great for a couple of months, then fall off the wagon, wanting to throw in the towel. I couldn’t figure out why, so I started asking a lot of questions. It came down to this: I had to take all the thinking out of dieting and exercising. I had to be more realistic about what life is like in their world. I couldn’t force-feed my organic, highly disciplined way of eating on everyone. Real life consists of restaurants, after-work drinks, junk food in the house for the kids, job and financial pressures, skinny spouses who eat whatever they want, oh, and depression from not being fulfilled. On my program, you will learn how to choose the good —veggies, fruit, and lean proteins; avoid the bad—starches and bread; and skip the ugly —desserts and alcohol. All this at the grocery store and at restaurants.
Burn with intensity My exercise program is designed to speed up your metabolism and add lean muscle super fast — without spending hours in the gym. Workout sessions don’t need to be long; they should be strong and intense. My own brand of intense exercise combinations will give you maximum benefit and results. They burn fat faster and add muscle to speed up your metabolism. You’ll never, ever get bored with this workout, because each time you challenge yourself to perfect your form and increase your weights. There are ways to maintain the passion in your fitness program, and I’ll give them to you. All of my training secrets are here, including what will truly give you sexy abs. And by the way, crunches are a waste of time, and I’ll tell you why.
Have more energy We are a nation of sick, unhealthy people wasting away and mutating into sad, fat, and lethargic people, just getting fatter and sadder by the second. We are an out-of-control nation with out-of-control waistlines. I have noticed that a mass panic is setting in. I see it every day in the faces of people and desperate e-mails from around the country. So many people are tired, always dragging and feeling exhausted. Many are a walking medicine chest, dependent on pills to control everything from high blood pressure to sleep deprivation, and are chronically fatigued and depressed. Others can’t climb a flight of stairs or walk a block without gasping for air. Millions of people are alive, but hardly living.
I realize you care mostly about getting thin, not about cholesterol levels. But who wants to be sick, tired, and depressed when you don’t have to be? Bagfuls of doughnuts or chips are not worth lessening the quality of your life or shortening it.
The effects of poor nutrition and a lack of exercise not only are visible on the outside but will wipe you out on the inside. It’s time to take responsibility and treat your body as the greatest gift you have. It is your calling card to life, and through its energy, you can shine as the person you were always meant to be. The foods you’ll learn to eat here and the exercise you’ll do will help transform your life in every way.
Take back your self-control I believe that self-control is what we all long for, yet it is something that can come only from within. What interferes with self-control is constant worry and obsession over food and weight. You should not worry about food and your weight all day long!
This is not normal. It’s exhausting, and it takes energy away from more creative, positive thoughts about yourself and your environment. Eating should energize you — not stress you out— and free you! On every page of this book, I cut through all the confusion and talk about freedom. Freedom from constantly thinking of food, freedom from negative body image, and freedom from all the drama attached to not being happy with your circumstances.
When you’re struggling with your weight, you also carry a load of negative feelings: disappointment, frustration, self-loathing, and not measuring up. To make things worse, these feelings make you want to eat because you equate food with comfort. Food becomes a way to self-medicate from an unhappy life. Not to mention that it’s impossible to do everyday things without being bombarded by junk food and struggling with whether to eat it or not eat it. These constant internal battles kill self-control and positive self-esteem.
The solution is nutrition and exercise! You won’t start feeling comfortable and connected with yourself until you have control over both. Then you’ll gain control over your body and your life. When you put clean, energy-giving foods into your system, and exercise with intensity, your body produces positive body chemicals. These chemicals change how you look and feel. They allow you to radiate high energy that attracts into your world anything you want — the ability to get thin, build self-esteem, achieve success — anything.
Think fit, be fit What goes on in your head is usually 100 percent responsible for weight gain! I’m going to show you how to throw out the junk in your head, because how you think defines who you are. We all have deeply rooted traits that drive us to succeed or fail in life. Enough small and consistent success leads to inner peace and happiness. Too many failures left unchecked may lead to self-loathing and an unsatisfied life.
In this book, I will show you that it’s never too late to reinvent yourself and work against “bad” genetics, or your created environment. So to make a change, you must begin thinking differently. Decide that your appearance, health, and fitness are as important as anything else. Your body naturally wants to be thin. You have the power to make that happen. I will share key secrets with you that will give you simple tools to reframe your thinking and still achieve your biggest goals while dealing with life’s setbacks. Whether you’re a mom juggling a thousand things, or a busy professional with deadlines and other added stressors, every day is an opportunity to feel amazing about yourself!
Feel powerful in your world In life we all need friends, motivators, and teachers to boost us up and inspire us when we are unable to inspire ourselves. That’s what I can be for you. My job is to empower you to make a lasting, lifelong change. Your job is to redefine what working out, relationships with food, and overall happiness in your life will be.
As a trainer, I push people ten times harder than they ever thought they could go. They give it to me, and afterward, they feel like a million bucks. That’s what I’m passionate about: showing people how powerful they really are. I’ve discovered that we trainers may be more like therapists than any other profession. When you deal with the body, there’s a lot of pain people keep inside, and a lot is based on how they feel about themselves from an early age. I have to be empathic and a good listener, as well as knowing what I’m talking about. I’ve changed clients’ lives — gotten them into AA and out of marriages, seen them through babies and deaths and new careers. These changes start, however, when they lose weight and keep fit. The product of what I do is a good-looking body, but the by-product is more energy, job satisfaction, better sex — everything in life gets better. That’s what it’s all about for me. I’m not interested in helping some celebrity get an eight-pack. I want to help people better their lives.
You deserve to be lean, strong, happy, and confident in the way you look, the way you feel, and the way you live. I want for all of you to experience waking up every morning feeling sexy, strong, and powerful in your body. There’s nothing like it, trust me. It is time you start feeling powerful in your world.
And it’s time to take small, yet significant steps in the right direction, and set yourself on a better path. Your lifestyle is determined by what you put in and do with your body ... period. I promise that I will give you the right information, in the right way, to help you make the right choices for yourself and see enormous differences in your life. We make a choice every day to either get strong or weak. Let this be your day to be strong. The best decision that you can make right now is to be the best you can be.
It’s also time to ignite a fire within that leads to not only a hot body, but also great self-worth and confidence. Know that it’s impossible to live perfect in an imperfect world, so stop beating yourself up! Just start to make one positive choice each day, and you will find your days getting better.
And if you’ve identified yourself as “the fat girl or guy” your entire life, but are ready to get thin, you are my hero. The bravery it takes to walk into a gym, trust, do the work, and redirect your thinking is something I admire tremendously. I see achievers like you every day in my gym. Their struggle touches me deeply and is very relatable to everyone who has had to fight against society, their families, and the worst critic — themselves. I love being a part of their journey — and yours.
Your body is a science project, and you can change it in twenty-four hours. Know that right now, in this one, single day, your body has already started its change for the better, because your focus there has allowed it to. All you need is this book, a measuring tape, and your journal, and you can take your life back.
Nothing you do or try is ever a failure, just an opportunity to make a bigger change and grow. Every day is a new starting point. Keep your eye on the prize: a leaner, happier, healthier you!
Excerpted from "This is Why You're Fat (And How to Get Thin Forever)" by Jackie Warner. Copyright © 2010 by Jackie Warner. Used by permission of Grand Central Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.