I recently had the utterly fabulous opportunity to engage with a dude who has many valuable insights into the world of health and fitness, as well as LIFE. That’s Elliot Canfield, and he’s a guy who shared with me many of his views and approaches to wellness…including how he used Project JACKED to lose 50 pounds and keep it off! He’s an inspiration for all of us and we can learn much from his perspectives.
Elliot and I had a lively discussion on this week’s podcast, and he offered some great tips on several hot topics. Elliot is a devoted husband and father, a local businessperson, and an avid skier and mountain biker. We got into his story, which probably rings true for many of us. After graduating from college, getting married, and diving into a full-time career, he found himself juggling life, putting on some weight, and not being satisfied with the condition he was morphing into. Following the birth of his son, and with the support and encouragement of some friends, family, and co-workers, Elliot found the motivation to make some change in his health and fitness. Enter Project JACKED. Elliot jumped into the program and never looked back.
For just a tiny bit of background information, Project JACKED is my comprehensive weight loss, metabolic reset, health enhancement, and fitness program and it’s available in book format on Amazon. JACKED is a four-month journey into nutrition, training, and lifestyle that revolves around a flexible program which the participants can modify to fit their specific individual needs, and helps them to both jumpstart into better condition and create a long-term personal plan. In designing the program, I ran a pilot study, and Elliot was a member of the intervention group. We all had a lot of fun, made new friendships, and got results. In fact, Elliot was so pleased with his outcomes that he reached out to me and offered to share his wisdom with the world. I’m humbled and flattered to do that, and I’ll list out some of the key points and advice that Elliot provided in our recent conversation.
- Health and physical well-being are necessary for optimal performance, happiness, and success in all areas of life. These things are inseparable and you just can’t be your best unless they are all in sync.
- Do your research, vet your program and coach, and go all-in. Elliot did a lot of studying in the food and exercise arena. Luckily, I met his criteria for credibility, and he fully invested into Project JACKED and our health coaching relationship. The lesson here is to find a system that matches your needs, and then commit wholeheartedly. You won’t get much results unless you make a full investment and then see things through to completion. Front-end work plus commitment equals big gains and no dropout.
- Be prepared to reprogram your brain, particularly on what to eat and how to train. Eat more fat and compress your workouts to be less than 30 minutes. We’ve all been brainwashed that fat is bad for us, but this is only true if you don’t “know your fats.” And with training, get more for less by keeping it fun, avoiding exhaustion, and feeling exhilarated with an upregulated metabolism.
- Accept the fact that your results may be so good that you will need to buy a new wardrobe. Elliot has dropped 50 pounds to date and is closing in on his target weight. What’s really cool about how he JACKEDified himself is that he successfully metabolically multi-tasked. In other words, he lost bodyfat at the same time he put on muscle mass. Kudos.
- Get rid of sugar. It’s evil, it’s everywhere, and we need to get over our addiction. This may have been the strongest point that Elliot emphasized. He read a number of books and attended lectures on the topic, including Dr. Robert Lustig’s Hacking of the American Mind, and came to recognize the industry-driven infiltration of sugar into the American diet as one of the primary drivers of inflammation, disease, and aging. It’s just a few short weeks to break the addiction, and once on the other side, it’s amazing.
- Doing the right things is mostly (but not totally) easy and you can move from feeling good (restoring health, eliminating chronic inflammation, etc.), to looking great (hitting your bodycomp goals), to performing at your best (whatever goal you have). Elliot’s goal was competing in his first triathlon post-JACKED, and he placed in his age group.
- While all are important, the fork is more powerful than the running shoe or the dumbbell. Elliot shared how he was unable to train for several weeks this summer secondary to an illness, but by emphasizing his nutrition, he easily maintained his weight and body composition.
- In the kitchen, know your oils, don’t fear salt, and double your garlic. Elliot knows his way around food and cooking, and is a great resource. In addition to avoiding the Big 6 Industrial Seed Oils (so-called vegetable oils: canola, corn, cottonseed, safflower, soy, sunflower), Elliot recommends ghee, coconut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil for various applications. He appreciates the nutritional value of salt, as well as it’s flavor-enhancing magic. And he’s practically vampire-proofed himself by using ample garlic, which in addition to its delicious nature has many beneficial health effects, particularly in the gut.
- Sleep rules. He says “why fight it.” Any investment you make in getting better sleep, and enough of it, yields massive returns. Elliot made his bedtime earlier and cut back on late-night programming, and all this happened with an infant (whose sleep also improved over time) in the house.
- As a society, we’ve got to kill the sugar, and especially for our kids. Driving this message home as a global challenge in addition to the personal one he mentioned earlier, Elliot expressed his concern and dismay at institutional dogma which still exists today and feeds our youth (in school lunch programs and others) the very things that set them up for a life of inflammation, obesity, disease, and a now-documented decreased life expectancy. Once we make change within ourselves, we have to not rest on our laurels…we must help others.
- Live a life of balance, joy, and preparedness. We all know what that means and Elliot is an example of it. By the way, he also is the host of a cool new podcast called Money, Books, and Lunch which we talked about in the show. It’s all about having the tools to make your day flow and building a community of caring and consciousness in our worlds.
Frankly, I’m still jazzed from this conversation. Elliot said a few more pearls than the ones I listed above, and I couldn’t have said them better myself. Thanks Elliot! And thank YOU for reading!