Weightloss Tips

If you're looking to release excess body fat, use these fitness and nutrition tips, techniques and strategies to support your goal.

How Does Being Fat Benefit You?

Hi Davey,

I’m 32 years old, 286 pounds and have a body fat percentage of of 41%. I’m worried that I’m heading for a health disaster but can’t seem to find the motivation or energy to do anything about it. How do I break the cycle and get motivated?



We all know the benefits of exercise and a proper diet. So why is it so hard to change our behavior?

Hey Stu,

Thanks for your honest question.

With more and more adults overweight and obese, the current approach isn’t resonating. You already know the benefits of exercise. You already know the health risks of being overweight. And yet, none of it is motivating you (and many, many others) to change behavior.

So I have a different question: How does being overweight or obese benefit you?

At first, it might sound like a silly question. But consider it deeply.

An article on PsychCentral asked that question of patients. Though the question is initially met with nervous laughter, some of the bravest patients find the courage to answer it honestly:

  • “My obesity gives me an excuse. I am not held to the same standards as others; they don’t expect it, because I am morbidly obese.”
  • “My obesity keeps men away; I was sexually abused by my dad for 4 years of my life.”
  • “My marriage is so distant that food has become my only lover/friend. I’m lonely and food gives me comfort.”

If weight loss was as easy as eating smarter and moving more, we’d all be at our goal weight. But we’re not. And it’s clear that, for many of us, there’s a psychological element that cannot be ignored. As personal trainers, it’s our responsibility to be aware of this - and to give our clients the tools that they need. And that means more than just a treadmill and a calorie journal.

So…. how does being overweight benefit you? Yes, you. In the comments below, please find the courage to answer that question honestly. And because you deserve to be healthy and happy, give yourself the gift of professional help.


P.S. If you’re not sure where to start, consider downloading Davey Wavey’s Weight Loss Program. Beyond nutirtion and exercise, the program is written with the help of a psychotherapist and spiritual weight release coach to address the psychological component of weight loss.

Answered: Why Am I Exercising But Gaining Weight?

Dear Davey,

I’ve been working out for almost two months. Two months ago, I had a 38 inch waist and weighed 210 lbs. After all this exercising, I’m now 215 lbs and my waistline has increased by an inch. I’m extremely discouraged. What is happening?


14405029672_43f234844f_zHey Peter,

That is very frustrating. But as it turns out, you’re not alone. Gaining weight while exercising is actually quite common. In fact, a recent study demonstrated this reality by enlisting 91 healthy but overweight women in an exercise program. At the end of the 12 week program, 70% of the women had added fat mass - despite being more aerobically fit and healthier.

The study didn’t focus on the other variables in the women’s lives. And therein lies the problem. Exercise is just one part of a very complicated equation. For example, it’s entirely possible that the women ended up increasing their calorie intake during the study or became more sedentary in other aspects of their lives.

If you’re gaining weight while exercising, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  1. Is it muscle? Depending on your exercise program, your weight gain may be due (at least in part) to added muscle mass. If this is the case, you may notice a transformation in your body such as increased biceps, larger pectorals or increased glutes. A larger waistline, on the other hand, is an indication that you may be adding body fat.
  2. Have your eating habits changed? In the simplest terms, weight loss is the result of a calorie deficit. When we eat fewer calories than we burn, a calorie deficit occurs. Exercise can increase calories burned, but many exercisers also increase their caloric intake. Exercise may increase your appetite - and it’s possible to consume more calories than you burned during exercise. This can result in excess calories being stored as body fat. In other words, working out isn’t a free pass to eat anything and everything.
  3. Is your workout effective? Going to the gym isn’t enough. Your workout must be connected to your goal of losing weight. Endlessly walking on a treadmill, for example, could actually be counterproductive. If you need help creating a workout that targets fat loss, download Davey Wavey’s Weight Loss Program or enlist the help of a personal trainer.
  4. Are you sleeping well? Besides exercise and nutrition, other variables can impact body fat storage. Not getting enough sleep is one of them. Changes in hormone levels can increase your appetite and decrease satiety after eating.
  5. Are you stressed? Increases in stress result in the release of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol can increase appetite and may result in the accumulation of fat in the body’s midsection.
  6. Are you taking any new medications? If you are on any new medications, talk to your doctor about side effects. It’s possible that weight gain is one them. This is especially common with anti-depressants, anti-inflammatory steroids and medications that treat migraines, seizures, high blood pressure and diabetes. Don’t stop taking medications without talking to your doctor.

Don’t be discouraged. Gaining weight when working out isn’t a sign of failure. Instead, use it as an opportunity to assess the effectiveness of your training, your diet and the other factors in your life. And then, if possible, make changes and press forward in the achievement of your goals.


Why Are Gay Men Skinnier?

gay guysOver the weekend, I visited a very gay gym in Palm Springs, California. Though most of the exercisers were well into their 50s, 60s and 70s, they were in better shape than most 20-year-olds. It raises the question: Why are gay men in better shape than straight men?

To answer that question, we must first examine whether or not it’s even true.

Certainly, the stereotype is that gay men are fit and muscular. But in reality, gay men come in all shapes and sizes. As a community, we’re not defined by a single body type.

However, when comparing gay men as a whole with straight men, it is statistically clear that gay men have a lower average body mass index (BMI). BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight - and, on average, gay men are thinner and a third less likely to be obese. This has been confirmed time and time again including an article in the American Journal of Public Health.

Of course, a lower BMI doesn’t necessarily mean that gay men are in better shape. It does mean that they’re skinnier. But skinny isn’t a synonym for healthy. I have many skinny friends that couldn’t run a mile.

Instead of asking why gay men are in better shape, it’s more accurate to ask why they’re skinnier. So why are gay men skinnier?

It’s a great question with no clear answer, especially given the breadth and depth of our community’s diversity. Based on my experience, here are a few possibilities:

  1. Gay culture is very body-focused. Pick up a magazine that targets straight guys. On the cover, you’d probably see a deer in cross hairs, a football player or a woman in a swimsuit. Pick up a gay magazine and it’s probably a dude in his underwear. This isn’t to say that straight men aren’t body focused, but much of that attention is directed at women - and not themselves. If a straight guy sees a bikini-clad woman on a magazine cover, his first thought is probably not that he needs to lose 25 pounds to look like her.
  2. Gay men can be overachievers. If society - or your family - treats you like you’re a second class citizen, you may feel like you need to prove your worth by becoming an overachiever. Being an overachiever isn’t just about working 70 hours a week and getting promotions. It can also translate to other areas of life, including the gym. Working out can become an obsession in the pursuit of perfection.
  3. Your body is a currency in the gay community. Some things feel beyond our control. Like getting older or how smart you are. Or even your job or how much money you make. But you do have control over your body. And in the gay world, a good body can open many doors. It can help you do and get the things you want. And it will definitely help you get laid. I’m not saying it’s a good thing, but it’s a true thing.
  4. You create in yourself what you are attracted to in others. If a straight guy is attracted to large boobs, he’s probably not going to try to create large boobs in himself. But in the gay world, you have the opportunity to create in yourself what you’re attracted to in other men. If you are attracted to large pecs, you’re probably going to want large pecs on yourself. It’s a uniquely gay experience, but certainly a possible motivating factor.

At the end of the day, we don’t really know what drives gay men to be skinnier. While we can discuss gay men’s motivation until we turn blue, what’s equally important is expressing those motivations in a healthy and productive way. In a culture ripe for eating disorders and body image issues, it means building a healthier relationship with your body.

In the comments below, please share why you think gay men are skinnier. What motivates gay men? What motivates you?

P.S. If you’re looking to lose weight through nutrition, exercise and an improved relationship with your body, I recommend downloading Davey Wavey’s Weight Loss Program; I co-wrote the program with a psychotherapist, a nutritionist and another personal trainer. It’s the last weight loss program you’ll ever need.

I Hate Vegetables But I Need To Lose Weight: 5 Tips!

Hey Davey,

Just wondering if you could give me some advice and maybe others who have the same dilemma. How do I lose weight when I do not like fruits and vegetables? Everyone tells me to learn to love them, but I’m 22 and it won’t get any better. For example, I HATE SALAD. What should I do?


photo-31Hey Chris,

First off, I don’t believe that you hate fruits and vegetables.

I do believe that you think you hate fruits and vegetables, but it’s time to start telling yourself a different story. With so many flavors and with so many different preparation methods, there’s no way that you can truly hate every single combination.

Second, eating veggies isn’t just about losing weight. Regardless of your goals, fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Of course, depending on how you prepare them, vegetables are much less calorie dense than unhealthy foods like pastries, ice cream, chips and fried foods - which can be beneficial if you’re looking to fill up with fewer calories.

Having said that, there a number of ways to improve your veggie habits. Here are some tips:

  1. Add veggies to dishes you already like. If you like pasta, for example, slice up some veggies and add them to the pasta sauce. Find the veggies that you least hate, and start there. It’s also easy to sneak some veggies onto your sandwich. A tomato slice and some sprouts can be a great addition.
  2. Blend them. Though kale might not sound like a tempting option, you may surprised how tasty it is in a smoothie. A quick Google search will yield plenty of healthy smoothie ideas. Add some unsweetened peanut butter and unsweetened almond milk for a base and you’re good to go!
  3. Dress up your salads. Sure, you hate the salads you’ve tried. But try something different. There are thousands of different salad dressing recipes and a million ways to top your salad. Add on a few slices of prosciutto and avocado. I love topping my salad with homemade croutons; it makes such a difference. Cube up some wheat bread and toss it with garlic powder, olive oil, dried parsley, salt and pepper. Bake in the oven until crispy and add to your salad. It’s a huge upgrade.
  4. Tune in to texture. Some of your vegetable dislike may be due to the texture. Recognize that your can control the texture through preparation. Stir fried veggies have a different texture versus baked veggies versus grilled veggies versus raw veggies. It might be texture - and not taste - that has turned you off.
  5. Take the vegetable challenge. Open your mind by making the following commitment: Try at least one new fruit or vegetable each week. You may hate most of them, but you may also end up finding one or two that you actually like.

In my opinion, a blanket statement of hating fruits and vegetables is cheating yourself from some awesome culinary experiences. I suspect that your dislike of vegetables is less about taste buds and more about perspective. And, of course, you have control over your perspectives. Stop feeding yourself this tired old story and stop defining yourself in opposition to foods that support not just your goals, but also a healthy and balanced life.


P.S. To transform the way you look and feel through the foods you eat, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter - and get started today!

Am I Too Old To Get Back In Shape?

Dear Davey,

I’m 41. I’ve battled obesity for the majority of my life. I hit 200 pounds when I was 12, and 300 pounds by the time I turned 30. When I was 36 I decided to turn things around, and I lost 132 pounds through diet and exercise. I was so proud of myself.

I managed to keep that weight off for almost four years, then last year I suffered several personal crisis in a row, and let things slip. I’ve gained back 78 pounds of the weight that I worked so hard to get rid of.

I am so depressed and angry with myself for allowing it back on. I also don’t feel like I can push myself like I used to.

Can I get back to what I was at before? I know that our bodies change as we age, so I’m worried it’s going to be harder. It’s only been five years, but I feel so much older this time and I know people lose muscle mass with age. For the best results, should I put more focus on cardio or weight training?



Dear Dwight,

For best results, it’s not about cardio or weight training. It’s not even about age. It’s about attitude.

In the paragraphs above, you outline a number of excuses. In a nutshell, they include:

  • I’m too old.
  • It’s harder.
  • People lose muscle with age.

Excuses don’t create results. Instead, as the saying goes, excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure. As such, let me destroy each of your excuses, one by one.

First, you said that you’re too old. I’m reminded of a elderly man that I met in San Diego. Jogging along on the treadmill next to me, he told me he was 91. With his World War II cap proudly on display, he outran almost everyone else at the gym. If he’s not too old, you’re not too old.

Second, you said it’s harder. Yes, getting into shape requires energy and effort. But do you know what’s harder than working out? Dealing with the effects of obesity, coping with internalized anger and dying of a heart attack at age 50.

Third, you said that people lose muscle with age. You’re right, to an extent. The condition to which you refer is sarcopenia; as people age, skeletal muscle mass and strength can be lost. But what’s also true is that sarcopenia can be prevented - and even reversed - through physical activity.

You could probably come up with more excuses. But I promise you that I’ve already heard them. And I can also promise you that they’re equally destroyable. So let’s save ourselves the time and cut to the chase.

The truth is, your greatest obstacle is yourself.

Instead of becoming increasingly frustrated, recognize that your existing problem can only be solved with a new perspective. The solution isn’t a workout plan or a diet. It’s a new way of looking at things and a new attitude.

You have an opportunity.

Through 41 years of life and your weight journey, you’ve learned a lot. Tap into that wisdom and create a new 40s for yourself. And then a new 50s. And so on. Build on your life experience not for declining health but for a renewed commitment to fitness expressed through an active lifestyle.


P.S. Because losing weight is about more than diet and exercise, I recommend downloading Davey Wavey’s Weight Loss Program to create truly lasting results.