My Name is Stavros Mastrogiannis and I am the owner of Live Your Way Thin a weight loss coaching facility located in Danbury, that specializes in sustainable weight loss.
I got into the fitness industry back in 1992, and I am probably one of the few fitness professionals who does not like exercising or watching what I eat. Unlike other fitness professionals, I did not get into the fitness field because I am passionate about fitness, I got into the field because I realized the average fitness professional does not understand people like myself who does not like fitness.
When I was in my late teens, just like my peers, I wanted to have a nice body so I can look good on the beach. The problem was I did not like exercising or having to watch my diet, but I figured I will push myself and once I see results, I will be motivated enough to keeping going. Well, that plan did not work out too well. I could not stay consistent with my workouts for more than one month. First, I was blaming the workout, so I kept finding new workouts to try out with always the same result of quitting. Then I started thinking that there was something wrong with me, that I was simply lazy and didn’t want the nice body bad enough. Otherwise, I should have been able to stick with the program. When I found out that over 95% of people can’t stick with their diet or exercise program either, I started to think that maybe it’s not me that has the problem but there was something wrong with the fitness advice we were getting for the fitness experts.
Think about it, who becomes a fitness expert? People who love fitness. The problem is that when you love fitness you don’t truly understand people who do not love fitness. So, how can you give advice to someone on how to get in shape when you don’t truly understand them? I realized that there was a real need for a fitness expert who truly understood the average person who does not like exercising and dieting, so in 1992 I decided I would become that fitness expert and that is how I ended up in the fitness industry.
When I first got into the fitness field, I already had a degree in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America, so I knew a lot about healthy cooking but there was a lot more to learn. Besides getting a diploma in fitness and nutrition and two certifications, one as a personal trainer and a second as a Lifestyle & Weight Management Consultant from the top certification companies in the country ACE (American Council on Exercise) I was taking tons of continuing education course and was going to every fitness seminar I could find. It was not until around 6 or 7 years in the fitness field when I realized I was teaching the same types of workouts and the same type of diets as all the other fitness professionals were, and to no surprise, my clients were achieving the same unsustainable results. On top of that, I was also a hypocrite. At least all the other fitness professionals were following their own advice, but I was not. I still had a hard time sticking with my workouts, I was still eating tons of junk food but because I was not gaining weight, I was getting away with it.
What woke me up was something my wife said. One day I was eating chocolate after dinner like I always did, and my wife says to me, don’t you feel a little hypocritical, when you tell your clients not to eat junk food and yet, you eat junk food pretty much every day? That statement made me stop and think. She is right? How can I expect my clients to follow my advice, when I can’t even follow my own advice? I was giving my clients the same ineffective advice I was getting, when I was trying to get in shape and clearly were not working. How did that happen? Well, I took the same classes and the same certification course as all other fitness professions, how did I expect to learn something different. This was my wake-up moment. I realized that It was time to rethink everything I thought I knew about health and fitness and do my own research.
What made a huge difference in finding the answers I was seeking, was my upbringing. I was raised in Greece on an island where people lived long healthy lives free from most of the diseases that most people suffer from in the western world and thin was the norm. So, I started to take a very close look at how we ate in Greece and how we lived, and this is where I started noticing some major contradictions to what I had learned in school about proper nutrition and health.
It is an unfortunate fact that special interest groups have a great influence as to what is taught in our schools, and what recommendations our government gives on diet and health, so we need to question everything no matter how many credentials the source of the information has. I don’t mean any disrespect to people with degrees but, having a degree does not automatically make you right.
Over the next 7 to 8 years I researched and scrutinized over hundreds of healthy behaviors trying to determine if they were truly beneficial or they were simply profitable for some company and that is why they were getting pushed. In those 7 to 8 years of intense research, I identify 6 healthy behaviors that stood up to all the scrutiny and have been proven to have the biggest effect on people’s weight and health. The 3 of these 6 healthy behaviors I consider the most important ones and they have to do with “how” you eat.
Did you know you could eat the exact same food and amount of food, but depending on how you at the food, it could affect your weight and health completely differently? If you look at healthy regions around the world, although the foods they eat vary a little, they all follow these 3 “how to eat” behaviors.
What I also find very interesting is that although all Mediterranean cultures follow these 3 “how to eat” behaviors, all the research papers and articles I have read about the Mediterranean diet hardly ever mention these 3 very healthy behaviors. I wonder why? Could it be the fact that when you engage in these 3 behaviors you will end up eating a lot less food, naturally without feeling deprived and most of the research you see on diets is paid by food companies? It’s not in the best interest of food companies for people to eat less. What I also found very disturbing was the fact that in all my nutritional courses I took none of these 3 eating behaviors were ever mentioned
As I started teaching my clients the 6 healthy behaviors I had identified as most important, the results greatly improved, but there was still a problem.
Although I had identified the 6 healthy behaviors that have the biggest impact on people’s health and weight, and I would challenge anyone to prove otherwise, and although my clients were getting much better results, most of my clients still had a hard time sticking with the process of adapting these 6 healthy behaviors into their lives.
That is when I realized that just knowing what people needed to do in order to lose weight and get in shape, was only half of the solution to sustainable weight loss and vibrant health. The other half was knowing how to apply all that know-how into your life without burning yourself out. This is the part that my program was still missing.
Again, I went back and started to think about how we lived in Greece. When I lived there, nobody worried about their health or weight and yet we were able to maintain our good health effortlessly. HOW?
All the healthy behaviors that kept us in shape, were habitual behaviors woven into our everyday life. In other words, we did not have to think or be motivated to engage in those behaviors. They were automatic behaviors run by our subconscious mind.
If you look at all the weight loss programs and diets on the market, they have one thing in common. They rely on the conscious mind to do all the work and that is the problem.
As you might already know we all have a conscious and subconscious mind. The conscious mind is our manual control, and the subconscious mind is our autopilot. According to cognitive neuroscientists, 95% of our day is run by our subconscious mind, only 5% is run by our conscious mind. The reason for that is because our conscious mind has very limited processing power. It can only process about 40 bits of data per second, whereas the subconscious mind can process about 40 million bits of data per second. Basically, your conscious mind can only do one thing at a time, so if you are using your conscious mind to watch what you eat, or to count calories, or count carbs, guess what your conscious mind is not doing? Is not paying attention to the flavors of the food you are eating or simply enjoying the food. The end result is that you get less enjoyment out of eating, and that is why with diets that require you to count or measure anything, leave you feeling deprived and wanting more.
That was my aha moment. All the weight loss and diet programs on the market today rely on the conscious mind to maintain all the healthy behaviors, whereas, in all the healthy regions around the world through their traditions, they have trained their subconscious mind to take over all the healthy behaviors that are keeping them in shape. By making all the healthy behaviors habitual, it frees up their conscious mind to focus on the fun stuff in life, like enjoying what they are eating.
So, the solution to weight loss and vibrant health that can be maintained for life has two parts. Part one, knowing what healthy behaviors you needed to engage in for maximum weight loss and best health and part two, is knowing how to incorporate all those healthy behaviors into your life so the subconscious mind can take over and make them habitual, so your conscious mind is free to enjoy life.
As I started my research on how to best change and develop habitual behaviors, I used myself as the guinea pig. I hated exercise and loved my junk food, so if I could get myself to eat healthier and exercise regularly, I knew I could help anybody to do the same.
I learn everything I could find about how habits are created, how the subconscious mind works and how it can be reprogramed and how bad habits can be changed. Through my research, I came across the kaizen method. It’s an ancient Asian philosophical system on how to best apply change into your life so the changes become permanent. This system has been used by major corporations like Toyota, many top athletes and top business leaders to achieve amazing success. Basically, it’s a blueprint of how to train your subconscious mind to take over all behaviors necessary for the achievement of whatever results you are going after.
With everything I learned, I wasn’t just able to change my eating habits and make exercising habitual to the point I have not missed a week of working out for the past 10 years, I was able to change things about my personality that people considered impossible to change. I used to have a really bad temper and did not take much for me to lose my temper. Nobody expected me to change because my father had the same bad temper and they assumed that was part of my personality that could not be changed. They were wrong, once I understood how habits are formed and how they can be changed I was able to change my bad temper. I went from a person who got angry at the drop of a hat to a person that was very calm and very hard to make angry. No, I did not hold in the anger because that is also unhealthy. I simply changed the thoughts that triggered anger, so I did not get angry in the first place. What I discovered is that the way you think plays a huge roll on the way you behave. Change your thought and you can change any behavior you want.
The kaizen methods helped me find the final piece of the puzzle of how weight loss and vibrant health can be achieved and easily maintained for life.
Looking back, it took me around 15 years to learn all the necessary lessons that helped me come up with the complete solution to sustainable weight loss and vibrant health. What I find very interesting is that I had to unlearn many things I was taught in school and in all the nutritional and fitness course I had taken, in order to solve the problem. What helped me tremendously to keep an open mind and question what I had learned in school was my upbringing in a healthy region in Greece. Questioning what I learned in school was the best thing I ever did, that helped me tremendously in finding the solution.
Up until recently, the only way you could learn my solution was to come to my facility Live Your Way Thin in Danbury CT but now through my Simple Way to Vibrant Health online coaching system, my groundbreaking approach to sustainable weight loss and vibrant health is available to anyone around the world who is looking for sustainable and healthy weight loss and has access to internet.
The fact is, there are many weight loss and diet programs that can help you lose weight and get in shape, but if you are looking for weight loss and vibrant health that you can easily maintain for life, you will be hard pressed to find a system that is more effective than my Simple Way to Vibrant Health online coaching system.
NOTE: Stavros Mastrogiannis lives in Danbury, CT. He is available for workshops and speaking presentations in the following topics: Sustainable Weight Loss, Resistance Training, Exercise Motivation, Proper Nutrition. For more information and for availability send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Stavros Mastrogiannis lives in Danbury, CT. He is available for workshops and speaking presentations in the following topics: Sustainable Weight Loss, Resistance Training, Exercise Motivation, Proper Nutrition. For more information and for availability send an email to email@example.com