12 Days of TRUEFitmas Day 2

Start Your Transformation Program HERE

We are officially onto Day 2 of the TRUE Fitmas Challenge.

If you missed Day 2 – well SHAME on you.


Here’s the link to get all caught up

You can definitely knock out Day 1 and Day 2 today just FYI 🙂

Every day from now until Christmas I’m going to be sending you a 3-part challenge.

3 KEY areas…




Your goal is to knock them out each day and email me back when you do.

These challenges will seem simple, but I promise you they aren’t easy.

You’ll feel a bit uncomfortable

(that’s the point)

But you’ll start noticing some changes.

And those changes will help build momentum.

And momentum is HUGE when it comes to getting better results.

You’ll start to improve your self-belief and you’ll find that sticking to your goals will get easier.

Here’s Day 2:


On the Second Day of Fitmas – Josiah Gave to Me…

Walk or Run 2 Miles

Every time you stop to break – I need 10 Burpees.

Be sure to tag me in your posts on social with #TRUEFITMAS hashtag if you post about the workout.


On the Second Day of Fitmas – Josiah Gave to Me…

2 Servings of Green Veggies minimum today

Eat at least 2 servings of green veggies in the next 24 hours.

You got this


On the Second Day of Fitmas – Josiah Gave to Me…

Write down 2 BIG goals for your life in 2019.

I want to hear what you write down.

These MUST get accomplished in 2019.

And that, my party people, is DAY 2.

Your homework is this:

1. Complete all 3 challenges in the next 24 hours.

2. Email me when you do : Josiah@TheTrueTransformation.com

3. Tag me on Social Media with the hashtag #TRUEFITMAS

And enjoy!

Talk again soon,


P.S. Our next TRUE8 opens the Day after Xmas and if you want in early…

You can email me and bribe me with eggnog and cookies LOL

EMAIL: Josiah@TheTrueTransformation.com

I might just have a FREE 30 day program (one of these here) if you want in early today to ensure you’re tied over till we open the doors.

TRUE8 2.0 is our new and improved TRUE8 program. It’s for you if you want to build a better body, improve your confidence, lose that belly-fat and transform your mindset forever in 2019.

TRUE8 EXTREME is for you if you are already in the midst of a transformation but want to take things to the NEXT level and truly push far outside of your comfort zone. There will be tougher workouts and you’ll be targeting the best shape of your life as your ultimate prize.

Both options will open to the public Dec 26th.

Email me back if you want to reserve a spot today.

Start Your Transformation Program HERE

12 Days of TRUE FITMAS Challenge Day 1

Apply For VIP Coaching

We are officially 12 Days away from Christmas 2018.

Which means its time to bring the 2018 FITMAS Challenge to your email inbox.

Every day from now until Christmas I’m going to be sending you a 3-part challenge.

Oh yes…3 parts:




Your goal is to knock them out each day and email me back when you do.

These challenges will seem simple, but I promise you they aren’t easy.

You’ll feel a bit uncomfortable

(that’s the point)

But you’ll start noticing some changes.

And those changes will help build momentum.

And momentum is HUGE when it comes to getting better results.

You’ll start to improve your self-belief and you’ll find that sticking to your goals will get easier.

Here’s Day 1:


On the First Day of Fitmas – Josiah Gave to Me…

1 Round of 20 Burpees (unbroken – meaning you don’t take a rest)

For every rest longer than 5 seconds you do 1 Plank for 30 seconds.

Be sure to tag me in your posts on social with #TRUEFITMAS hashtag if you post about the workout.


On the First Day of Fitmas – Josiah Gave to Me…

1 Gallon of Water to drink

Drink 1 gallon of water over the next 24 hours.

Simple and effective for hydration.

Get after it!


On the First Day of Fitmas – Josiah Gave to Me…

Send 1 text to someone who you haven’t thanked in a long time.

Tell them you’re grateful for them and the impact they had on your life this past year.

Do it without any expectations of a return text.

And that, my party people, is DAY 1.

Your homework is this:

1. Complete all 3 challenges in the next 24 hours.

2. Reply to this email when you do

3. Tag me on Social Media with the hashtag #TRUEFITMAS

And enjoy!

Talk again soon,


P.S. Our next TRUE8 opens the Day after Xmas.

There will be 2 Tracks.

TRUE8 2.0 is our new and improved TRUE8 program. It’s for you if you want to build a better body, improve your confidence, lose that belly-fat and transform your mindset forever in 2019.

TRUE8 EXTREME is for you if you are already in the midst of a transformation but want to take things to the NEXT level and truly push far outside of your comfort zone. There will be tougher workouts and you’ll be targeting the best shape of your life as your ultimate prize.

Both options will open Dec 26th.

50 FAT LOSS Commandments

Josiah Novak - Author of Diets Suck

Over the past 15 years I’ve worked with thousands of men and women.

These days I only work with people who truly want to change their lives.

Anyone can drop a few lbs if they are strict enough for a couple months.

But, when it comes to permanent transformation – that takes a true identity change.

That takes someone who is committed to improving their life for the long haul.

That’s why I’m so picky about who I work with these days.

If you want to learn more you can apply here.


Transformation isn’t easy.

If it was, we’d all be lean.

However, today I want to give you my Top 50 Fat Loss Commandments that have been staples in my life over the past 15 years.

These have allowed me to shred 80 lbs of my own body-fat (and keep it off).

These commandments have transformed hundreds of my clients all across the world.

I will personally guarantee that your body and life will change if you commit to these lessons:


1) You are overweight because over the course of your lifespan thus far – you have eaten more calories via food than your body needs.

Your body has been fed more food than it needs and thus you’ve added body-fat.


2) In order to lose body-fat you must create a caloric demand AKA a calorie deficit. Your body must need more fuel than what you feed it in order to lose fat.


3) Being lean is a highly desirable state because it leads to better health as well as a better life


4) Fat loss is a highly marketable topic. However, if you always look for a solution without addressing the actual problems you will struggle.

If you have no idea what you’re struggling with – you won’t be able to pick a solution.


5) Take ownership for your current body. I promise you if you take full responsibility for where you are now – you will feel incredibly empowered.


6) Always begin a fat loss journey with the end of your life in mind. Meaning – don’t jump into an extreme plan if you don’t plan on living that way for a very long time. Fat loss is a slow process and must be met with a lot of patience and long-term commitment.


7) If you don’t know how much you’re currently eating – download a food tracking app like My Fitness Pal.

Start tracking every single thing you eat. Every single thing. This is called HOMEWORK. Do it.


8) Don’t fall for the gimmicks. There are no magical fat loss pills or powders.

Body wraps do not burn fat.


9) Being overweight is dangerous. It’s almost a guarantee that you’ll have health problems down the road.

Don’t gamble with your health. Eating well, exercising and losing body-fat is the fastest way to improve your life expectancy.

If you want to live longer – get leaner.


10) Stop blaming your genetics or your environment for your weight gain.

Genetics play a role in things but they aren’t in control of how much fat you gain.

Genetics can also be changed by poor health. If you treat your body like crap your genetics can change for the worse.

Not to mention you can pass these poor genes onto your kids – which isn’t fair to them.


11) Educating yourself on nutrition and exercise will serve you forever.

A good coach and mentor will always help you understand what and why to do things.

Fat loss will teach you so much about your body and how things work with food/exercise.

These lessons can be applied and utilized forever.


12) Fat loss won’t be easy. If you’re looking for easy – then getting lean and being healthy isn’t for you.

However – fat loss is simple. Fat loss doesn’t require fancy gadgets or supplements.

Anyone who says it does is trying to take advantage of you.


13) A fat loss plan is only as good as your ability to stick to it.

This is known as adherence. A less-than-perfect plan that you can stick to 90% of the time will work better than a perfect plan that you can only follow 50% of the time.

Choose your plan wisely.


14) Habits and routines are the building blocks to a successful fat loss plan.

Take a look at your current habits and routines.

Start by using your current habits and routines in your favor.

If you are a fast food consumer – start by eating healthier versions of fast food.

Are you a night owl? Start by getting some workouts in at night.

Use your current routine to your advantage. Don’t try to adopt someone else’s habits and routines overnight.


15) Set proper expectations with fat loss. Most people can successfully lose .25-1 lb of fat per week if they are consistent.

Don’t expect to lose 3-4 lbs a week. At first there will be a drop in water retention as you clean up your nutrition and start working out.

That initial rush of weight loss won’t last forever.


16) 1 lb of fat equals roughly 3500 calories. This means you need to create a demand for 3500 calories in order to burn a lb of fat.

Don’t think a lb is that much? Go buy 1 lb of marshmallows. That will change your mind.


17) If you’re going to use the scale consistently – you better use it properly. Understanding that the scale will go up and down is crucial.


18) If you plan on weighing yourself to track fat loss – weigh yourself daily. Take the average weigh in every 7-14 days. Compare these averages every 2-3 weeks. Notice the trends. Adjust accordingly. Don’t get wrapped up in daily weigh in numbers.


19) The amount of food you should be eating is largely dependent on your current routine and starting point. Track your food intake for a week prior to setting your targets. If you track your food and your weight each day for 1 week you’ll get a massive amount of information to use in order to start a plan.


20) Meal plans, when sold as a standalone product, are a complete joke. Meal plans should be built around the foods that make you feel the best and the foods you enjoy the most. Plus, the meal plan should allow you to nail your calorie goals.


21) Calories are very important but so are the type of calories you eat. Protein, carbs and fats all play a huge role in determining how you look, feel and perform.


22) Most people eat too many carbs and fats and very little protein. Start by getting your protein intake where it needs to be.


23) My most successful clients eat about 1g of protein per lb. of target bodyweight. So if someone is 220 but wants to be 175 – we’d aim for about 175g of protein. I always allow for a 10-15g window. So 160-190g of protein per day is a great starting point in this example.


24) Don’t bitch and complain about having a hard time eating more protein. It’s a simple problem to solve. Simply eat a little more of the high-protein foods that are already in your nutrition plan. Or supplement with a high quality protein powder.


25) There is no perfect diet. All the fad diets are built on the same principles. Eat less, eat better quality foods and increase protein intake.


26) There’s also no special fat loss exercises. All forms of movement will burn energy and, if your calories are appropriate, you will lose fat.


27) Lifting weights is tremendous for fat loss because it helps preserve (and build) muscle – which leads to a healthier body and faster metabolism. Plus, as you strip away fat – you’ll look better with more muscle tissue. This is true for ladies and males.


28) Ideal body-fat percentages are pointless to worry about. Don’t worry about body-fat percentage. Most readings aren’t accurate anyway. Go based off the mirror, measurements, strength, and how you feel overall.


29) Base your nutrition plan on 1-ingredient whole foods at most of your meals (80-90%). Its great for health and even better for controlling appetite. Processed food that has tons of ingredients is designed to make you crave more and more of it. Don’t fall for that crap.


30) Don’t copy someone else’s nutrition plan. You must listen to your body and discover what foods work well for your energy needs.


31) Sleep is highly underrated for fat loss. A sleep deprived body (and brain) won’t respond as well to a caloric deficit and exercise program. Aim for 7-8 hours per night if possible.


32) An occupied mind will do much better when losing fat than a bored mind. Meaning – if you don’t find things to stay busy with – you will start mindlessly eating and snacking. Look at fat loss as a time to get better at skills, learn new things, or enjoy catching up on hobbies.


33) Build your meals around protein sources and fruits/veggies. These will give you the nutrients your body needs to thrive.


34) Breakfast is NOT the most important meal of the day. Eat when you are hungry. Don’t force feed yourself. If you’re constantly hungry around the clock – eat every 3-5 hours and be sure to include foods that are satiating and that fill you up. Avoid eating processed stuff for awhile if you have an out of control appetite.


35) Sparkling water and a small piece of fruit is a great appetite suppressing combination if hunger gets out of control between meals. Going for a walk is also a great way to block hunger.


36) Speaking of walking – walking is a tremendous way to burn more calories throughout the day. I have all my clients increase their walking time when they start with me. This allows them to burn more calories which means they get to eat more than they would if they stayed sedentary. Walk more – 10,000 steps a day is usually a bar to shoot for.


37) Once you’ve started tracking your food and you discover how many calories you’re eating to support your current weight – start by subtracting 300-500 from that number. Don’t go super low calories. Your metabolism will eventually adjust and you’ll be forced to lower even further. Get the most out of a small drop in calories before going lower.


38) A fat loss phase should last about 12-16 weeks MAX before taking a small “break” from losing fat. This could be a couple higher calorie days or a whole week (or 2) of bumping up calories. This of course is only effective if you’ve been very consistent with your caloric intake. Don’t take breaks if you haven’t been consistent for at least a couple months. I purposely made my 12 Week TRUE Shred program 12 weeks long to ensure you don’t burn out with your fat loss goals.


39) Stop doing cheat days. Just because the Rock does a massive cheat day – doesn’t mean you should too. A cheat day can set you back by a few days and also kick you back into bad habits. My suggestion is to have 1 or 2 “Treat” meals per week if you’re having big time cravings. Learning how to track calories allows you to include some unhealthy food while still hitting your calorie goals.


40) Remember- just because you refuse to track your food intake – doesn’t mean your body stops tracking it. I’m not a fan of “winging it” or just “eating clean” – that’s like shooting in the dark. You might get some progress, but more times than not you’ll miss.


41) Yes you can drink alcohol and lose fat- but you must do it the right way. Drinking excessively and trying to lose fat is not a recipe I recommend. I outline how to drink on a regular basis and still torch bodyfat in my Moscow Mule Summer Challenge program (that can be run anytime of the year).


42) A successful fat loss program will come down to your identity and how you view yourself. If you want to change your body – it starts with mentally be committed to changing who you are. You are no longer fat and unhealthy – you are lean and full of health (even if the mirror doesn’t show it yet). Go ALL-IN on this change in identity. Start living now the way you see yourself living when you are in shape.


43) There will be times where you have to use will-power to make the right choices when it comes to fat loss. You can’t expect the journey to be easy and stress-free. In fact, I guarantee it won’t be. My suggestion is to start feeling encouraged when things get tough. You can rest assured that when you say no to a craving that you are making big changes. When you get up and do your workout instead of sleeping in, that’s not a bad thing – that’s a badass thing!


44) Always remember WHY you’re doing this. If it’s just for a six pack -thats fine. But you may get to the 6 pack and realize that it’s not as great as you expected. Instead think of what that 6 pack will now do for you. Maybe it will improve your relationships because you feel better about yourself. It might get you more positive attention and increase your self-confidence. Think of the benefits of the trophy – not just the trophy.


45) Cardio is great for fat loss, overall health, and your body’s ability to function at a high level. Incorporate different styles of cardio into your training and you’ll see massive benefits.


46) Yo-yo dieting causes major issues long term. Every time you lose fat and then gain it back – the body gets better at holding onto that fat and preventing fat loss. This is why I strongly discourage people from going for super fast fat loss. Instead the slow and steady approach will ensure you keep fat off for life.


47) Your goal should NOT be to lose 40 lbs. Your goal should be to work on habits and routines AND lose 1 lb. Then – after you lose that 1 lb – your next goal is to lose that 2nd pound. Meanwhile you should be setting goals around the habits you have each week. Pick one habit and routine and focus on that each week. If you did that each week for a year that would be 52 habits and routines!


48) Never compare your journey to others. Focus on YOU. Comparison is the thief of joy. Enjoy YOUR journey and appreciate the bumps and failures along the way.


49) It may seem like a big investment to hire a coach now. But when people hire me for $3000 – I’m saving them $100,000 in medical bills and hospital visits over the next 30 years. Keep that in mind when you decide to avoid getting the help you need.


50) BELIEVE in yourself. You are fully capable of getting in shape. I know people in wheelchairs, people who’ve lost a leg or an arm, people who were born blind and people who are barely making it by that have changed their bodies and inspired thousands of others to do the same. Believe in yourself. Trust the process. Hire a coach and make a significant investment into yourself. You are worthy and you deserve it. You are enough. Believe in you!


I hope these 50 commandments helped teach you something new. I did my best to address the most important fat loss points.

Our next TRUE8 Experience – the Ultimate 8 Week Body and Mindset Transformation Program – starts in January.

Until then I’m taking on 10 clients who will work 1 on 1 with me.

Tomorrow is the 1 week early Black Friday special to get your first month 50% if you’re a good fit to work with me.

10 spots only.

Each spot will go through a qualification process to ensure you’re a good fit.

If you’re 100% serious about changing your body, mindset, and life – be ready to apply tomorrow.

Until then…

Much love,


33 Lessons from Boxing, Book Writing, Building a Business and Being a Dad

Josiah Novak - Author of Diets Suck

Another year has come and gone.  Looking back, as cliche as it sounds, time really does fly by when you’re working your ass off.  The past year has had its fair share of wins, challenges, breakthroughs, ups, downs and moments where I wanted to quit everything.  Everything has been amazing and everything has sucked. This blog is a gathering of my thoughts and lessons from my 33rd year on this planet – I hope you enjoy them.

1. I took up boxing about halfway through year 33. I’ve always been a fan of the sport, but I never jumped into actually learning the sweet science.  Life is too short to avoid trying new, challenging and uncomfortable things. It’s been an incredible undertaking to learn the basics and master the beginner levels of boxing.  I must say I am quite happy that I decided to start. After working out for 20 years the feeling of being a beginner is truly refreshing.

2. Writing a book was a goal I wrote down for 2018.  I did it, but it wasn’t easy. The best advice I can give for such a big goal is to write daily.  That’s it. Just write daily. Don’t skip a day.

3. I love coaching people.  But there are times where people aren’t coachable.  This past year I’ve worked with quite a few amazing individuals as well as a few really bad apples. Allowing people with no morals, zero integrity and poor work ethic into my coaching program was a massive mistake.  For all you coaches reading this – be thorough when it comes to your client selection process.

4. Do what you say you’re going to do.  That mantra has been replaying over and over in my head all year.  It hasn’t been easy to do everything I’ve said I’d do – but aiming to follow through on it all has made a world of a difference.

5. In boxing you’re going to get in the face.  Sometimes you’ll see it coming and other times you won’t.  What you decide to do after that will change the course of your progression forever.  The same is true in business or life for that matter. My suggestion? Shake it off and keep going.

6. Being a decent father is challenging.  Being an incredible father is monumental.  My focus continues to be on showing up as a great dad every single day.

7. Building anything great takes time.  That goes for your body, business, relationships or Instagram followers (Follow me here).  Rushing the process tends to leave you susceptible to making big mistakes. Take your time.  What’s the rush anyway?


8. Many books have been written on many topics.  At times, as I was writing my book, I began to doubt myself.  After all, many great minds have written on the power of nutrition before me.  Why should I consider myself special? It wasn’t until I saw the movie “A Star is Born” and Bradley Cooper says “ Look, talent comes everywhere, but having something to say and a way to say it so that people listen to it, that’s a whole other bag. And unless you get out and you try to do it, you’ll never know. That’s just the truth. And there’s one reason we’re supposed to be here is to say something so people want to hear. So you got to grab it, and you don’t apologize, and you don’t worry about why they’re listening, or how long they’re going to be listening for, you just tell them what you want to say.” that I realized my message matters.

9. Rough housing with my boys is truly one of my favorite things.  It brings our bond to new levels of strength very quickly. Putting my phone away and being present with them is incredibly refreshing.  Do yourself a massive favor and get rid of distractions for at least an hour per day.

10. Helping people each day is the fastest way to grow a business that is both profitable and fulfilling.  I get messages daily from people all around the world that have been impacted by my podcast, blog, YouTube videos, or coaching programs.  Help people more and your life will improve.

11. Boxing is both an art and a science.  The same is true with getting in shape, being a great husband, father or friend, or becoming successful.  Learning the science is super important, but putting your own spin on things is where you really get to new levels.

12. Eating healthy food is tremendously important.  When you’re constantly creating a demand for mental clarity and focus your food choices have to align with those needs. The more jam packed my schedule gets – the more I notice the positive effects of high quality food sources.

13. Shadow boxing is phenomenal cardio, but sparring is a completely different animal.  Practice is important, but don’t be surprised when real life feels much more difficult (that’s because it is).

14. My kids ask a million questions.  They are infinitely curious. It’s a reminder to never stop learning.  Learning, for me at least, keeps me mentally in the game and reminds me that there’s so much more to explore in this world.

15. The power of habits and routines was never more evident than when I was writing my book. The daily habit of putting words on paper led to an incredible accomplishment of finishing Diets Suck.

16. Having a team is necessary no matter what your goals are.  Want to be a good father ? I suggest you surround yourself with other good fathers.  My wife and I are a team when it comes to our boys. My business isn’t just me – it’s a combination of different team members who all contribute to the goal. Boxing is no different. Top boxers have a huge team of people who work together to ensure the final product is successful.  

17. One of the fastest ways to learn is to teach others.  When I learn something new – I immediately teach it to someone else.  This helps tremendously when it comes to gaining a better understanding of what you’ve learned.

18. One of the best pieces of advice I heard this past year on raising my boys is to picture them as younger versions of you.  It’s easy to lose your patience but when you imagine they are just tiny little versions of you who haven’t experienced all that you’ve experienced – it changes perspective. I’ve noticed a massive shift in my level of patience after hearing this advice.

19. Sleep is not overrated.  In fact, I consider it the beginning of my day.  If I don’t start my day with 7-8 hours of sleep, I know I won’t be 100% on top of my game.  I’m sure there are people who will argue that they don’t need a lot of sleep. Good for them. Personally, sleep is an incredible tool.

20. Writing my book was an amazing accomplishment, but it’s not what I’m most proud of.  Honestly, I’m most proud of my marriage and my family. These days it’s not easy to stay married and raise two boys, especially while growing multiple businesses and staying in shape.  My family is something I’m very proud of.

21. In boxing – the better counter puncher usually dominates.  You must have patience and be calculated with your punches in order to beat your opponent.  The same is true in life. Don’t overreact to life – be proactive and patient.

22. My boys are already imitating everything I do.  Want a wake up call? Have kids. They’ll mimic all your bad habits – which, if you’re anything like me, will drive you to correct yourself quickly.

23. I’m going to get vulnerable with lesson #23.  I’m scared as hell of death. Not because I don’t have faith in God, but because I love my family so much.  The idea of leaving them behind is truly agonizing. I am a Christian and I believe in Heaven, but I’ve never been there nor has anyone else. How am I dealing with this? By simply praying and living as best I can each day to ensure my family feels loved.

24. Reading is my secret super power.  Ever since I was a kid, the more I read – the better my life gets.  I read all types of books and I encourage you to do the same.

25. I’ve avoided watching the news this entire year.  I haven’t missed it at all. I still catch the big headlines, but I don’t get sucked into the petty crap that only distracts me from getting things done.

26. My sparring partners in boxing aren’t afraid to jab me in the face.  In life, you need people in your corner who will keep it real with you.  I’m thankful for my sparring partners in all areas of my life.

27. This past year I had my first ever major surgery.  More than anything this reminded me of the importance of health. I was out of commission for almost a week and it drove me nuts.  Take care of your health – it’s the most important thing we have.

28. Day dates with my wife saved our relationship this past year.  Date nights weren’t possible for an extended stretch – so we opted to take a day off every few weeks and spend it together while the kids were in school.  I highly suggest you give it a shot.

29. I stopped taking myself so seriously this past year.  It’s important to laugh at yourself from time to time.  After all we do some really weird and wild things.

30. The more I take time to be grateful for what I have – the more abundance comes into my life.  When I’ve focused on what I don’t have – that’s when things get worse. Appreciate the blessings you have and life will improve.

31. Don’t avoid doing the little things you’ve always wanted to do.  I’m starting a movie review company in 2019. Why? I’ve always wanted to do it.  Life’s too short to not do what I dream of doing.

32. Writing my book gave me ideas for 10 more books to write.  Yes, 10 more. Sometimes tackling a huge project gives you incredible clarity on how to tackle even bigger ones.


33. I’ve created a life motto to live by and I want to share it with you:  Hug and kiss the people you love, stay active, eat well, laugh daily and remember – life moves fast so make it count.  

Carlton’s Fit to Ripped Before 40 – The Exact Training, Macros and Meals

Josiah Novak - Author of Diets Suck

When I shared Carlton’s before and after image on my Instagram account a few months ago there was a massive amount of people messaging me asking how he got into such amazing shape before his 40th birthday.

My response was always:

“He invested in a coach (me).  We kept things super simple.  He had a clear goal.  He trusted the process, did the work, and stay consistent with check-ins.  We only made adjustments that we both agreed he could stick to.  I’ve coached over 1200 people and the formula rarely changes.  The key is to set up a program that is both simple and unique enough for each client’s lifestyle”

Carlton worked hard and his results are great.  This is what happens when a dedicated client hires the right coach.  This is the standard that I set for my coaching company so it’s not anything surprising.  However, I know that you might be reading this and are looking for a relatable example of someone who made a significant transformation.   It helps to have details about how the transformation took place and to see how coaching works so that you can get started on your own coaching program. 

Here’s how it went down:

One of my best friends paid me the ultimate compliment earlier this year. It was a few months away from Carlton Mack’s 40th birthday and he decided it was time to get in the best shape of his life. After seeing quite a few transformations from our coaching program clients, he decided it was time to get my help.   This was quite a humbling moment for me because Carlton was someone who taught me quite a bit when it came to getting stronger and more focused in the gym. We had been training partners prior to our lives getting crazy with having kids so I knew that by hiring me he was paying me the ultimate compliment.

Carlton’s Background

Carlton was approaching his 40th birthday and had been training most of his life.  His routine consisted of lifting and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  His nutrition was good, but he’d avoided getting “too lean” because he didn’t want to lose his hard-earned muscle.  Each summer he’d lean down a little, but never to the point where he’d lose too much size.  I reassured him that he’d end up appearing more impressive at a lower body-fat level despite being lighter on the scale.  We’d keep his training heavy and focused to ensure muscle retention.  His BJJ training would serve as cardio so there was no reason to add any additional activity.

As someone who’s been consistent in the gym for many years – Carlton had no issue with consistency around training.  His biggest area of need was staying on top of his nutrition on the weekends and the occasional night out during the week.   That was where having a strong program designed around his lifestyle would play a huge factor.

Apply for Coaching Here

Carlton’s Diet, Including Meal Examples

In his own words…this is where Carlton’s nutrition was when he hired me:

As far as the diet is concerned, I go back and forth about weight loss (not wanting to cut too much) and then deciding I want to remain where I am, etc. But I turn 40 in April and I’m set on this being my best presentation to date…so I’m going to put my faith and trust in you that you will have me right! My diet is as follows –

Monday-Friday – 2 cups of oats, 6 egg whites, almond milk, half scoop of syntha-6, tsp of stevia @ 5:15am, ground turkey & broccoli @ 7:30am, instant oatmeal (got tired of salmon & veggies) @ 9am, chicken & broccoli @ 12pm, chicken & brown rice & quinoa @2pm. After the gym on Mondays and Wednesdays, I have peanut butter and jelly sandwich post workout. Tuesdays, my workout is short because I have bjj class and I haven’t been going on Thursday & Saturdays anymore. Friday, I have been skipping my shake and having a sausage & egg mcmuffin & 2 sour cream donuts, but then everything else is still the same.

Monday-Friday dinners vary between pasta (whole wheat) with meat sauce, pasta with ground turkey, broccoli, & olive oil, chicken & veggies, pork, sweet potatoes or yellow potatoes, & veggies. It  boils down to what I feel like making, what is available, etc. Usually have a Leinenkugel Grapefruit Shandy beer with dinner. After that, 5 cinnamon bun Oreo cookies.

Saturday & Sunday – These are the worst days for me. I usually have my shake from Mon-Fri, and then Subway (turkey, pepperoni, lettuce, tomato, oil & vinegar, spicy mustard, black pepper), 2 oatmeal raisin cookies, ramen noodles, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chipotle (white rice, double chicken, medium salsa, & guac. Dinners on Sat may be a cooked meal or something fastfood or pizza. Sunday, it’s the same thing but for dinner, I always have the stouffer’s meat lovers lasagna and a mini stouffers lasagna with meat sauce.

My Nutrition Recommendations For Carlton

Daily Standards:

1) Hit our protein target and overall calorie target per day

2) 2 Servings of Green Veggies Per Day

3) 1 serving of Fruit per day

4) Drink a minimum of 2-3 liters of water per day

5) 1 Power Smoothie Per Day

6) 1 Power Salad Per Day

Macro Targets:

2400 calories 200g protein (800 calories )

68g fat (612 calories)

250g carbs (1000 calories)

I suggest the My Fitness Pal app to track food, but there are other apps as well. There will be a video coming on how to track your food – so stay tuned.

Example Meal Plan

(11AM) Meal 1: Power Smoothie

-1 scoop whey protein -1/2 cup berries or banana -1 Handful of spinach -1 cup almond milk -1 Spoon Peanut Butter or Almond Butter

Meal 2 (1PM) : Power Salad

-Large Green salad with dressing on the side (use minimal amount of dressing) -Lean Protein: Chicken or shrimp (hand size portion) *Two Days per week have a fattier cut of protein – salmon or steak (hand size portion) -Add a small handful of raw nuts to salad -Carrot shavings are fine as well

Meal 3 (4-5pm) (afternoon Snack)

-Protein Bar (Quest or Oh Yeah) or Protein Shake with Fruit


-Turkey Jerky with Fruit

Meal 4 (Dinner)

-Pick a protein source (chicken, steak, lean ground beef (90/10 or better), fish (salmon, halibut, shrimp or cod) or turkey) and have about 8-10 oz (hand size portion) -Pick a carb source (rice, whole wheat pasta, potatoes, or whole wheat bread/tortillas) and have a good serving (about 50-75g carbs) -Green veggies (unlimited)

Before Bed Snack:

-1/2 cup Greek yogurt with small piece of fruit (apple or strawberries)

Supplements (optional)

-Whey Protein

-Creatine Monohydrate (5g per day taken after your workout)

-Fish Oil (1 tab a day)

-Multi-vitamin (optional)

Carlton’s Training Program

Carlton followed a 5 days per week lifting split:

DAY 1: Chest/ Arms

DAY 2: Back / Shoulders

DAY 3: Legs

DAY 4: Chest and Arms

DAY 5: Back/ Shoulders

2 Nights a week he would go and practice BJJ for up to 2 hours.

There was no need to add any cardio for Carlton.  With his nutrition dialed in I knew that he’d consistently lose body fat.

Every client is different when it comes to cardio.  Some people need to have exact guidelines for cardio and others just need a goal for daily steps.  It always comes down to the client and lifestyle of that client.

Carlton stuck with this set up the entire way.  His training was centered around the big power movements – Deadlifts, Squats, Bench, Pull-Ups and Shoulder Press.

Towards the end of the cut – we added in some HIIT cardio in the form of battle ropes.

Carlton would do battle ropes for 20 seconds followed by resting for 60 seconds – 10 rounds total 2 times per week right after a lifting session.

Lifestyle Coaching

Carlton occasionally would go out for a couple drinks or to the movies.  He’d typically stick to clear liquors whenever consuming alcohol or a couple beers at most.  On drinking days I’d have him cut back a little bit on carbs to allow for a few guilt-free drinks.

Each week I also gave Carlton the green light to have one “treat meal”.  This was one meal of basically anything he wanted as long as it didn’t make him feel sick or too stuffed.  Usually he’d grab a burger and fries or some ice cream.  With his dedication in the gym and his consistency during the week I was fine with him having a large calorie meal once a week.

Just because your friend or co-worker has “cheat meals” doesn’t mean you should too.  It’s important to build a foundation of strong habits, routines and rituals.  Keep things consistent before allowing yourself too much flexibility.

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Final Thoughts

I love sharing client success stories like Carlton’s.  However, I want to remind you that everyone’s plan is different.  Just because this plan worked for Carlton, doesn’t mean it will work for you. It’s important that you have a plan that fits your lifestyle and goals – otherwise you’ll wind up getting frustrated and overwhelmed and progress will stall out.

My coaching program is not for everyone.  I’ve had the absolute pleasure of working with over 1200 people during my 10+ years in the fitness coaching industry.

If you are looking for a coach to help keep you accountable, design a highly effective plan, tweak things as needed to ensure you keep progressing towards your goals, then online coaching is worth looking into.

Ensuring that we are a good fit for each other before any commitment is made is a crucial step in the process.  This leads to great results and satisfied clients.  I want you to be a happy client so here’s how it works.

  1. Go to the link below and fill out the application
  2. Based off your answers I’ll reach out and schedule a chat with you.
  3. We will chat and go over your needs/wants and then I’ll give my thoughts and suggestions.
  4. You’ll get your questions answered and if we agree that it’s a good fit – I’ll cover the coaching packages I offer.
  5. If you agree on the options and the investment is acceptable- we will move forward. If not – you can simply decline.
  6. We start coaching!

It’s that simple.  Apply below and let’s start the process.

Apply for Coaching Here


Josiah Novak - Author of Diets Suck

What does it mean to be a strong person? To be someone who has mastered their emotions, roll with the punches and never give up?

When we think of what it means to be a strong person, the first thought that may come to mind might be an Olympic athlete or maybe a famous MMA fighter, right?

If we look beyond the surface, we would see that both of these athletes have similarities despite being in completely different sports. When we strip it down, we can see that they both have a challenge to face and they know there is going to be a struggle, especially if they want to come out on top. Despite the pain and the challenge ahead, they push through and go at it full force. They don’t complain that it’s too hard, and they don’t quit.


Despite the struggle, they persist.


When we look at it this way, it’s easy to see that people just like you and me also have the capacity to be a strong person. No matter who you are, each one of us has a struggle we’re dealing with, likely several. Whether it’s heartache, financial struggles, a high pressure job,  or trying to eat better and exercise to lose weight, each one of us has something challenging we’re currently going through or have gone through in the past. However, the way we react to the struggle is what will set us apart.


No matter who you are, life is full of obstacles.

When faced with an obstacle, most of us have good intentions to change it. 

For example, You decide you want to lose weight, so you go on a diet. 

You start out with good intentions to improve your life. You go grocery shopping and buy tons of healthy food.

Then on Friday it’s your coworkers birthday and donuts are brought to the office. You can’t resist, so you have one bite. Then one bite triggers you and before you know it, you’re two donuts in.

You immediately feel like a failure. When a wrench gets thrown in and things don’t go according to plan, you get thrown for a loop and fall off the wagon. You get frustrated that things can’t ever seem to go right when you want to make changes.

You solemnly accept that life is simply too hectic right now to be successful. Between kids birthday parties, donuts at the office and the in-laws being in town, there’s just too much going on. 

If only circumstances were different you say…

Fast forward a few weeks or months later, you see a movie or facebook video that pumps you up, so you start a new, even stricter diet than last time… and repeat the exact same cycle again, only to feel defeated once more.

You are reminded that your life is just too busy. Your job is too demanding, your kids don’t like to eat healthy. It’s too expensive anyway… so you go back to the old patterns and behaviors.

You resolve that if your life looked different, then you would be successful! 

This is a dangerous mindset that will keep you stuck.


When we’re beginning a journey to become a strong person mentally and physically, we need to keep the keys to success at the forefront of our minds:


The first key to success is accepting that shit will happen. No health and fitness journey is perfect or linear.

Second, our reaction to the obstacles thrown in our path determines our success and our happiness.


Let me explain. If we are unable to adapt away from the mindset of ‘bad things keep happening to me,’ then we will stay stuck in a corrosive cycle and continue to suffer and fail.

The alternative isn’t easy, because it requires a mindset shift and taking personal accountability. However, this alternative path leads to freedom and long term fulfillment.


On the path to becoming a strong person, when an obstacle is thrown in our path, yes it will be frustrating, but we don’t stay consumed in the emotion for too long.

We acknowledge and accept our feelings.

At the same time we also ask ourselves what is within our control and more importantly, what we will do next.

We take the challenge as an opportunity to learn and become more resilient.

We adjust course and continue to persist.

We ask,

“How is this happening FOR me?”


Acknowledging the struggle for what it is and accepting the pain is part of the process. The next step is asking yourself what is within your control to improve the situation.

The long term result is that you strengthen yourself mentally and emotionally and become resilient. Becoming resilient will help you handle future obstacles more gracefully.

You become liberated because you’re no longer at the mercy of whether things go how you thought they should. By taking personal accountability, you sit in the driver’s seat. Yes, you still have to put gas in the car, get the oil changed and keep up on the maintenance, but it is your vehicle and you’re the navigator.

At the end of the day, what determines if you’ll stay stuck or move forward is how you deal with the struggle. Whether you hide from any feelings of discomfort, and allow it to eat you alive while also firmly declaring there’s ‘nothing you can do about it’, or if you face pain head on, learn from it, and grow from it.


Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from difficulties and rise up stronger every time you’re knocked down. It’s the ability to endure and keep climbing. Strength is the ability to continue charging on despite the struggle and pain, and as a result you grow and level up.

The wonderful thing about this concept, is you can learn to become strong in mind and body even if you don’t feel that way right now. We all start somewhere. Even if you feel stuck or have given up in the past, it’s never too late. You can always try again and decide to look through this new lens the next time you’re faced with an obstacle.


What matters is that you don’t give up. That you see any future struggle as an opportunity to learn and grow because that is where strength and resiliency begins-in the mind.

You can choose to take control of your life and you can choose how to react.

When you realize that events happen, and you can choose how to respond to them, then you’re on the path to success and to strength. You can learn to build the resilience and persistence to never give up. No matter what, life happens FOR you.

When you’re faced with a struggle, follow these 4 steps to better improve your mindset and how you handle it. As a result you’ll begin feeling stronger and more liberated.


1. When something uncomfortable happens, ask yourself how it makes you feel. Acknowledge and accept your feelings. If you try to push your feelings away and deny them, they will only eat away at you. It’s okay to validate your feelings. Do try not to get eaten alive by them. The next steps will help with that.


2. Ask yourself what IS and IS NOT within your control. Once you understand what you can’t control, it’s easier to let it go and stop obsessing over it. 


3. Once realizing what IS within your control, decide what you need to do to make it better. Everything you can’t control, try to let it go. If you put too much energy into what you can’t control, you’re going to feel more anxiety and stress, which will sabotage your progress. Put energy into changing what you can, whether it’s changing your perspective to a more positive one, or actually making moves to change the situation.  


4. Ask yourself what lessons can be learned from this struggle? Be open to learning from this experience. Ask what you liked/didn’t like about the situation and even about your own reaction so you can learn from it and continue to make better choices each and every time you’re faced with a new obstacle.


It doesn’t matter who you are. Any one of us has the capacity to be a strong person. Each one of us has the potential to develop a Warrior’s mind, if we consciously put in the effort.  

It starts with us as individuals and making the choice to become strong and resilient.


In strength,

-Jordan Raye


If you want to read more or reach out to me, you can find me here:






Over Training or Over-Life?

Josiah Novak

If you spend enough time around any popular fitness forum, read any fitness magazine, or watch youtube videos you are bound to stumble upon the concept of “Overtraining”. First, we will examine what coaches and science classify as overtraining and then we will uncover whether this is a concept that applies to regular hard-working gym-goers like yourself.

First let’s examine the concept of overtraining. Somewhere many Olympiads ago foreign coaches testing their athletes with brutal two a day sessions and aggressive Bulgarian squat cycles uncovered the concept that the body can only tolerate a certain degree of working out before it would eventually begin to rebel via overuse injuries, decreased performance, or other negative biofeedback & symptoms (such as changes in body temperature, sleep disturbances etc.). However, let’s remember this occurred within the framework of perfectly monitored conditions with athletes whose full time job is just to train, recover, and optimize their life solely for the sake of lifting performance. Unfortunately, this concept of “overtraining” wasn’t created in the lab of a stressful white collar desk job, a strenuous manual labor job, or the parent who can barely make it to the gym in time before the child care desk closes. So then why do symptoms of overtraining occur in a population of individuals like yourself who aren’t working out 14 times per week? The answer – LIFE STRESS.

Our bodies were programmed thousands of years ago to manage acute physical stress or trauma. If there was no food around, or some beastly animal happened to find where you were camping we would face very intermittent stressful situations where we would likely either a) escape or b) die. In modern day society we face what scientists and doctors consider to be chronic stressors – too many TPS reports from our boss, kids not sleeping through the night, paying the bills on time, or telling little Timmy to stop playing video games. These are problems, stressors, and stimuli that simply didn’t exist thousands of years ago, nor did they exist within the social vacuum of an athlete’s training camp. Combine this with the fact that a challenging workout is physiologically stressful in an acute (short-lived) manner (albeit the good kind) and we have a recipe for limited recovery capacity. Whether we like it or not we are still largely biologically identical to our ancestors and this happens to backfire within the context of balancing work, life and training.

Did I lose you somewhere in the science between life stress and TPS reports? Don’t worry – here’s an easy way to break things down- Think of your total volume of stress like a bank account. While individual tolerances and savings thresholds may vary we walk into the week with a set amount of “cash flow” or, in this case “stress flow”, along with a set amount of recovery. To keep your account balanced you need to carefully monitor the outputs or stressors drawing from the account, and the inputs or personal recovery investments you are making into the account. Maintaining this fine balance it what allows some to train more than others over the course of weeks, months and years. Compound this over time and you’ve got a recipe for continued progress.  

If you find yourself struggling to recover from your weekly workouts begin to ask yourself – have I balanced my account? Are my life stressors + training stressors exceeding my capacity to recover? If so, we need to implement more tools for recovery: sleep, nutrition, meditation, breathing, soft tissue work, or any other activity that primes the “rest and digest” response in your body (also known as the “parasympathetic”). Keep a close eye on your progress (weight lifted, repetitions performed, and workout time) as well as a general awareness for your current life demands outside of the gym. There’s a chance your workout routine doesn’t have you over-trained. You may just be overloaded in life.


– Sam Miller 



Action Based Goals for Long Term Success

Josiah Novak


“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.”

– Aristotle

I’m going to take a wild guess here and say that you, dear reader, want something that you don’t currently have… a better job, six pack abs, a loving significant other, etc.

Whatever it may be, you believe this goal will drastically improve the quality of your life.  Chances are, it probably will.

So why is it that only 8% of goals set each year end up actually getting accomplished? Why do so many people struggle to achieve what they so desperately want?

Here’s the secret: too many people are focused on the OUTCOMES instead of the ACTIONS.
Real quick, stop and imagine yourself already achieving your goal.

What does that look like for you?

Would you be less stressed?

Would you sleep better at night?

Would you feel more confident?

You might’ve pictured yourself rocking a six pack with a hot thang on your arm, happy as can be, sleeping like a baby.

Did you also picture the hours of hard work in the gym? The weekly meal prep? The Saturday nights spent getting 8 hours of sleep instead of drinking with pals?
It’s easy to picture what we want our outcome to look like. Happiness, confidence, more vitality… These are all outcomes that drive us to set goals in the first place.

However, we often forget about the habit changes that must occur to get there. The space between point A (where you’re at now) and point B (what you want) is where the magic happens. This is where you take action. Here, you develop skill sets that make your goal a reality.

These skill sets can’t be obtained by chance (or over night). They require specific actions that you create and practice starting today. Not tomorrow, not next month when things aren’t as hectic, no, TODAY.

In other words, to achieve your goal, you must create habits now that mimic the habits of your future self. You must stop dreaming for the outcome to occur and instead start focusing on what you need to change.

Doing this allows you to look at the bigger picture. The Long Game.
When you focus on habits, you won’t be tempted to try the latest “quick-fix” diets because you’ll understand that your future self will have nothing to do with them. (C’mon, who wants to be dieting for the rest of their life?)

You’ll be able to convince yourself to wake up early to exercise because you know that’s going to be the normal routine for Future You with the six pack abs.

You won’t base your progress off of the number on the scale because you’ll realize these things take time and that rushing it and stressing won’t make you leaner any quicker.

Practicing the habits of your goal-accomplishing future self ensures sustainability long after your desired outcome has been reached, simply because you’re making a lifestyle change instead of a short-term fix.

Now you may be wondering: okay, great. But how do I start practicing these actions?

Start with the questions above, the vision of the person you wish to be. Break the vision down into what you’re really after.

You picture yourself with less stress once you reach your goals, right?
Well, why do you think you’ll have less stress?

Only because you’ve obtained your desired outcome? Nah, let’s be real. Stress will always be that ex that can’t let go, always trying to squeeze its way back into your life.

So if what you’re really after is less stress, you can start practicing relaxation skills and planning activities that help you unwind.

You don’t have to wait until your outcome is achieved. This is a skill that you can practice RIGHT NOW.

Same goes for sleep. You don’t just automatically start sleeping better when your life gets better. It takes practice & consistency. If your future self sleeps better, you’ve built habits that influence better sleep.

Confidence, too, is a habit that needs to be developed. It’s probably the biggest misinterpreted outcome people expect to accomplish.

This is because it’s extremely easy to base your c
onfidence on accomplishing a desired outcome (body weight, six pack, muscle mass, performance, owning a business, etc).

While all of these could potentially help boost your confidence, you’ll need enough confidence to achieve them in the first place. This confidence is required on the hard days when doubt overwhelms you and will be the factor that drives you forward.

Confidence, like every desired outcome, is gained through daily practice.

As you can see, by taking a look at what life looks like after achieving your goal, you can figure out what you need to practice today to move in the right direction.

Once you figure out these actions, you’ll have something measurable to record as progress. These are ACTION based goals that lead you to your OUTCOME based goals.
This is extremely effective because unlike desired outcomes, we have complete control of our everyday actions.

You aren’t able to predict that you’ll achieve your desired outcome within the next three months BUT YOU CAN ensure that every single day you’re taking the actions that will get you there.

If you want to get fit so that you stress less, sleep better, & have more confidence, start focusing on your actions and habits. Overtime, you will build a skill set identical to the person you wish to be.

Each skill set can be broken down into a daily practice:

Lower your stress by implementing five minutes of deep breathing every other hour.

Sleep better by creating a morning & nightly routine.

Build confidence by surrounding yourself with positivity & celebrating your wins.

The beauty behind this approach is
that it is completely individual to your current circumstances meaning that a small step in the right direction is all it takes. The options are endless. No matter the action, if you stick with it, you are guaranteed to see progress.

Each day you practice your skill set, you’re one step closer to your desired outcome.

Do this and you will create momentum, making uncomfortable new skills eventually become simple, normal habits – habits that will allow you to live your best life.

What are you waiting for? Take action.


– Chris Sexton

Lifestyle Optimization Academy

If It Fits Your Health (Do It)

Josiah Novak - Author of Diets Suck

Have you ever woken up after a day full of eating all sorts of food (some good and some junk) feeling absolutely miserable? I’m not talking about feeling guilty (even though that’s part of it). I’m talking about actually feeling physically ill. Maybe it’s stomach pains or maybe it’s a headache. Even worse maybe you feel a cold coming on or a sore throat from all the excess sodium you consumed. As soon as your eyes open, you know all that food was a bad idea.

Well, I’ve woken up like that before. And to be honest I’ve felt crappy due to my diet choices many times. It’s not a fun feeling waking up and immediately knowing the day ahead is going to be a tough one because I’m physically not up to par. It’s truly a motivation killer to realize that getting through the day’s activities is going to be an uphill battle from the start.

At times we don’t even realize that our lack of energy or enthusiasm for the day is due to our diet choices. We eat like total crap on a Sunday and wake up wondering why Monday is so daunting. It’s no wonder that getting to the gym feels like an impossible task when our bodies hurt and our energy is on zero due to all the stress we put our digestion system through.

This is such an important topic. I hope that you walk away from reading this with a better understanding of where we’ve gone wrong with nutrition as it relates to our health, fitness levels, muscle and fat loss goals, and our enjoyment of life. I’m just as guilty as the next person of making huge mistakes with my personal nutrition at times over the years. I’m writing this blog to open your eyes to how unbelievably powerful our eating habits can be.


If you google “The Best Diet to Lose Fat” be prepared for an overload of information. Hundreds of diets, meal plans and products will be shoved down your throat before you even start eating. You’ll be stuck in an avalanche of product pushers, strict meal plans, and the latest and greatest diet strategies. Save yourself the trouble and forego the google machine. Today’s world is truly the most confusing it’ss ever been when it comes to diet and nutrition. It’s also a battlefield between who’s right and who’s wrong when it comes to their diet “methods”. The truth is that nutrition is actually quite simple so there’s hope, but it’s going to take some work.

The common theme for most online “gurus” or “coaches” is to take on clients and start them off on a very strict meal plan. They tell them what to eat and when to eat it each day to lose fat, build a toned body, and feel great. This is all based off their “expert” analysis of the client’s needs and goals. The client comes to them with the attitude of “tell me what to eat and when because I don’t want to think about it” so it makes perfect sense that these coaches cater to the clients demands. The client jumps on the meal plan and immediately starts to see results. This may go on for a month or maybe a few months before the client realizes that it’s just not sustainable for them to eat the same foods day in and day out. They start to get irritable and they feel ashamed when they report to their coach that they’ve cheated on their diet again and again. After all, following a meal plan is what all the top fitness competitors do so it’s the best way to get in great shape…right? Wrong.

Strict meal plans that limit your food choices and force you into a set regimen each day can cause more harm than good long term. It’s been proven that meal plans can set people up for a terrible relationship with food, create a desire to binge, and severely limit the healthy aspects of a diet full of variety. Not to mention, it’s pretty hard to live an enjoyable life when you have to follow a meal plan to reach your goals. Most people who follow a strict meal plan end up reverting back to their old diet habits once they realize that their meal plan just isn’t feasible for their lifestyle.

For the longest time, if you wanted to lose weight or build muscle you would hire a coach or nutritionist and they would immediately put you on a meal plan. However, after many years of severe restriction, the fitness industry fought back.

Enter: If It Fits Your Macros.

Counting calories has been around for quite some time. Arnold Schwarzenegger was known to count calories (and he actually had a pretty well rounded diet plan). However, counting calories has recently made a huge comeback. It’s gone one step further too. We know now that it’s not just about calories. It’s about the type of calories you eat too. Having the right amount of protein, carbs and fats in your diet is crucial for overall health and wellness. We all have our unique needs when it comes to these nutrients so just counting calories won’t cut it. We need to figure out where we get our food from so tracking macros has become all the rage.

However, as we’ve seen in the past, the fitness industry can take a good idea and turn it into a very bad one very quickly. Macro counting has been dubbed IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) because the new rule of thumb (keep in mind this is in response to the strict meal plans) is that you can ANYTHING you want as long as it fits your daily numbers for protein carbs and fats.

This could literally mean eating ice cream every day along with some candy because it fits your daily numbers. Ok confession time. I’ve been known to promote this type of eating over the past couple years. Why? Well because I count macros each day and my mind was blown a few years ago when I dieted down to 5% body fat eating ice cream just about every day before bed. Was this a healthy approach? Heck no! I would wake up and hit the toilet with a very irritable bowel movement just about every day. I didn’t feel great every day because I was eating way too much junk food simply because it fit my macros. I was rebelling against the severe restrictions of meal plans (an understandable reaction) but I wasn’t paying attention to my health.

Knowing how much food we eat is very crucial to our long term success when it comes to taking care of our health and feeling/looking great! However, simply applying numbers to our day and eating whatever we can fit in is not the healthiest choice. We’ve taken a great concept (counting macros) and turned it into a cult following. It’s become all about what sort of junk food concoction we can create that fits our macro needs. Health and feeling awesome is secondary to hitting perfect numbers with as much variety as possible. We forget to take into account whether or not we are getting enough vitamins and minerals. We ignore how our bodies feel when we fit in some McDonalds simply because it fits our macros. This is a dangerous path to go down.

If you’re still reading this…it’s not too late.

You might be confused at this point and that’s normal. It’s a very confusing topic for most people! However, let me simplify it for you. I’m very fortunate that I was born with the strong desire to learn as much as possible. Plus, I’ve been super lucky to be surrounded with very smart people who have helped me craft my current approach to nutrition and now it’s my job to pass along that help to you.

I want to walk you through my approach with my clients when it comes to setting up a successful nutrition strategy. Some of you reading this will be more advanced than others, but I still think its important to cover the basics as a refresher. You’ll be pretty amazed to see that we often forget about the basics.

Let’s say I have a married couple come to me looking to lose fat. They aren’t happy with their appearance and how they can’t seem to get motivated to get in shape. They’ve been eating a ton of food and not working out for about 6 months. They’ve tried all sorts of diets but nothing seems to work. We won’t address their workout plan in this blog, but let’s jump into the diet strategy.

First things first, I want to know what they’re eating now. I would like John and Jane Doe to write down everything they eat for a few days and report those food journals to me. Now, I would also keep in mind that working with a coach can cause some food journals to look better than an average day so I would also ask them to write down exactly what they ate (if they can remember) the days leading up to working with me. This gives me an accurate idea of what their nutrition looks like now so that we can start to implement new habits.

So, the next logical step is to write a meal plan right? Wrong. Taking a client from zero to 100 in a day isn’t realistic. We need to implement good habits one at a time while building momentum to increase motivation.

One of the first habits I want people to implement is to avoid drinking their calories as much as possible. I’m referring to sodas, sugary drinks and the lovely Starbucks menu that is jam packed full of sugar and high calorie drinks. Having a diet soda here and there down the road is fine, but for now I would suggest that John and Jane stick to water, coffee sweetened with Truvia, and tea. If my clients enjoy alcohol consumption, I would recommend cutting out alcohol for the initial portion of the plan. I also want to educate them on how alcohol works. If cutting out alcohol completely isn’t an option due to work demands or upcoming events — I would outline a simple strategy to control their alcohol intake.

While we implement the liquid habits, I also want my clients to start to track what they are eating in an app or food journal. Tracking calories and macros for a period of time can truly be eye opening. Most people severely underestimate their calorie intake. It’s important to gain the knowledge and information so that we are educated on what we are putting into our bodies.

The next habit I like clients to utilize is getting 2–3 servings of green veggies and 1–2 servings of fruits per day. Obviously I want my clients to listen to their bodies and take note of how they are feeling after they eat certain foods. Most people feel a lot better after getting into the fruits and veggies habit due to increase in fiber and vitamins and minerals. Eating more of these amazing nutrients will also help curb cravings and help most people feel more satisfied. Health is our number one priority and fruits and veggies are a tremendous source of health benefits.

Now comes the only time that I utilize meal plans. I never instruct my clients to follow an exact meal plan each and every day. However, it can help to write out a “perfect” day of eating a wide of variety of healthy foods to show clients how it can be done. This usually means 3–4 meals that contain a tremendous amount of nutrients but also provide the client with meal options that could be eaten at a restaurant if needed. To make things even easier, I like to provide my clients with 3 or 4 options at each meal to ensure that they never feel tied down to a meal plan. Plus, I want my clients to continue to track what they eat so they can learn how much food they are consuming and they can plug other foods in to ensure they are getting adequate variety.

Educating ourselves on how much food we need each day can help guide our food choices. Learning to eat properly for health and wellness takes time. Plus, there may be goals or events coming up that require us to change course and implement new strategies. There may be times where our bodies just aren’t feeling right and we need to make changes to our nutrition to ensure we feel our best at all times.

This leads me to the most important point that we all need to understand. If we aren’t feeling right, something needs to change and often times it’s our eating habits. Having a meal plan or macro numbers to hit every day doesn’t take our health and how we feel into consideration. If we are feeling overly full at a certain caloric intake then we probably don’t need that many calories. If our energy is terrible on low carbs and we feel super weak, then we probably need to add some carbs into our diet. The same can be said for low-fat. If we try out a keto diet, but we just don’t feel great — then it’s not the diet for you!

I hope this blog sheds some light on nutrition. I’ve made all the mistakes so want to help you avoid them if possible! There is no one-size-fits-all method that works for everyone. If that existed then this blog wouldn’t be necessary. You have to find a strategy that you can follow every day and make small tweaks to as your goals change. Going from binging every 3 days to eating “clean” meal plan is not a tweak. That’s an eating disorder and we need to stop creating more problems for ourselves by going from one extreme to the next.


Let’s stop eating things if they fit your macros — instead let’s eat things if they fit your social, taste,  mental and physical health (IIFYH).

I’m always here to help — just email me josiah@thetruetransformation.com or visit www.thetruetransformation.com/start-here to get started on your own journey today!


How to Live Like There’s No Tomorrow

Josiah Novak - Author of Diets Suck

What does it really mean to live like there’s no tomorrow ? A few nights ago I couldn’t sleep.  The thought of dying had found its way into my bedroom and snuggled up next to me like a child who had a nightmare.  What happens if tomorrow doesn’t come?  As flicked through my Instagram feed I thought about living for today like tomorrow isn’t showing up. After fighting the inevitable trip down the rabbit hole that is the endless thought process around death and dying, I passed out and dreamt of a random trip to London where I smoked tons of weed and drank Moscow Mules.  More on that later.

Growing up in a Christian home afforded me weekly trips to Sunday school where I learned about God, heaven and the pit known as hell.  Death wasn’t a scary concept, at least not to a young 8 year old boy learning about all the dope stores about Jesus.  I’ll save my religious beliefs for another post (spoiler alert: I’m a Christian), but the mention of my upbringing is necessary due to the fact that I have always been clear on where I’m going after I pass away.

My most recent thoughts around death have been sparked, at least in my opinion, by having kids of my own.  The thought of leaving them behind is rather horrible.  And, while my beliefs are still intact, I also think it’s normal to be a bit fearful of the unknown.  Which leads me to this article.  The phrases “live like there’s no tomorrow” and “live each day like it’s your last” make sense, until you actually put some thought into it.  What does it really mean to live today like there’s no tomorrow?  Should I pack up a suitcase and jump on the nearest flight to paradise, with my wife and kids, sitting comfortably in first class?  Because that’s exactly what I’d do if I had the inside scoop on the world’s impending doom.

Unfortunately, there’s no insider trading on death (at least I haven’t found that fraternity yet).  Your time could be up tomorrow or it could be many decades from now.  Trying to predict that is pointless, but the question still remains.  What does it really mean to live life as if today is your last day on earth?  I wanted to explore this idea from a realistic perspective and piece together, at least what I would consider, to be the perfect last day on earth.


Let’s start with the low-hanging fruit.  Taking a real, honest, and non-biased look at your life or mine requires a lot of work.  We’re not the best at being honest with our own lives and getting clear on where we currently are.  Living as if tomorrow isn’t guaranteed starts with doing things that make you happy.  I’m not talking about the stuffing-your-face-with-chocolate and eating whatever-the-hell-you-want type of happy.  True happiness isn’t gained through temporary indulgences.  I’d argue that genuine happiness comes from having a purpose for living your life.  A purpose that gets you out of bed in the morning even when you feel like hiding inside your pillowcase.

A purpose driven life is a happy life.  Everyone has the opportunity to build purpose into their day, week, month and year.  As I pondered the idea of how I’d live my last day, I quickly realized that I’d still be focused on fulfilling what I believe to be my purpose for living.  That purpose is to raise my boys, be an incredible husband and put an end to the history of less-than-stellar Dads and divorce in my family’s historical timeline.  Coupled with that my purpose is to help 1 Million men and women transform their bodies and lives.  Those areas take up 99% of my time so there’s no reason to think that a perfect “last day” wouldn’t include working on those things.

I could imagine waking up early, writing a really helpful Facebook post or blog article, sending it off to my assistant and then making my wife and kids eggs and pancakes while sipping on coffee feeling satisfied that I made a small dent in my purpose /life goals for the day.  I laugh as I write this article because I just thought “maybe I’d even partake in breakfast for once”, since I’m a 365 days a year intermittent fasting guy.  Honestly, I don’t think I would.  Intermittent fasting has been such massive life improvement that I’d imagine continuing to do it even on my last day here on this planet.  It makes me happy, so therefore it gets included.

If you feel like you don’t have a purpose, that’s ok.  I’m not here to tell you that it’s easy to find your purpose.  Many people don’t realize their purpose till later in life after they’ve been on their grind and busting their ass for a few decades or more.  To speed up the discovery of purpose, my best advice is to listen to yourself.   If you pay attention to the excitement you feel around doing certain things – I’d encourage you to follow that trail.  Give yourself the chance to discover what you’re great at.  For me it was coaching and teaching people how to become the best version of themselves through fitness.  I’ve always been curious about fitness, but it wasn’t until I pursued it and starting helping people that I realized I have a gift for leading people to their goals.  Follow your curiosity – stay woke when it comes to things that get you amped up and things that give you a sense of fulfillment.  You’ll find your purpose that way.

Get Started Today on Your Transformation


Love is an incredible force that brings people together and creates a bond that can never be broken.  Your last day or my last day should be filled with love.  Living like today is your last day on earth should be centered around the concept of love.  I’m not just referring to the love you show your spouse and your children.  If you’re anything like me you’d take a bullet for your family.  That’s deep and powerful love.  But that’s not the only love we should live by.

Love for our neighbor and fellow human is an important piece too.   Traffic jams where people flip the bird, crowded streets full of angry people jockeying for position, and taxi cabs honking obscenities in crowded city streets is all the evidence you need to see how love can be quickly lost.  Love for my neighbor and fellow humans isn’t easy.  It’s hard enough to loving your relatives who often times know how to how to push your buttons.  Love for others on your last day should be a priority, but here’s why.

It starts by loving yourself.  The love you express for others isn’t something you can fake forever.  If you don’t first love yourself, it becomes quite challenging to love those around you.  It’s very difficult to love yourself.  Especially when you know all your faults and shortcomings.  You know each part of yourself so damn well that God forbid anyone were to know the real you – that would be a disaster right?  Well, you’re wrong.

Everyone has massive flaws.  You, me, and the rest of the human race.  Thinking “I’m not good enough” or “I hate how I am” is downright stupid.  Unless you’re hiding some evilness that I won’t even shed light on here, you’re more than likely very normal. Which leads me to the fact that you should take pride in loving yourself.  You can’t serve others from an empty cup.  And that cup is you my friend.  This love for yourself may not grow overnight.  It might need a lot of time and healing to become part of how you treat yourself.   However, as someone who’s struggled with depression in years past, I can truthfully say that being kind to yourself will create opportunities to help others.

On the last day on earth one of my greatest goals would be to show true love to those who I come into contact with and to the incredible family that I’ve been blessed with.   A smile, holding the door for someone, a hug and kind word are some simple ways to show people you care.  You never know who might need that positive energy.  The world can feel very complicated at times, but we can help simplify things by loving ourselves and loving others.


One thing is for certain, if I’m living each day like it’s my last, I’m going to do things that make me happy.  Keep in mind that providing for my family and helping my clients makes gives me loads of happiness.  I also enjoy reading a well-written book (fiction and non-fiction), catching up on Chicago sports, and eating bagels before bed.  All of which can be done on the regular without them interfering with my adult’s list of things I must do.

You might be thinking, “if I only do things that make me happy I’ll just be fat, lazy, and broke”. When you ponder those adjectives – it’s quite apparent that being overweight and unsuccessful don’t match up with happiness, therefore doing things that result in those states of being aren’t truthfully adding to your happiness.  Therefore this assumption that all things that make you happy will result in a negative outcome is incorrect.  This isn’t temporary pleasure.  This is about maximizing your enjoyment and fulfillment.

It makes even more sense to do things that aren’t easy.  Lifting yourself up to a level of happiness that gives true fulfillment requires the simple things such as lifting weights to release massive endorphins, lifting someone else’s mood through a kind word or text, lifting your standards to give yourself the respect you deserve, and lifting your mood through a music playlist that gets your body moving.

This is why I train or move each day.  It elevates my mood. It clears my brain and makes room for positive energy.  It’s a natural high that makes the entire day 10x better.  Ask yourself this – what are the simple habits and routines that lift my life to new levels?   Keep those things in your life.

Going back to my “bagels before bed” happiness item.  A bagel with cream cheese before bed is delicious simply because it’s part of my daily routine and it’s built into my nutrition plan – which gives me massive results – which makes me feel confident – which, at the end of the day, contributes to my happiness.  There’s levels to this game.  Find your elevator to the happiness floor and level up.  Better yet, take the stairs.



If you’re living each day as if it’s your last, the question becomes – are you leaving a legacy?   For me legacy means blazing a path that I want to leave for those who would follow.  I want each day to build a blueprint for my sons on how to live life with no regrets and how to maximize their gift of being on this planet.

My question for you is this.  Are you creating a legacy that will impact the people you love in positive way?  Or are you missing the opportunity to set new standards and new levels of success?  Whether you know it or not there are people watching you and being influenced by you.

This is why I strongly believe that everything in your life starts with health and fitness.  It gives you the cheat codes to optimizing everything in your day to day life.  You get an automatic boost that most people miss out on as they live their days without a purpose with the weight of regret on their shoulders.  They feel as if something is missing and no matter how hard they try they just can’t seem to break through.  Little do they know that the secret is right in front of them.

As we wonder what it really means to live each day like it’s your last – the answer, at least to me anyway, is a simple one.  It starts with investing in yourself.  Train your body and your mind.  Love the people in your life.  Laugh.  Learn something new.  If you do that each day – I truly believe your life will be one worth living.