The definition of ‘Sliver’ I am using here is: a small and narrow portion. The idea came from the smallest weight plate I have in my gym – 0.5kg (1.1lb).
What is The Sliver Strategy?
The Sliver Strategy is a simple plan that:
takes you from where you are now to where you want to be – towards a worthy goal
is set up in progressive increments that are mere slivers (very small and seemingly insignificant up close)
is wise and sustainable over time
Rushing is Not Recommended
In my younger years, when I had a goal, I would rush to get to a destination as fast as possible. This approach often wasn’t effective. Sometimes I would end up quitting on route to the goal. In athletic endeavors, sometimes I would even end up injured due to lack of patience with the process.
Being Patience with the Process
I find that many people approach training, muscle gain and fat loss in an impatient way. They want to attain a goal as quickly as possible. I understand this feeling. I also know that a solid plan with a growth mindset, consistent work and heaps of patience is the best strategy.
An Intelligent Approach to Training
I will share an approach that was inspired by my client Amol Verma, who embodies patience, a growth mindset and consistent work at a very deep level. This is a man who is focused and patient. You can learn more about his approach here in this previous post.
Making Progress on a Key Exercise
I love facing the Barbell Deadlift on ‘Deadlift Day’ once per week. It tests my full-body strength and makes me harder to kill:-) I do 5 reps at about 87% of my 1 rep maximum. That means it’s damn hard in terms of intensity. I take a 2-minute rest between sets and do 5 sets total. So the entire workout on “Deadlift Day” consists of a warm-up, 5 sets of 5 reps with 2-minutes rest between sets. The total reps I aim to complete on ‘Deadlift Day’ is 25. Today that weight was 102.5kg (225lbs). I completed all 25 reps, which is a total of 2,565kg (5,637lbs), in about 25 minutes. Since I completed all 25 reps, I ‘earn the right’ to increase the weight next week when I face the Barbell Deadlift again on ‘Deadlift Day’.
The numbers below the bubbles (5,4,2,3) were what I completed the week prior when I attempted and failed to complete 5 reps per set.
Progressing One Sliver at a Time
Normally I progress my clients at 2.5kg (5lbs) per session when they ‘earn the right’ to progress on a compound movement like the deadlift. For myself, I have decided to progress myself 1kg (2.2lbs) at a time. Here is what 1.25kg (2.5lb) plates look like in comparison to 0.5kg (1lb) plates.
One sliver of progress looks pretty insignificant, right? Well, this small sliver of a plate, increased each week over time, adds up to nearly 50kg (110lbs) in a year’s time. I may not progress every week, but if I do, that is a very significant improvement in my strength in 365 days.
102.5kg (225lbs) completed this week earns me the right to face 103.5kg (228lbs) next week
How Can You Work The Sliver Strategy in Your Life?
I have used an example of a training goal that literally uses slivers, in the form of 0.5kg plates, as an incremental progress measure. I challenge you to think through and use ‘The Sliver Strategy’ in your own life with a goal that you want to progress. You can achieve your fat loss goal one sliver at a time. Here is a previous post that may help. Improving your health in slivers of healthy habits is completely in your hands. Here is a previous post on walking that may help. You can read a book and applying the knowledge therein as a sliver of wisdom.
It will take a growth mindset, setting up consistent work through “The Sliver Strategy’ based on consistent work and patience to get you to your goal. Good things usually take time and consistent effort. You can do it. Plan it and get to work.
If you get stuck, give me a shout. I may have some good ideas for you.
Let’s get rid of that extra body fat, step by step, one phase at a time. Time-Restricted Eating is an approach that I believe will work for everyone that commits to it. It takes things one step at a time and you don’t take the next step until you have OWNED the ONE you are on. You need to ETR (Earn The Right) before moving on to each subsequent step. This is how you will achieve Extraordinary Results over time.
Our First Step: Time-Restricted Eating (TRE)
Time-Restricted Eating (TRE) is sometimes also referred to as Time-Restricted Feeding (TRF). TRE is eating within a window of 12-hours or less. Most people eat on a 15-hour window, so they are only in a fasted state for 9 hours. For example, they might have a cup of coffee with milk at 7:00 am, and then have their last bite of food at 10:00 pm. Our goal in this first step is to master a 12-hour eating window first for at least 7 days. Eventually, some of you may choose to eat within a 10-hour, 8-hour, 4-hour or even 1-hour window on TRE. Eating within a one hour window is known as OMAD (One Meal A Day). I recommend decreasing the eating window to deepen the benefits of TRE, but only after you master the first step, which is at least 7 days of perfect adherence to a 12-hour window.
When you eat a normal meal it generally takes 3-5 hours for your body to digest and absorb the food you ate. Insulin rises significantly, shutting off fat-burning completely and also triggering excess calories to be stored as fat.
After this digesting and absorbing process, your body goes into the post-absorptive state where the components of your last meal are still in circulation. This post-absorptive state can last for 8-12 hours after your last meal. So it takes approximately 12 hours after the last bit of your last meal to enter the fasted state. The fasted state is the period when your body can burn stored body fat that hasn’t been accessible during the fed state.
Until you are in the fasted state, your body is burning sugar as fuel in the form of glucose. From this 12 hour period, your body can start burning body fat as fuel. That is what we are aiming for here – annihilating excess body fat.
A simple example of fasting and eating on a 12-hour eating window
What if I Can’t Fast for 12-Hours?
If you are thinking this way, just stop. You can do it. I believe most people can fast for 12-hours if they decide to. The decision is yours.
While researching how the liver’s daily cycle works, he found that mice that eat within a set amount of time (8-12 hours) resulted in slimmer & healthier mice than those who ate the same number of calories in a larger window of time.
How Could This Discovery Help Us Live a Healthier Life?
This discovery shows that the timing of eating may be as important as what is eaten. If TRE works for humans as it does for mice, we will be slimmer and healthier. This approach might stave off high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity.
How Do I Apply Time-Restricted Eating For Fat-Loss?
Decide when you are going to eat your last meal of the day
Eat it and log the time that you finish your last bite or drink if it is a caloric drink
Make sure that you don’t consume any calories in the form of food or drink for at least 12-hours.
Log the time you have your first calorie in the morning in the form of food or a caloric drink.
Do this every day for 7 days
If you are an LFBX Gym Client, let us know when you start TRE for Fat-Loss and then submit your results to us on the 7th day via email.
Notes: Water, herbal tea, black tea or coffee are non-caloric drinks and permissible during the 12-hours that you are not consuming food or drinks as long as there is no dairy (milk or cream), sweeter (honey, maple syrup, sugar) or soy or nut milks in them.
Stevia, Erythritol, Xylitol is ok, but I suggest that you don’t have anything sweet during these 12 hours. You can eat sweet things during your eating window.
Also, refrain from artificial sweeteners like sucralose, saccharine, aspartame and the like as well as Coke Zero or other zero-calorie sodas or gelatins – they are poisonous and harm your health.
Waist-to-Height Ratio is a Powerful Indicator of Health
Waist-to-Height Ratio is a quick, inexpensive and easy way to predict your level of health. Recent research has determined that waist-to-height ratio is a more accurate predictor of cardiovascular health risk, hypertension, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes than BMI.
Waist-to-Height Ratio is More Accurate than BMI?
For clarity, BMI (Basal Metabolic Index) is a way of relating your height and weight to know if you are underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese.
BMI= weight (kg) / height (m) x height (m).
BMI can be a very inaccurate way to measure body fat, as it only takes into consideration height and weight. Here is an example of a mass of fat vs a mass of muscle, both weighing 2.3kg (5lbs).
Here’s what it can look like on a beautiful woman. If she had just lost fat, and not gained some muscle, she would have lost weight. Since she gained muscle while losing fat, her weight remained the same.
Madalin Giorggetta is a perfect example of how much more compact muscle is on the body than fat. She also proves in this photo that BMI is inaccurate, as her body fat percentage is much higher in the photo on the left although her weight and her height are the same.
Waist-to-Height Ratio – Why It’s Superior to BMI
Abdominal obesity sometimes referred to as central obesity results from excessive abdominal fat (belly fat), which is a combination of visceral fat (fat around the internal organs) and subcutaneous fat (fat underneath the skin) that has built up to a level that puts one at risk for cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes. Since the measurement of waist-to-height ratio is made at the waist, abdominal fat is measured directly.
How to Measure Your Waist
If the instructions above are confusing, just measure around your navel in a straight line around your back. If you don’t have a measuring tape, you can purchase one like this.
How to Calculate Your Waist-to-Height Ratio
Once you have your measurements, write them down and plug them into this calculator.
Waist to Height Ratio Calculator
If you want to do the calculation yourself, here is the formula: Waist/Height
I will use my beautiful wife as a model. Her waist is 65.5cm (26 inches) and her height is 157cm (5 feet) so we divide her height by her waist 66/157 and get 0.417 and round that up to 0.42.
What’s the First Goal to Aim for?
The first goal to aim for is 0.5 or less. You want your waist to be 1/2 or less of your height to be considered healthy. Healthy is what we are aiming for first at LFBX.
If you want to knock people’s socks off in a swimsuit, you’ll probably need to aim for around 0.43. The Slender and Healthy Category in the chart above is what I consider extraordinary.
Please give it a shot and comment if you have any questions or you want to share.
We all have targets in our lives. We call them goals, dreams, and aspirations. Some of us know exactly what we want in fine detail. Some of us kind of know what we want, but haven’t clarified exactly what it is.
I suggest that you spend some time with a pen and paper or on a word document and figure out your target. Have fun with it. Choose a target that would transform your life the most. Everyone will have a different target, so trust that the specific target that you choose is accurate.
Your target can change over time, but for now, choose one that moves you the most. Commit to a worthy target that stretches you and makes you feel uncomfortable. Attacking your target is by no means easy, but will make you a better human being for it.
My target is to take daily action on at least one task that is very hard, yet will move my life and business forward most powerfully. Right now, that is migrating my website from wordpress.com to wordpress.org.It’s the most uncomfortable thing for me to do today, but long-term, this action will make my life, my client’s lives and my business significantly better.
I believe that most of us want to attain our targets, but so-called obstacles get in the way. These obstacles are usually fear-based. There could be a fear that the target is unattainable. Maybe there is a fear that the work may just be too hard and desired results may take too long to achieve. For some, there may be a fear of putting their reputation on the line, where they might experience failure, which could hurt their ego.
Another obstacle is the desire of clinging to comfort. Challenging targets require us to grow beyond where we are now, so they are naturally hard and uncomfortable. It would be like going from a warm, comfy bed with big fluffy pillows to sleeping on the hard floor, pillowless, in a constricting sleeping bag or going from taking hot showers to only cold ones. We, humans, tend to like it comfortable.
The Ordinary Approach to Attaining a Target
Because of our desire to cling to comfort and run from fear, we usually approach our goals, dreams, and aspirations very slowly. We talk about them. Our flights of fancy come and go, imagining what life would be like actually realizing our dream.
There are some of us that actually do something to hit our target. Of course, we are all different in our approaches, but the majority of us take more time than necessary to attain our goals. Projects, that if focused on intently could be done in one day, may take an entire week to complete. Or something, like losing 5kg (10lbs) of fat, that could easily be accomplished in two months, may take us a year or more to achieve.
The Brad Pitt Approach to Attacking a Target
Now we get to the Extraordinary Way to Attaining Targets! And our spokesman for this way is none other than Brad Pitt, who plays the role of the Hero Achilles in the movie Troy.
This is a scene from the movie Troy which beautifully and succinctly expresses how to fearlessly and immediately attack a target without an ounce of hesitation when we commit to it.
I love this scene because it demonstrates how we can run, full speed ahead toward our fears, minimizing the time and toil between what we are aiming for and the actual achievement of that aim. Being a hero is hard. It’s uncomfortable and there is a chance of losing, so it requires ample courage and self-belief.
Tatoo Achilles’ Hero Mindset to Your Brain and Tackle Your Target!
Once you have clarified your target, call forth your inner Achilles, go straight to the battlefield and attack!!
“There is only What Works and What Does Not Work, given what it is you are trying to do.”
–Neil Donald Walsh, Conversations with God, Awaken the Species
Waking With the Monks Works for Me
I woke up this morning at 4:30 am, which is the time I have woken up every day for the past two months. It’s the time I will wake up every morning for the next year or more. Why would I do such a silly thing? I do this, because I have a very clear picture of who and what I will be three years from now. I realize that I am able to help all of my training and coaching clients face to face each week -27 amazing clients at the time I am writing this. I also realize that by increasing my learning while improving my writing and speaking skills, every day for at least the next 3 years, I will be able to help millions of people. That works for me.
Writing First Thing in the Morning Works for Me
It’s Tuesday and it’s my day off each week. I know that I could sleep in, but I choose not to. Writing every day for two hours first thing in the morning, between 4:45 am and 6:45 am, excites me. It’s pitch black outside. It’s absolutely silent and it’s just me in front of my Mac with a topic like this, thinking and writing about useful things that I understand or am leaning about that could help people experience a higher quality of life. Every morning I aim to finish a blog and publish it. If I don’t complete it with the first two hours, I aim to publish it by the end of the day. This fills me up; it works for me.
Working Long Hours Works for Me
Some of my close friends say that I work too much – too many hours each day. They say that I need to enjoy life a little more. I understand where they are coming from and sometimes agree. I also realize that what I am doing with my work really excites me and uplifts me. Yes, I may work a lot, but that work is very fulfilling to me, so I feel that I am enjoying it. I also feel that I am creating something that extends beyond me, which will increase the enjoyment, excitement, and upliftment for all involved. So if I look at the number of hours I work each day and the number of days I work per year, yeah, I may be working a lot, but that work truly works for me.
Reading Two Hours Per Day Works for Me
As I kid, I hated reading. In high school is when I had to plan and read full books like “The Catcher in the Rye” and “Huckleberry Finn”. I don’t believe I finished either one of those books/assignments. I don’t know why, but I just couldn’t get into them. Now I read at least two hours every day. The more I read, especially on topics such as mindset, health, fitness, lifestyle, the more educated I become and the more I am able to share with my clients, customers, and readers. I love it and it definitely works for me.
30 Minutes of Daily Training Works for Me
I own a gym and there have been times that I didn’t train much at all because I didn’t have my work-life balance in order and felt completely burned out. Recently I train 6 days a week for about 30 minutes. I love this. It gives me a break from mental work, gets me out of my physical comfort zone by testing my strength, speed or endurance. It’s a very simple approach that looks something like this:
Monday: Full-Out Hill Sprints (10 seconds full out with 90 seconds walk back recovery x 8 rounds)
Tuesday: Our day off where we usually go for an extended walk of 90 minutes or more for fun
This type of balanced training plan makes me feel good, look good and doesn’t require too much time; it works for me.
Eating on the Floor Works for Me
Although 4-9 hours of my workday is training clients, I spend a great deal of time sitting on a chair in front of my computer working. The more I sit in a chair, the tighter I feel my body getting, so I decided that for the next 6 months or so, I would eat all of my meals at home sitting crossed-legged in the middle of the floor or on our 8F deck that overlooks Tokyo. No leaning on anything allowed:-) Sometimes it’s uncomfortable, but I feel it working for me in that my lower back, hips, and hip flexors are loosening up.
Going to Bed at 8:30 pm Works for Me
I have a sweet feeling of being an 8-year old again, hearing my Mom saying, “Honey, it’s 8:30! Time for bed.” 40-years later, I am back to the same bedtime schedule:-) In order for me to sleep around 8 hours, and wake up by 4:30 am, that means 8:30 pm is my time for bed. Cute, right? Some nights I don’t get to bed until 9:30 pm, but many nights I am in bed by 8:30 pm and sleeping soundly within 3-seconds. It’s definitely not ordinary, but I am loving the deep, restful sleep that I am enjoying and finding that I am waking naturally between 3:50-4:20 am, well before my alarm rings at 4:30 am. 7-8 hours of sleep works nicely for me.
The Carnivore Diet Works for Me
I have been doing the Carnivore Diet and I’m finding that it is working for me better than any other approach to diet so far. The digestive issues such as gas and bloating that have bothered me my entire life, are gone. I only need to eat twice per day, around 10:30 am and 4:00 pm and have no desire for snacking whatsoever. My addiction to certain foods, cravings for sweets, and my predilection to overeat, have all disappeared. This fascinates me. If you want to know more about this diet, check out my previous post on it.
A Few Notes on What Doesn’t Work for Me
Finding what doesn’t work, through a great deal of trial and error, has helped me find what does work. I would like to share a few things that have guided me along the way.
Unkindness Doesn’t Work for Me
Grudges, expectations, jealousy, competition, trying to prove myself and lack of compassion have been issues that I have been struggling with my entire life. These are parts of myself that I don’t show most people but have clearly been a part of me and obviously don’t work. I am learning to let them arise as they always have and immediately find what it is in me that is causing it, not the action or the inaction of the other person or people involved. I then find what is it that I can resolve within myself to solve the issue. Taking 100% responsibility and being decisive in how I am going to resolve the situation is working for me.
A Raw Food Vegan Diet Doesn’t Work for Me
Recently I did a “Raw Fruit & Veggie Diet” based on a protocol from Dr. Robert Morse for 90 days from April to July 2019 in order to heal my body. So from 4.11.2019, I embarked on an all raw fruit & veggie diet omitting all other foods and drinks except for water. I started out at 77.6kg (171lbs), worked through a week of withdrawals from caffeine and was on my way finally reaching a body weight of 65kg (143kg) at the 90-day mark. Some stretches of days I ate only grapes and I really enjoyed that.
Biggest issues with this Diet:
I constantly felt chilled to the bone – the only time I could heat my body up enough to sweat was when I got in a 48-degree Celsius bath (118 degrees F)
I was hungry every 2-3 hours
I felt addicted to dried fruits such as dates and figs and sometimes couldn’t stop eating them
I completely lost my sex drive for three-plus months- my wife was not happy about that:-)
I lost over 5kg (10lbs) of lean muscle mass
I completely lost my desire to train-exercise
I’m not attacking this raw food vegan approach, as my wife eats about 60% raw food, especially fruits and she looks and feels great. She can do 4+ chin-ups, has a six-pack and works from morning to night with me, so it’s working for her.
Watching TV Doesn’t Work for Me
I think there are many great things on TV, Netflix or Amazon Prime and I will watch a movie with my wife 2-4 times a month and I really enjoy them. Daily viewing just doesn’t float my boat, so I don’t do it.
Please Take Inventory and Find Out What Works for You
I wanted to share my experience with you, in hopes that it might inspire you to take a deeper look at things you are doing that may not be working for you.
I realize that most of my clients don’t go to bed until 1:00 am. Then they get up around 7:00 am, so they are getting 6 hours of sleep. Is this you? If it is, do you feel like you are functioning at a high level? Are you making healthy food choices? Are you reaching for coffee first thing in the morning and some carby-starchy-sugary food to start your day? Is this working for you? If it it, AWESOME!! If not, please take a look at things that you can do that work, given what you are trying to do.
Please take a deep look at aspects that you feel aren’t working for you in your life. Ask me for help if you need it. I will help you the best I can.
Recently I have been intrigued by exercise early in the morning before most Tokyoites are out and about. I was getting too caught up in being too busy with work and realized that although our mission at LFBX Gym is to help people achieve the highest level of mindset, health, fitness, and lifestyle that they desire, I was not keeping my fitness on point. So I thought of ways to remedy this.
The Second Step – The Walk
I found that walking with my wife, for about 20-30 minutes was a perfect approach. Here’s why:
When I walk with my honey it is at a pace that we are able to hold a normal conversation. We talk about life and there is no computer screen, cell phone, book, food or whatever in front of us. Just the road, sidewalk, a few people and cars here and there. It’s a great way to communicate. It’s also a great opportunity to hold hands.
It gets us out in the morning sun or rain communing with as much nature as possible, which has been proven to set our daily circadian rhythm for deeper sleep in the evenings. See this short article, by Dr. Chatterjee 4 Simple Tips to Help You Sleep for a few tips on better sleep.
It’s a perfect time to get some solid exercise on an empty stomach, in a fasted state. For more on the benefit of fasted exercise, see Micheal Matthew’s post.
Walking is an exercise that is kind to the joints, gives excellent cardio benefits and is just so easy.
The Third Step – Making it a Daily Habit
We found this to be a very enjoyable habit that brings energy to the rest of the day. Some people view exercise as something that requires time that they feel they need to spend on other things; however, I see intelligent exercise, such as walking, as an investment that pays dividends by increasing focus, decreasing emotional and mental stress and adding a sense of accomplishment that you are taking your health into your own hands.
The Fourth Step – Tracking Your Progress For Fun
The recent trend in health is Health Tracking. I can see how it can get out of hand, as I generally err on the side of minimalism, but I do find it fun to quantify my efforts and gamify fitness a bit. Here’s a previous post on my 4 Unique Ways to Track Health. If you have an iPhone, and you want to track your steps, you can use a simple app called Health. You can see the specifics of how to track your steps in Tip 6 in the Health link above. I have found that when I walk at a solid pace, I get approximately 1,000 steps per 10 minutes, so in order to walk 10,000 steps, it would take about 100 minutes (an hour and 40 minutes) for me to log in that many steps per day. I’m sure that I could ‘step it up’ a bit, to make it an even 90 minutes. There are days that I do this but I definitely don’t make it a “must-do” every day. This could easily be done with a 3 x 30-minute walk approach throughout the day: 30 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes in the afternoon and 30 minutes before or after dinner.
The Fifth Step – Start with 10 Minutes Out and 10 Minutes Back
My suggestion to my clients who don’t deliberately practice walking each morning, is to wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual, have water, tea or coffee without any calories in it, set their timer on their phone for 10 minutes and walk in one direction. When the timer goes off, they come back home and they are done. I suggest that they listen to a favorite Audible book, podcast or songs that make them feel good. If they want to be more natural, of course, they can just walk and enjoy the sounds of nature and the world around them. Mantras are also good during walking as the walking sets up a very nice rhythm through tempo and the sounds of footsteps. These mantras don’t need to be esoteric or based on spiritualism or religion, they can be as simple and fun as “I love to exercise.” Or “I am magnificent.” Being creative with these is a lot of fun in itself.
Walking to Shinjuku from Sugamo
The Last Step – Enjoy Ramblin’!
If you are looking to feel better, sleep deeper and just know, intuitively, that moving a bit more is healthy, please implement walking into your day. 10,000 steps is a very nice goal, and I believe that even 20-30 minutes first thing in the morning will make a beneficial and noticeable difference in your life once it becomes a habit.