7 Secrets for Weight Loss with Body Transformation!


Interview with Fat Loss Expert, Mark Dilworth, BA, LWM

Interviewed by:  Isabella Palmgren, Getting Fit Simply

 Q:  Mark, please tell us a little about your background as a fat loss expert?

First Bella, I know what it is to gain weight and fight to lose it and shape your body!  Growing out of clothes because of extra weight gets expensive and frustrating.  And, its not easy to look at a bigger picture of yourself in the mirror.  Here’s a little of my story……

I grew up as a physically active child in New Mexico. That was how I “did fitness” for the first 21 years of my life. Walking, riding a bike, playgrounds, Boys Club activities and playing sports year-round. I never thought about training heart rates, body fat, muscle mass, eating right or any of those things growing up.  My first requirement for exercise:  it has to be fun!  You will keep doing exercise you enjoy.

When my football playing career ended after college, I had a problem.  What would I do to stay active? Exercise had always come automatically with my lifestyle. Now, I was working behind a desk as an accountant most of the day and I had become sedentary. Except for the occasional memberships on rec sports teams, I was not very active. I gained 30 pounds in about 2 months time!


So, I did what many people do. I joined a health club and began to exercise. It seemed like work instead of fun because I had never been a member of a health club. My exercise habits would basically go this way:  good workout habits for 3 months, sporadic workout habits for 3 months. I didn’t really pay close attention to my eating habits.

Over my years as an accountant, I would gain and lose that 30 pounds depending on my workout habits. I had settled into a routine I was pretty happy with until I started studying to become a personal trainer in 2004 and becoming certified in 2006.   Since then, I have helped thousands reach their fat loss and weight loss goals through live one-on-one training, online training and phone consultations.

Q:  What are your top secrets/tips to stay motivated and stick to a healthy lifestyle?

Best Body Secret #1:

Willpower is good but you will need more than willpower to build your best body.  There’s so much bad, profit-motivated weight loss information out there that its hard to know who to follow.  Some other effective motivators are:  before and after pictures, trying to fit into your “skinny clothes,” looking at yourself naked in the mirror, fitness competitions, trying to be a role model, getting a workout buddy and trying to reach your high school weight.

That’s why a trainer is a good place to start, especially for newbies.  A trainer will do your fitness and nutrition assessment during the first consultation.  For instance, excess belly fat has been shown to be a precursor to diseases such as diabetes and cancer. You will also need to improve your posture, strength, flexibility, body composition, balance and endurance among other things.  All of these figure importantly in any fat loss and weight loss program.

You need to focus on total health and not just weight loss.   Your health numbers are also important and should be identified for improvement right away.  You may need a doctor’s clearance before you can begin an exercise program.  Some important health numbers are:  blood pressure, cholesterol levels and blood fat levels. The other areas of your life may need to be “shaped up” also.  If you are messed up financially, socially, spiritually and emotionally, it will be hard to stick with a fitness and nutrition program.

Every area of your life works together to make you totally successful.  That’s why I work with professionals in other health-related fields to provide references to my clients.  For instance, if you have serious depression issues or eating disorders, you will need help from experts in those fields.

Best Body Secret #2: 

You may need to change your mind to a positive attitude to start making progress to reach your fat loss and weight loss goals.  You see,  an “I can” and “I will” attitude will lead you to success in changing your body. 

The road to fitness and health can be full of setbacks and disappointments along the way.

You may need to change your attitude about weight loss in general. You have to burn fat if you want to drop pant or dress sizes for good. If you just lose weight, you will probably regain the weight because you haven’t changed your body’s composition to lean and toned.

Even if you leaned out your body with hard work and clean eating, you have to keep it going. You will stay lean and toned with more hard work and good nutrition. Even though muscle never changes to fat, you can lose muscle mass and the fat cells will return fill up even more, if you become inactive for too long.

Dr. Kevin Elko, an expert in Cognitive Behavioral Psychology (CBP), works with clients to help them change the way they talk to themselves.  You will believe what you continually tell yourself and it affects every area of your life.

Dr. David McClelland and his associates at Harvard University studied achievement motivation for over 20 years. They found that achievement motivated people set high (stretching) personal but obtainable goals and they wanted feedback on how to improve.  They were not concerned with being embarrassed for lack of progress. 

In my personal experience with clients, I find that those who embrace the process of transforming their bodies are ultimately successful. They get it done no matter how long it takes. And, they apply the feedback that I give them
without feeling as though they are failures.

If you find yourself saying these types of things, attitude changes are needed:

“I can’t workout because I don’t have time.”

“I can never change my body to be that shapely.”

“I would change but she/he is blocking my progress.”

“Every time I lose weight, I always gain it back.”

“I will start working on my body next year.”

“If I could just shake my sugar eating habit, I would lose weight.”

“I can’t eat healthy most of the time.”   “I give up.”

Notice the sentences includes words like, can’t, never and always.  Extreme words lead to negative self-talk and acting out.

Best Body Secret #3:

This is perhaps one of the most under-rated aspects of health and fitness.  Staying active as much as possible, every day, will help keep your metabolism active and burning calories.   It is more fun to burn calories without thinking about it.  I recommend that you walk at least 30 minutes every day, whether you workout or not.  Some other ways to stay active:

  • go swimming or walk laps in the pool
  • walk-in-place while you watch television
  • take walking breaks at work
  • walk or bike when you can instead of driving the car
  • walk your dog
  • do yard work
  • do your house chores
  • join a rec sports team like soccer, basketball or softball

Find activities you enjoy to stay active as much as possible.  It does wonders for your health, body composition and well-being.

Q:  What are your top secrets/tips to healthy eating and nutrition? 

Best Body Secret #4:

It is your metabolism but not like many people think.

If you have damaged your metabolism due to chronic starvation dieting, it can be repaired.  A good place to start is to eat better and sleep adequately every day.

And, a slow metabolism is not the primary cause of weight gain. Absent medical conditions, you gain weight primarily because you are eating too much too often, or maintaining daily calorie surpluses (eating more calories than you burn).

For purposes of this discussion, metabolism is basically all the chemical reactions that happen when your body is converting food into energy.

There are 3 major components of metabolism are:  basal metabolic rate (BMR), physical activity and the thermic effect of food.  Your BMR burns up to 75% of your daily calories.  Your BMR is the number of calories you’d burn if you did nothing all day, or, stated another way, the amount of calories your body needs to maintain itself at rest.  Not everyone burns calories at the same rate. Some factors that influence the speed of your metabolism are:

Your age. Your metabolism may slow down about 5% per decade after age 30 if you are sedentary.

Gender. Men generally burn more calories at rest than women.

Your proportion of muscle mass to fat mass. The more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolic rate will be. Your body has to work harder to maintain muscle mass.

Heredity.  Your genetic makeup is a factor but should not be an excuse for not getting fit.

Thyroid problems may also cause your metabolism to slow down.

Physical activity is a huge part of the fitness lifestyle. Stay as active as possible every day, even between workouts. By staying active, you keep your fat burning enzymes and metabolism active.

Don’t make the mistake of lying around as much as possible until your workout. Research proves that your fat-burning enzymes shut down when you sit down. Get up and move around during the day to keep your metabolism ramped up all day and burn more fat and calories.   Stand-up desks are becoming more popular to keep you active and alert during the long day.

The “thermic effect of foods” plays a part in speed of your metabolism.  The foods you eat require energy to be broken down and processed in the body.  The thermic effect for protein is about twice as high as it is for carbohydrates or fats.  Higher protein consumption means you will have a higher metabolic rate and improved fat burning.  Fibrous and spicy foods also increase this thermic effect.

As you can see, you have the most control over physical activity and what you eat, as far as significantly improving your metabolic rate during the day and at rest.

Keep your metabolism active at any age.  Growing old, overweight and fat is NOT inevitable. Absent medical problems, you control how well your body ages. Muscle never changes into body fat and vice-versa.  If you have been inactive, your muscles will lose mass (atrophy).  And, your fat cells refill and newer ones grow. 

Muscle mass is the most metabolically active tissue in your body and your top fat-burning tool.  Muscle mass can be maintained/increased (and body fat decreased) throughout your life with consistent strength training.   The programs at the end of this interview will help you maintain muscle mass.

Changing habits can be tough to do.  Never settle for quick solutions provided by advertisements and infomercials.  Remember, they are trying to sell you a product.

Be wary of any program that conditions your weight loss success on their product and/or asks you to go to extremes.  Even if you follow the extremes and are successful for a short time, you can not maintain such programs, and you regain the weight.  Some examples include:

  • Quick weight loss pills,
  • 500-calorie a day severe restriction diets,
  • Diets omitting a macronutrient, such as chronic no-carb diets
  • Spot reduction products, such as belly fat burning gadgets
  • Programs that conditions that you eat their prepared foods

Instead, build your health and body on a foundation that will last over your lifetime.

Consistently eating whole, natural foods is your key to eating better to get a healthy, lean body.  Whole, natural foods have one ingredient, like fresh fruits and vegetables.  Enjoy your food. The main negative with many calorie restricted and fad diets is that you end up starving or hating to eat.  And, you can’t maintain these restricted diets for very long.  That is no way to live as far as I’m concerned. And, in the long-term, you won’t be successful keeping the weight off your body with the “anti-eating” approach.

You won’t have it all figured out in 2 weeks time. Experts agree that you are better off making manageable changes to your diet and workout routine. Some of your eating and workout (or no workouts) habits have been developed over a lifetime.

Here are some Nutritional Building Blocks every one needs:

The old rule still applies: Maintaining daily calorie surpluses (eating more calories than you burn) will cause you to gain weight. You can’t eat all you want. You must learn how much, what and when to eat. Eating quality calories helps you eat nutritiously with less calorie intake. You won’t ever be hungry.

You should master the Nutritional Building Blocks before graduating to eating methods like carb-cycling.

NBB1. Record what you eat in a food journal until you know how much, when and what to eat.  This might take a week or two but it is a critical step.  I don’t count calories because I know the what and how much to eat through experience.

NBB2. Don’t cut out any of the macronutrients (fats, carbohydrates, proteins) from your diet. Your body needs all three to function properly.

NBB3. Drink mainly water and unsweetened drinks like green tea for fluids. This will help you avoid drinking sugary sodas and fruit juices that puts dangerous belly fat on your body.   It will also help you eat less during the day.

If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.  When you take a drink of alcohol, your body converts a small amount of it into fat and the rest is converted (by the liver) into a substance called acetate.

This acetate is then quickly released into the bloodstream and used as the body’s main source of energy. So, your body is using the acetate as energy instead of the stored fat in your body. The more you drink, the more fat your body will store.

One more thing: too much alcohol consumption can decrease your testosterone production. Decreased testosterone levels have a negative effect on muscle building.

NBB4. Use the replacement method to change bad eating habits. If you don’t replace bad foods with healthy foods, you will continue to eat bad foods. You have to eat something, right?! For instance, if you have a sweet tooth, eat more fruits and less candy and sugary desserts.

Try not to eat processed foods, fast foods or foods in a box or bag as they are loaded with unhealthy trans fats and other unhealthy ingredients.

NBB5. Eat enough food to fuel your body for the day’s demands of work, activities and exercise.  Eat every 2 to 3 hours to keep your energy up and your metabolism active throughout the day.

NBB6. Eat carbohydrates. A low-carb diet is not necessarily required to burn fat, although it can be useful in some circumstances. You are better off eating the right kinds of carbohydrates at the right time.

Your body depends on carbohydrates as a primary fuel source (especially during intense strength workouts). After a tough workout, a post-workout drink with high glycemic carbs and protein will help your body recover and rebuild your muscles. During the day, low glycemic load carbs are more desirable.

NBB7. Eat protein with every meal. Animal sources of protein are complete proteins, such as from eggs and lean meats.

Protein keeps blood sugar levels more steady when you have a meal that includes carbohydrates. Protein helps you feel fuller for a longer period (slower digestion). Protein also keeps the hunger hormone (ghrelin) in check so your hunger doesn’t spike so high.

NBB8. Eat enough fiber each day.  Its basically eating foods with no net calories because of the energy burned to process fiber.  Your body cannot digest fiber and there are two forms:   soluble and insoluble.  Some foods, like fruits and veggies, have both.  Some of the books at the end of this interview have fat-burning menus for you.

Eat both types of fiber to help you feel fuller for longer and to help stabilize blood sugar levels. Eating 25-35 grams of daily fiber per day will help fight belly fat. Eating 5-10 servings of fruit and vegetables a day will help you eat enough fiber. 

NBB9. Consume adequate amounts of healthy fats.

Eating fats does not make you fat!  Healthy fats are great antioxidants as well as help with brain function and many other essential processes that take place in the body on a daily basis. Essential fatty acids, according to clinical studies, could also help prevent certain diseases.  Fats should comprise about 20% of your daily calories.

NBB10. Follow your meal plan at least 90% of the time and you will be successful with fat loss.  This leaves room for “cheat foods” and/or bad eating decisions.

Also, consult your doctor to see which supplements you need such as multivitamins, vitamin D3, fish oil or green tea extract.

Eat plenty of spices with are full of nutritional/health benefits with little or no calories.  Cinnamon, cloves, cumin, fennel, star anise, garlic, ginger, curry and turmeric are good examples.

Best Body Secret #5:

Multivitamins, Omega 3s, green tea, vitamin D3, protein powders are just a few dietary supplements that most people need for health and vitality.

Supplements are just that, supplements.  They are not a permanent replacement for real food.  And, they are not the answer for a lean body and permanent weight loss.  People continue to waste money on supplements thinking they are the answer to real weight loss.  You can get the best dietary supplements on the planet at Prograde who my is my Nutrition Partner.

Q:  What are your top secrets to effective exercise and fitness routines?

Best Body Secret #6:

Commit to workouts 5 out of 7 days.  Three days strength training and 2-3 days cardio training will do the trick for you.  Walk every day as much as you can, preferably 30 minutes total. Strength workouts should be 30-50 minutes.  Interval cardio workouts should be about 20 minutes.  That’s all it takes for most people to build their best body.

You have to work hard to transform your body.  There are no shortcuts.   But, you can also have loads of fun reaching your goals.  There is no good reason to do exercises and workouts that you hate.  There are plenty of choices.  Plus, you are more likely to continue doing something that you like.

Short burst exercises are proven fat burners.   We’re talking workouts with major calorie and fat burn.

It doesn’t take 1,000 repetitions and 2-3 hour workouts to reach your fat loss and weight loss goals.  Burn more fat and calories, for up to 48 hours (by boosting metabolism), after your strength workout by doing short burst workouts in as little as 10 to 30 minutes.

Exercise Post-Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) causes your body to burn more calories and fat after a tough workout. Your body has to work harder to get back to its pre-exercise state.

Here are some tips to help you burn fat faster:

  • Train your body in all 3 planes of motion. Using strength exercises that require rotations, turning, twisting and side-to-side motions will fit the bill.
  •  Machine-based training concentrates on the sagittal plane (up-down, forward-backward movements). Do minimal training on machines, unless you are rehabbing or a beginner, because they limit your natural movement patterns.
  • Training in all planes of motion will definitely add intensity and variety to your workouts.
  • Training on your feet will lead you to do more full body exercises that burn more calories and fat.
  • Concentrate on compound (multi-joint) exercises like squats of all types, lunges of all types, bench press, rows, step ups, and deadlifts.
    These exercises work major muscle groups and help you build more muscle mass and burn more fat.
  • Train your muscles with all contraction types (eccentric, isometric, concentric). All muscles function eccentrically (reduces force or deceleration), isometrically (stabilizes force) and concentrically (produces force).
  • Improve your flexibility and correct postural problems in the early stages of your training to avoid injuries when you get to more intense training. You can’t workout if you are injured!
  • Progress to more intense exercises like plyometrics (jump training), speed training and full-speed sport specific exercises after you have stabilized and strengthened your core, joints and overall muscle structure.

Q:  What is one thing you would like to leave the readers with regarding fitness?

Best Body Secret #7:

Remember SMART when you’re trying to reach your goals:

  • Specific goals – short-term and long-term
  • Measureable goals  – what gets measured gets improved
  • Achievable goals – realistic, you can actually do these goals
  • Relevant goals – are you training for a competition or general fitness
  • Time-bound goals – make deadlines to reach goals.

Continually improve your health and wellness, both physically and mentally.  Enjoy exercise!   Eat healthy, nutritious foods you enjoy.  Stay active everyday.  Workout consistently hard, but not too hard.  Don’t look for shortcuts, like quick weight loss scams.  Get plenty of rest and relaxation.   Get out there and enjoy a happy, well-lived life!

If you read my articles and decide to focus on improving overall health, heart health, bone density and body composition, my message is getting through. The motivation in my articles is never focused on just weight loss.

In a nutshell, if I can get you to make the commitment to do whatever it takes to improve your health, you will eventually succeed with body transformation.   We all eventually do what we really WANT TO DO!

Do you want to:
  • Eat Better to be Healthier, Burn More Fat and Lose Permanent Weight?
  • Have Your BEST Looking Body Naked or in Smaller-Sized Clothes?
  • Feel Better than You have Felt in Months or Years?
  • Have the Energy to Accomplish Your Daily Goals?

Be sure and register to  Start Your Amazing Body Transformation Today!

I will coach you to transform your body and its definitely not just about weight loss.  You will learn what it takes to change your eating habits and lifestyle and start remaking your body a healthy, energized and lean fat-burning machine!



Author Details
Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist Your Fitness University
Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and Myofascial Release/Self Massage Specialist. Since 2006, I have helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle habit changes with my 5-Star Body Transformation Plan, where YOU are the main STAR. The 5-Star Plan helps you to achieve better long-term health, which includes body transformation and ideal body weight. I do not recommend fad diets, quick weight loss gimmicks, starvation diets, weight loss pills, fat burner supplements and the like.

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