Building A Sustainable Lifestyle – Part 1

By: Nick Thomas

I believe in creating a life which you don’t need to escape from in order feel your best. A sustainable life allows you to make daily, habitual choices in your nutrition and activity, creating a level of health which not only gives you confidence but keeps your body functioning at its peak. Such a level that consistent happiness and energy is achieved week after week without stressful extra effort. This is a life of peace and order which we all desire.

True healthy lifestyle is a passionate topic for me, some might even call it my soapbox. I want to take time to break down my beliefs and methods in order to give full explanation to what a sustainable lifestyle truly looks like. It is much more than having a salad every other meal or spending hours at the gym, and it most definitely does NOT include a laundry list of daily supplements or products to make your world go round. Making results a reality is about knowing how to properly fuel your body, move and challenge your body regularly, and surround yourself with positive influences daily.

This is the first installment of a series outlining and explaining what I not only believe but KNOW to be the components of a sustainable lifestyle. I have followed and constantly improved and educated myself on these theories all my adult life. Moreover, I have numerous clients I have advised through my 20 plus years in the health and fitness industry who are living, breathing testaments of continued success with this mindset and lifestyle.

Now to be totally clear, this sustainable lifestyle does not come without sacrifice or hard work, especially in the beginning. Creating new habits is difficult at best, but once achieved, becomes second nature. Research shows that it takes roughly 20 to 25 days to form new habits and, in my opinion, at least another 30 to 40 to create true lasting change.

First things first! Lasting change in the health habits of your life means that you are willing to put the crash diets completely in the trash where they belong…I’m talking forever! You have to shift your mindset to longevity not just looking good on your beach vacation at the end of the month or fitting into that favorite dress for a party next week. The quick 10 and 15 pounds of loss on the scale achieved by whatever Pinterest craze you found or the latest and most popular drink or supplement you find scrolling Facebook will do you no good ultimately. This approach will only do you the favor of returning as a 20-to-30 pound gain in just a few weeks as you get back to real life.

When you constantly participate in this yo-yo diet world, your body is not technically losing much if any fat, you are actually losing muscle and maybe some water weight. The body has to have certain nutrients to function at a basic level daily, and because you are depriving your body of the nutrients it needs, it will seek it out. In order to keep you moving while you are crash dieting, it will go to the muscles to get what it needs to survive, giving you the minimal amount of energy it takes to get through your day. This is why you feel so weak and worn out while fad dieting. The rapid decline in your muscle and loss of “weight” also contributes to undesirable loose skin. When weight loss is done correctly, this is far less likely to happen or be as dramatic.

The kicker is that these choices not only affect your body, they have mental and emotional repercussions as well, such as depression and extreme irritability during and/or after the diet. This crazy rollercoaster of wacky eating is ultimately not only destroying your body but also your mental state. Cutting out whole food groups or replacing them with a pill or shake will NEVER give the body what it needs and will eventually come to very a disappointing end. By “filling” the body with a shake – even one with “good” ingredients – or altering/fooling the receptors in the body with a pill, you are still not providing the nutrients in the form NEEDED by the body to sustain high-level functioning. In other words, a healthy life has to focus on REAL ingredients and REAL change. Therefore, as soon as you stop these things, the body will go into a “recovery mode” – same as after the crash diet. This means it will hold onto every single thing you give it in fear of being deprived again, which ultimately causes extreme weight gain and subsequently depression as well. The mental and physical are always connected.

YES, it will take discipline to eat appropriate amounts of REAL all-natural whole food spaced correctly throughout your day along with cutting out the sugar, alcohol, and drive-thru foods. It will take time to get your winning combination and balance, and it may change periodically depending on what stage of life you are in or what goals you have. But I can promise one thing, IF you take the time to correctly manage your food intake and make it a habit, you will feel better and live a more fulfilled life.
This is the foundation of the Prime approach to a sustainable healthy lifestyle. I am anxious to expand upon it in future editions. However, if you don’t want to wait and are ready to start your personal journey down this path now, simply shoot an email to
By: Nick Thomas
Owner of Prime Performance Training, and Certified Sports Nutritionist