A Design For Life

*The title of this post was taken from the Manic Street Preachers song of the same name*

I dubbed him “Machine” simply because it rhymes with his last name. When Chris started training with me over a year ago, he had finally decided it was time to get serious about weight loss. He started at 300lbs. As of this writing, he weighs 214.

When Consuela started training with me, she got serious too. So far, she’s lost 27lbs in less than three months. What’s their secret?

A design. A plan. Something that they can stick with.

Some people think the answer to weight loss is in how often, for how long or how intensely they exercise. It’s not. It does help though.

What began as the secret to Chris’s weight loss success he then shared with Consuela to help her along the way.

I asked them both to discuss what works for them. Notice the similarities and the differences.

From Consuela:

-Find simple go-to things that you won’t get sick of. Measure any snacks by serving size. [The problem is] once you start munching, you’ll want to keep going. Prep anything that needs to be cut:  veggies, fruit, etc. then assort it into snack containers. Do it now!

-If you like oatmeal, overnight oats are my favorite for breakfast or lunch. The basics are: 1/2 c oats, 1/2 c yogurt, 1/2 c light almond milk, some sort of fruit (it can be frozen and you don’t have to thaw it) a sweetener if you’d like, I don’t. I’ve even added powdered peanut butter. Mix it up in a container with a lid and put it in your fridge overnight… Eat it heated or not… You can actually make 5 days worth… Anything with bananas, eat within 3 days.

-Steamer sides are great: veggies galore. Need to have dinners prepped and ready but don’t want to cook everything now, want it to be warm and ready? Look up healthy crockpot recipes that can be prepped ahead of time and frozen!! Wake up, dump all ingredients, maybe add water or whatever other minor thing needs added, and go!!

-Cook your protein ahead of time. Chicken can be cooked then frozen, cut up and then microwaved. Damp paper towels will keep the moisture in when heated. There are cut ready-to-go chicken and steak for fajitas in most deli places, which goes great on taco salads. You can do this with any protein, chicken, fish, steak, etc… Canned tuna is your friend!

-Prep everything you can ahead of time. Pack it before you sleep!! That way you have no excuse not to grab it before you go, it’s already done! I don’t care how tired you are, do it first. This is why it’s important that you divide everything when you prep. It takes an hour or two for me to prep, but then it takes 2 min for me to pack the night before and 15 secs to grab in the morning. I divvy out everything right down to the kidney beans and sour cream folks.

-Do it when you have time, and then it’s one less thing you have to do when running around. Nothing like being so hungry that when you pass a Rally’s, have nothing with you and start thinking: “Well, chili cheese fries are kind of a vegetable right??”

-Some of you only have to prepare breakfast or lunch… But it’s possible to do all the meals of the day… I have to do it Monday through Friday… And when I don’t do it, I really regret it… Something bad inevitably happens, either I eat something bad, or I’m going hungry…


1. Green beans and potatoes ( steamer pack)

2. Drinkable yogurt

3. Whey and peanut butter powder

4. Banana and almond milk blend

5. Tilapia/hadock

6. Overnight oats

7. Apple slices

8. Kidney bean

Consuela took Chris’s suggestions to heart and got working on a meal prep plan that would work for her and her lifestyle. If this is the first you’ve heard about her, I highly recommend you read this post I put out about her and Tina a few weeks ago for more insight. You can find it HERE

And the sign of her success? This is Consuela after losing 27lbs. I’d say her plan is working and it will continue to do so. We’ve got more work to do and she has got a ton of momentum right now.


From Chris:

-Sunday is cooking day where I will make meals for the week:  The lunch meal has a carb, protein and veggie component whereby the dinner meal will only usually have a protein and a veggie.  For instance, this week is turkey chili for lunch and boneless pork chops with green beans for dinner.  I look for one pot recipes which can be easily divided up and reheat well.  I have the prep down to about 2 hours which isn’t bad at all.  Some go to favorites:  Turkey chili; 96% beef meatloaf made with oats and salsa; Turkey meatballs with protein or quinoa pasta; chicken breasts; chicken stir-fry made with tapioca starch instead of cornstarch; Ground turkey/zucchini casserole;  We grill all year round which really helps!

-Breakfast is the same everyday usually:  5 egg whites 1 whole egg fried or scrambled with coconut spray; 1/2 c oatmeal or whole wheat eng muffin and coffee.

-Have to buy a “food carrier” – this has been a key to success.  I found this great cooler with its own containers and made for people that carry shaker bottles etc.   Called ISO Bag (amazon $99 i think.) You can find it HERE

– I make protein bites: scoop of powder (choc preferred), 2T sunflower seeds, 1c natural PB, ripe banana, 3/4c oats.  Roll into balls.  I will switch out a serving of ground turkey or beef with veggies for the powder some weeks.

-I usually cook for 4 days as we tend to carry out on weekends.  But I have found some good choices for to go food.  Aladdin’s has lots of options that are in line with calorie limits.  As does Panera as long as you are mindful about the dressing on salads and the roll that comes with.  If we dine out I will usually get a protein and a veggie and have them substitute extra veggie for the carb that comes with an entree.  Alternatively, I will have a couple of appetizers (at places that have chicken skewers, or brussel sprouts, sashimi etc.) for my meal and a salad.  Love burgers and chicken sandwiches and have found many more places offer lettuce wraps in place of those huge buns.  Just had one at BurgerFi made with lettuce instead of bread and it was awesome!

-I use the Lose It app to track calories.

-I love sushi and have found great success adding this to the plan as well as long as one is careful about the sauce they put on top and the types of rolls that are chosen.  I tend to eat just the raw fish (sashimi) and avoid the rolls with rice (very very high sodium) and the rolls as many of those have fried fish/shrimp etc as the protein.   I like the variety at Market District and they have a brown rice and sashimi mix that is on point.

-Weekends also is when I drink if at all and I will save my calories for instance throughout the day on Saturday knowing I may drink that night.  Also, I have transitioned away from beer to red wine or if liquor is served I go for a no calorie mixer such as club soda or a La Croix sparkling water.   Marc’s has all the flavors of LaCroix and at the lowest price I have found.  It helps fill the craving for pop.

-Most important I think is still having the foods you love just a little less and then adjusting your daily intake to make room for the treats.

To see what these two have accomplished is amazing. We had to stall Chris’s weight loss for a few months because he was starting to lose muscle faster than fat. This was not going to be a good route. I got him to start eating at maintenance for awhile and work on more muscle-building strength routines. Once his body got back to a healthier place, we got him back on a weight loss regimen. This is Chris after losing 86lbs.


As a trainer, these two are dream clients. They’re focused, planned out, and ready for what life throws at them. Are there detours and hiccups? Absolutely. What Chris and Consuela have figured out is how to get right back on track when it happens. They’re not the only ones. After Consuela posted the meal prep picture you saw above in our closed community, people started talking. They wanted her results. They wanted the secrets to success.

My take?

It’s people like Chris who set trends and get results. Those results get people talking. That talking inspires our community. Then the community starts to get results. It’s almost contagious.

It’s a design for life.