Justin Christianson is the president of a tech company in Houston.
When he decided to start losing weight, he weighed 213 pounds at 5’11”.
In six months, he lost 39 pounds.
His quick weight loss and maintaining it is the result of sticking to a plan and adopting an exercise program that fits into his schedule.
Having a child motivated Justin to lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle.
“Well, we had just had our second child and business just wasn’t where I wanted it to be,” Justin speaks of his motivation to lose weight.
“I don’t like to call it a kind of depression, but it’s more of a recession for me and I just needed to make a change.
I needed to be able to keep up with my then 2 year-old daughter and now my newborn son and it was just motivation enough.
It was my why I wanted to be in shape, to be able to do what I wanted to do with them.”
For Justin, the key factor in losing weight was to eliminate unhealthy habits and to replace a lot of carbs with greens and lots of veggies.
“The first thing that actually happened was I quit drinking alcohol that was probably my biggest step.”
Justin says about removing a habit from his life that wasn’t helping him.
“It started creeping up into my life a little bit more and that’s for a totally different discussion, but I just decided enough was enough.
It was a big part of my life for a long time, so I gave up alcohol completely.
That helped kind of boost it a little bit as I was dealing with those other kind of demons and that hit the motivation.”
“Then when I went into juicing and smoothies,” Justin says about changing his diet and getting healthier.
“Those were the biggest things and cutting out starchy carbs.
I didn’t go on any crazy diet per se that some people may jump in on such as the fad diets.
I’d tried those in the past and they’re just so tough to maintain so I just made a lifestyle choice.
I started juicing, green smoothies, a lot of veggies and steered a little bit more away from the fruits and the carbs and just stuck with it.”
Juicing was one of the things Justin credits for his healthier lifestyle.
He started with a cheap juicer, experimented with different vegetable combinations to find what he liked.
“Of course I’ve upgraded now,” Justin says.
“I’ve got the Ninja blender and a better juicer.
I’d do that and then I’d visit my local smoothie shop.”
“Luckily I live in Austin where fitness is a pretty big thing and we have a lot of juice and smoothie places around here so I would hit them up regularly as well when I couldn’t find the time to juice and clean it.
I just made it part of my lifestyle every single morning and then I got my kids and my wife involved so that helped too.”
Of course, making things fun gets kids interested, even when it comes to healthy eating.
“They just started seeing me as special juice,” Justin says about his children.
“My kids are now going to be 5 and 3 and they just saw daddy making special juice so I made up a story that I was going to make them special juice. I’d juice up an apple, some carrots and some cucumber to mix in with the veggies and they just sucked it down and it was just part of the routine.”
Justin believes in regular meal planning to stay on track.
Even though there are occasional cheat days, the key for Justin and his family is to just stick to a regular plan during the week.
“We don’t always prepare it ahead of time,” Justin says of the process of weekly meal planning.
“I just try to make it a part of my week and then I give myself some slip ups.
We’re human and nobody’s expected to stick to a strict diet every single day, so I allow myself to indulge.
I’m a big Mexican food proponent living in Texas.
Chips and salsa are my weakness so I indulge in those once in a while to just kind of keep me moving.”
“We’re fortunate our kids aren’t necessarily the pickiest eaters,” Justin says as he goes into a little more detail about meal planning.
“We just kind of plan it out, you know, what are we going to make this week, what looks good?
We browse Pinterest and different sites to find different recipes and people post things on Facebook and we just like to try new things.
We plan it out, say, okay, we’re going to do this many chicken meals.”
From there, Justing and his wife are conscious about where they source their ingredients.
They seek out locally sourced grass fed beef, which Justin says isn’t any more expensive than at the grocery store.
Lunches are easy, Justin says, “I kind of eat quickly moving with my juicing and my lunches so I kind of pack my lunches or I’ll have a juice for lunch instead. I can’t remember the last time that I actually went out for lunch.”
“I’ll bring in green juices or I’ll carry over from my breakfast which I’ll usually do chicken, sausage, eggs and spinach or something for breakfast and then I’ll just make extra and bring it in for lunch.”
“Like I said, we have the grass fed locally source beef,” Justin explains.
“I do a lot of lean meats.
I’m not a big seafood person so I don’t do a lot of salmon or tuna.
Occasionally we’ll do some tuna or something but I eat a lot of eggs.
I eat a lot of spinach, a lot of kale, a lot of cucumbers, carrots, not a lot of fruit but I do have some berries occasionally, just a lot of chicken and eggs is basically what it is.”
Justin incorporates convenient exercise into his day.
He doesn’t go for long work outs, but rather short ones that can easily fit into a busy day.
“I don’t do any cardio,” Justin says.
“I do exercise about three to four days a week.
The gym’s only about a half mile from my house so it’s convenient and also a half mile from my office.
I just do drop set, superset so I try to bring my heart rate up quickly.
I just go in, 20 minute quick workouts and I’m in and out.
Now my wife and I just set a goal, it’s kind of funny, she’s a runner, she loves running long distances and she ran like three miles this morning.”
“Our reward before we can relax or talk about our day or do anything at the end of the night, we’re actually on day three now where we’ll do a quick 10 minute HIIT workout, high-intensity interval training workout with just our body weight.
Our kind of reward is to sit down and relax and maybe watch Netflix or something [laughs] at the end of the day.”
Other than the convenience of taking only 20 to 30 minutes to work out, Justin wants to raise his heart rate while lifting.
“I basically go in and I’ll pick the heaviest weights,” Justin says of a typical gym visit.
“I’ll do biceps and triceps one day. I’ll do opposing muscle groups, so I’ll do chest and back one day and I’ll do three exercises each and I’ll do four sets.
I’ll pick the heaviest weight that I can, do 10 or 12 reps, I’ll lift it, I’ll drop it 10 pounds, I’ll lift it till I basically can’t lift which is usually 10 to 12 reps and then I’ll just do that four times, three exercises each muscle group and I’m done.”
Justin wishes that he would have started exercising sooner.
“The first couple months I really didn’t do a whole lot of exercise,” he says.
“Once I did it kind of kick started and really started to melt off the pounds.
Even the moderate exercise that I do, my quick 20, 30 minute workout, I would have started them a lot sooner, those are the only things I’d do different.”
By the way, if you stumble in your efforts to get healthy, just get back up.
What happened yesterday, doesn’t matter. Just get back on track and keep moving forward.