You’ll remember when I first introduced Teddy he was frustrated that he was working out but not losing weight.

“Sure,” Teddy reported, “I feel much stronger and much more physically capable. But, the persistent 215 lbs on the scale has been frustrating. It just doesn’t seem to budge even though I’m working out 2-3 times per week, consistently. What do you think, Paul? What should I do?”

The primary principle in play here is that none of us can out-train poor nutrition. Losing weight, more specifically, burning off fat, is about 70-80% nutrition.

The other principle that influences Teddy’s results, is that very few of us can or will train with enough intensity, volume, and consistency to really lose much weight. We must address our nutrition too.

At the time that Teddy began training with me online, back in early 2018 he opted out of our Nutrition Coaching, asserting, “I already know what I’m supposed to eat. I just need to work out consistently.”

When we created his program, we scheduled Teddy for three workouts per week. Because our MidStrong app tracks everything our online members do and don’t do, I have perfect visibility to what their actual results are. The same is true for our local members, through our member management portal, Triib.

Take a guess at how often Teddy was actually training on an average week…

For the 36 weeks that he trained with me in 2018 he averaged 1.8 workouts per week. So, how can we explain the discrepancy between his intentions and his actual results?

Life. It’s busy. It’s complicated. It can be a real SOB at times.

And, we delude ourselves. We give ourselves the benefit of our intentions. If we schedule three workouts a week, the mere act of putting that workout on the calendar gives us some measure of accomplishment that we leverage to fool ourselves into thinking we’re doing more than we are.

Interestingly, our numbers for our local MidStrong members mirror this. Our average local member trains 1.6 times per week, across our full membership when averaged over a year.

Once I was able to show him the data Teddy put it best, “Soooo, two workouts a week just ain’t gonna get it done!”

Thankfully, Ted is a thoughtful guy with the charming self-deprecating nature that’s common down South. As a coach, he’s a dream client. He gets it.

He came to his own conclusion that he needed to do something about his nutrition even though he initially felt that, “I already know what I’m supposed to eat.” Since he added Nutrition Coaching into his programming, he’s down 12 lbs and on a trajectory to exceed his goal.

When I started relating Teddy’s story I mentioned that Julie and I have had this conversation with some person or another no fewer than 243,762 times over the past six years.

Why is it so hard to lose weight in midlife? And what is the secret to keeping it off?

Honestly, there aren’t many secrets. Like Teddy, most of us already know the basics, like we need to eat more veggies and cut back on sugars. But, why doesn’t that knowledge translate to action and then success?

Well, that is what our Small Group Nutrition Coaching is all about.

Julie has set up the 8-week program to follow an incremental and logical process. It looks something like this:

Week 1 – Strong Start!

  • Initial Assessment
  • Introduce the basics
  • Calculate Energy Balance number
  • Create Daily/Weekly roadmap to lose 1-2 pounds per week

Week 2 – Food and Nutrition

  • How to control calorie intake without actually counting calories
  • Simple strategies for meal planning and preparation
  • How to create meal templates that make healthy eating a breeze

Week 3 – What is the best diet?

  • The closely held “secret” of what diet will work best
  • What do all diets have in common?
  • How do we discover and implement the “best diet”?

Week 4 – 3 Steps to fixing a “Broken Diet”

  • Identify and remove nutritional deficiencies
  • Adjust food type and food amount
  • The devil is in the details

Week 5 – Movement and Exercise

  • No matter where you start, the more you move the better your body will function
  • How much is enough?
  • Finding balance – a matter of priorities

Week 6 – Sleep and Stress Management

  • Why sleep is so important, and how to get more of it
  • Engineering a high quality, restful night
  • Good Stress, bad stress:  How find your sweet spot

Week 7 – Your Mindset for Success

  • How to transform “bad” fitness goals into “good” ones
  • The key factor that plays a central role in making or breaking our ability to change
  • It’s not willpower, it’s your environment

Week 8 – The Pause Button Mentality

  • The pause-button mentality only builds the skill of pausing
  • Learn to adjust the dial in Fitness, Nutrition, and Overall Wellness
  • Overcoming the All or Nothing thinking

We’ve received encouraging feedback since we introduced the program a couple days ago. There are only 3 spots remaining and at least a dozen members and friends have inquired about the program. If you’ve been considering doing this, I really encourage you to act soon. This program will sell out. Sure, we’ll have a waiting list, but who’s ever wanted to be on one of those???

You can reach Julie with your questions at

Paul Reilly

Paul is the Owner and Founder of MidStrong. He created MidStrong in 2017 to train men and women in midlife who are busy with work and family to build muscle and burn fat so they can look and feel better than they did in their 20’s. MidStrong is making Functional Fitness training safe and fun, and inclusive. He and his wife, Julie also own and operate MidStrong locally, their bricks and mortar business, previously called ACCELERATED Strength & Balance. It is a boutique fitness center specializing in training folks in and around Westborough through the challenges of midlife for more than five years.