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Here Are 5 Daily Habits To Help You Lose Your Next 10 Pounds & Double Your Energy (Without Willpower and Discipline)

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The 7 Simple Habits Of The Jack Lalanne Diet To Be Ridiculously Healthy And Fit Over 40

Jack Lalanne diet and exercise routine

Jack Lalanne at age 71(!)

JackJack Lalanne performed some insane fitness feats even into his 70’s, but (in my opinion) the best was that he lived a long, healthy,  happy, successful life.

What if you didn’t have to get weaker and stiffer as you got older?

What if you actually got better?

What if you became healthier, fitter, stronger, even as you continued to age?

Well Jack Lalanne did just that.

Here are seven of Jack Lalanne’s biggest daily habits – but first, look at the insane levels of fitness & wellness Jack had, even over 40.

Some of the insane things Jack Lalanne Did in His Life (Past The Age of 40)

Jack Lalanne diet and exercise routine

Based on his Wikipedia entry, check out some of these feats:

    • At age 40 – swam the entire 8,981-foot (1.7 miles) length of the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco (under water) with 140 lb of air tanks and other equipment strapped to his body – which became a world record.
    • At age 41 – swam from Alcatraz island to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco while handcuffed. When interviewed afterwards he was quoted as saying that the worst thing about the ordeal was being handcuffed, which significantly reduced his chance to do a jumping jack (crazy!)
    • At age 42 – set a world record of 1,033 push-ups in 23 minutes on a television show called You Asked For It
    • At age 70 (!) – handcuffed, shackled, he towed 70 rowboats, one with several guests, from the Queen’s Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary – 1 mile.

Let’s be honest… not many people are setting world records in fitness after 40, or after 70.

And that’s impressive and all – but what I’m most amazed about was the quality of jack’s life – the levels of his wellness until he died in his late 90’s.

Here are a few of those habits and principles.

#1 – If Man Made it, DON’T Eat It

A big tenet that Jack preached was the following:

“If man made it, don’t eat it.”

It’s ironic and funny just how true this little saying actually is.

Jack was fond of typically only eating food he cooked or food whose ingredients he was familiar with. He famously would go out to the same restaurants with his wife and be explicit to the waiter and chef about what to make – no added butter, salt, etc. He was meticulous regarding what he put in his body.

(Note: you can still be healthy while eating out! He said they eat out almost every night).

This is something we’ve talked about before – the easiest, biggest win a person can make for their health is not in eating less – but in eating more of the right stuff. And the right stuff means getting rid of confusing processed foods, getting rid of liquid calories that are usually junk, and figuring out your own approach to carbs.

The biggest rule for him was avoiding anything man-made, which includes boxed stuff that typically has loads of preservatives & added sodium, but also tends to be low on the satiety index - so you can eat more, without feeling as full.

If you haven’t seen the “real food” home experiment I did, make sure to check it out here to see just how powerful eating actual food can be, versus anything boxed.

#2 – The Body Doesn’t Grow Old From Overuse – It Grows Old From Lack of Use

Another concept that Jack preached was that we don’t get old, frail and weak from using our body improperly or using it too much – but overwhelmingly because we don’t use it enough.

Chiropractors and personal trainers know this very well – sure there are people that have back pain or knee pain from overuse (e.g. trying that P90x routine when you haven’t worked out in the past 5 years), but overwhelmingly, lack of use is the bigger problem when it comes to chronic pain, stiffness, and premature aging.

Lack of use can lead to stiffness, lack of flexibility, muscular imbalances, and more. And ultimately, these lead us down the road to pain.

And for the weekend warriors among use, who are rocking out at their desks & computers 40-60 hours a week, and then trying to aggressively do some kind of sport on the weekend, injury is usually guaranteed. Jack worked out two hours a day, every day, even on vacation.

#3 Eat Primarily Meats & Veggies

He also emphasized a mostly meat and vegetable diet throughout his life, and typically ate meat at each meal with eggs, and then plenty of fruits in the morning and then vegetables at night.

At one point, he was vegetarian for six years, but eventually found himself in a soft middle ground between being a meat eater and a vegetarian.

When he spoke on TV, here was the “meal plan” he typically recommended:

“He recommended the following meal plan; Breakfast: fruit, eggs and/or meat, and whole wheat toast . Lunch: Big salad, and meat/fish. Dinner: Big salad, two vegetables, meat/fowl, and fruit.”

Similarly, what I recommend here when it comes to real food (like in the awesome real food experiment I did here), is making high protein and veggies the emphasis of your meals, and then adjusting the carb ratios based on your lifestyle, activities, goals, and how awesome you are.

#4 The Power of Daily Habits

Jack would start his routine at 4 am – and then workout for two hours, typically doing an hour of weights, and an hour of swimming in his pool. He did this because he said it made it hard for him to have excuses later in the day – something we talk about a lot here.

He also had the habit of having 10 raw vegetables per day and 5-6 pieces of fruit.

Key nutritional habits included:

  • Two meals a day
  • Emphasizing protein & veggies at each meal
  • When they would eat out for dinner (daily), he made himself a regular at certain spots so they knew how to adjust food for him – no butter, brown rice instead of white, etc.

In other words he knew that without a doubt, the best way to actually get anything done for your health was to anchor it in as a habit, do it at the same time each day, and set up routines (including if you eat out) that made it easy to be successful without relying on discipline.

#5 “Sugar Is Worse Than Smoking”

“There’s nothing more addictive on this earth than sugar. Not heroin, booze, whatever. It’s much worse than smoking.”

When he was young, he was a massive sugarholic which he blamed many of his health conditions on, including his childhood rage (involving setting his house on fire).

“As a kid,” he flatly states, “I was a sugarholic and a junk food junkie! It made me weak and it made me mean. It made me so sick I had boils, pimples and suffered from nearsightedness. Little girls used to beat me up. My mom prayed… the Church prayed.” (Video)

We’ve talked endlessly about how sugar disrupts your body’s satiety hormones, how it’s almost as addictive as cocaine in rats, and how it’s pretty much the worst thing we can eat (but it tastes oh soooo good).

It wasn’t until a talk at age 15 by nutritionist Paul Bragg that he decided to change and do something different.

#6 Dying is Easy – Truly Living Can be a Pain in the Butt

Something he once said that I 100% agree with was the following:

“Dying is easy. Living is a pain in the butt. It’s like an athletic event. You’ve got to train for it. You’ve got to eat right. You’ve got to exercise. Your health account, your bank account, they’re the same thing. The more you put in, the more you can take out. Exercise is king and nutrition is queen: together, you have a kingdom.”

I loved this. I spend so much time talking here about how at the end of the day, we just want a damn good life – and that includes looking and feeling awesome, because those are sometimes significant barriers to living the life we want.

One thing that amazed me about Jack was that as he got older, he frequently got better- including physically! Some of his most amazing physical feats that he performed were when he was 40, 50, or even 70.

And it all comes back to that one big lesson: Life never ends. And as long as we’re alive, we have to be constantly improving. We have to be constantly growing – and growth is often where we feel like life is fulfilling.

When we talk about why being healthy and losing weight is so hard, it’s really because it’s all a process – it doesn’t end. If we view it as a phase like “getting healthy for the beach” we’re never going to continue with the habits, discipline, and consistency needed to really make it happen in our own lives.

It’s just like a quote I heard recently, “Life is easy. Living is hard. Really, truly living is hard. Having a dream and going after it day after day despite setbacks and failures is hard. Coasting by and just existing is easy.”

Are you coasting or growing?

#7 A Few Nutritional Principles: No Dairy, No Coffee, 10 Raw Vegetables and 5 Fruits a Day

When asked about dairy, Jack once responded:

“It’s not good for you. It’s good for a suckling calf. Are you a suckling calf?”

This is was hilarious, so I had to post it anyway :-) I’m on the fence about dairy, for example this study showed that if they had to give foods a score based on whether the long term consumption was linked to weight gain, weight loss, or weight “neutrality” – dairy tends to fall in the neutral or positive space.

Meaning it wasn’t really strongly associated with weight gain over the long run, or was slightly associated with weight loss. So I wouldn’t necessarily be afraid of it unless you’ve got a chronic condition that won’t heal.

Personally, I avoid dairy because I have a history of G.I. problems (“IBS”), and you wouldn’t want to be in the same room with me if I drank a cup of milk. Simple as that…

What key habits would you add?

What I love about Jack was not only the phenomenal shape he was in even as he aged (walking his talk seven days a week), but also the quality of his life – eventually dying of a peaceful, natural death in his late 90s.

And at the end of the day, it all comes down to choice, small decisions, and the habits we choose to cultivate or ignore.

What are your thoughts?

Make sure to take a second and tell me below.

– Alex

Have You Read My New Book Yet?

  Read more about this in my book Master The Day. You’ll learn the nine daily success habits I learned interviewing people that lost 100+ pounds and kept it off in a healthy way – by changing their habits. Plus, you’ll get a free $100 bonus video course if you show me your receipt. You can get the audiobook here too.

27 comments… add one

  1. I must tell you that I enjoy reading your e-mails SO much. They are always very interesting– fascinating, actually!– and informative. Thank you so much for these !!!!

    1. Haha, glad they helped Adriana :-) let me know what else you’re looking for!

      1. Hi. I have the same diet and workout program and have lost 140 pounds. from 305 down to 165. feel like a million bucks! LaLanne was Awesome!

        1. Awesome Wayde! Would you mind sharing a bit more about your story? I’d love to share it with the readers here.

  2. It is great to keep getting emails from you to help remind me to stay on course and refocus what my goals are. I don’t typically subscribe to websites. Except yours and I am so glad I did. The real, no gimmicks information you provide is fantastic. Whenever my friends talk about diets, health etc, I send them your way.

    1. You rock Stephanie :-) thank you!

  3. i love hear jack lalane stories. my mother used to do his exercise show, therefore so did i, i was about five.
    i swim about 3 times a week but it is haphazzard, no plan, no set time, no good. you remind me the inportance of timely habits. i will make a swim schedule and stick to it.
    also what do you mean about dairy not being good if you are fighting a condition? does it cause inflamation? does tha include greek yogurt?

    1. Me too Marilou!

      And re: dairy. I was mostly referring to any G.I. conditions- as it’s good to remove all known allergens if you aren’t quite sure what’s going on.

  4. Wonderful message
    How focussed you are towards total health…for ALL
    Thank you

    1. You’re welcome SudSri :-)

  5. you know being happy with yourself also contributes to good health…..i like the article :) After 20 years i wonder what new health discoveries would be out and the ones i think are right may turn out to be wrong when i will be older. I just wonder why can’t we know the right thing…..but its so hard to know it.Life is so ambiguous.

  6. Great post! He def was an inspiration! I like when people have simple rules for staying healthy.. I always like to see how people who know how to train/take care of their body live life, make choices and eat! Sometimes it is just such the hardest thing to stay on track!

    1. You’re right Holly :-) It’s usually simple principles done daily, but staying consistent is tough!

  7. Thanks :-)
    I just came across Jack Lalanne, and googled him. Your article is really enlightening AND funny :-)
    In these times of “diets” there is only one that will work long term: Change your habits. Thanks for making it clear.
    As Jack said: Dying is easy – Living is hard.

    1. Glad you liked it Ejvind :-)

  8. Awesome article.I feel so motivated to keep moving and eating right

    1. :-) Keep it up Cindy!

  9. Another good habit:

    Spend time in nature daily to connect with that which is greater than yourself.

    1. I love it Josh!

  10. I have religiously been working out for 27 years. I am 53, and in the best shape of my life. I have so enjoyed reading this, as a lifestyle like this can lose a lot of friends due to fun being associated with food. I eat fish and veggies and fruit with minimal carbs. I have just started to rediscover Jack Lalanne’s mantras, and have lived them all myself. No holidays, no excuses. Love it. Thank you for posting this and reinforcing what I felt in my whole being from the beginning. I put myself on the list. As I get older, it gets harder and more important to keep going. Thank you again.

    1. Pam, love to hear about your discipline and persistence over the years! Extremely inspiring.

  11. Everything in this article is true for today, everyday and everyone!

    1. Hey Denise,

      Glad you liked it :-)

  12. Love it! I grew up with Jack on tv from as far back as I can remember. My Mom put it on & even at a very young age she & I would workout with Jack everyday he was on tv.
    I know he didnt recommend dairy, so how did he get his calcium as he didnt seem to have an issue with it as he got older? Also do you know what or if he had any special recommendation for bone building for women? Thanks!

    1. Hi Jeanne, I think his biggest one was just weight lifting, which is extra useful in women over 40. Personally, I never have really eating dairy very much my entire life, and my calcium has never been an issue. Dark leafy greens have high levels of it too.

      1. Total truth Alex! The problem in the U.S. is we consume TOO MUCH calcium. We need to consume more magnesium such as is found in wheat bread, nuts,. fish, and leafy greens, so our bodies can utilize the calcium we consume. People in Asia consume less then 1/3 the calcium we do, yet they have no issues with osteoporosis, like the soaring levels in our country! You know why? Because they, unlike us, consume diets with high levels of magnesium, thereby utilizing the small amounts of calcium they do consume. We need to educate ourselves, because too many people gain from our unhealthy lifestyles in this the U.S.A. The pharmaceutical companies are spoon feeding the gov’t, and keep in mind healthy people stick up for themselves! Happy Eating!!

  13. I loved Jack, along with his mentor, Paul Bragg! One of my favorite lines that they both used was, “If man made it, don’t eat it!”
    And with the fear of sounding cliché, “you are what you eat!!” What we put in our bodies will be guaranteed to have an effect. We have the power to choose health or death. When we eat healthy we have the energy to stay on track in every area of our life. Let us not give our hard earned dollars to the pharmaceutical companies who so lucratively gain from our poor food choices. And may we remember, healthy people equal happy people. God bless you Alex.


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