How to start exercising… and keep doing it

Have you ever thought about starting exercising? Have you already quit sports a few times? Then this article will probably help you be consistent in your workout routine. Exercising comes with health benefits:

“Although dietary changes will take you a long way to being completely healthy, you’ll need some exercise to improve your fitness and sense of well-being. Something as simple as a daily walk can do wonders. Exercise helps you maintain a normal appetite, gives you energy, helps you sleep, improves circulation, digestion, blood pressure, blood sugar, and triglyceride levels… the list goes on. Changing your diet will help improve your health immensely, but a little exercise can take it to the next level.” Dr John A, McDougall


Now, let’s see which issues could be stopping you:

• Hate sweating?
• Hate having painful muscles?
• Have a history of knee injuries?
• Not enough free time?
• Not enough money for equipment and protein shakes?
• No energy?
• Very little motivation?
• Get discouraged by your shape vs fit people?
• Get discouraged by your low fitness level?
• Forget to exercise?
• Hate the gym’s atmosphere?
• Don’t know anyone to train with?
• Want effortless muscles?
• Want effortless body fat loss?
• Don’t know where to start?

I think my tips will be useful to you as I have been training consistently 4-7 times a week for 8 years now. I will address each of the aforementioned issues below.

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❒ Hate sweating?
People get health benefits from physical exercise only if they workout hard enough to sweat, according to studies. Sweating is actually good for you. Furthermore, wearing comfortable and aerated sports clothing will make your exercising experience better. If you are still not happy with sweat on your skin, think of it as a temporary thing. After your post-workout shower, you’ll be clean again.

❒ Hate having painful muscles?
Sore muscles can be caused by extremely hard workouts, dehydration or mineral imbalance. You do not have to be in extreme pain to make your workout efficient. Doing hard efforts is good for improving performance, but it may lead to injuries if you do it wrong. Don’t train super hard more than twice a week. Easy training sessions help for recovery, as it helps the lactic acid buildup get out of your sore muscles. Make sure you drink enough water before, during and after your workouts. Our bodies are less efficient when they are dehydrated. Dehydration can also lead to severe health problems. Lastly, avoid taking supplements of isolated minerals (e.g. iron), because it could lead to a detrimental mineral imbalance. Stretching and massages will help your muscles relax.

❒ Have a history of knee injuries?
Knee injuries are mainly caused by excessive practice of high-impact sports like soccer and running. The solution is to spend less time on high-impact sports or to pick a low-impact sport like swimming, cycling, rowing, kayaking, canoeing, tai chi, rollerblading, hiking or water aerobics. An inflammatory diet and bad postures can also cause joint pain.


❒ Not enough free time?
Everyone has at least 20-60 minutes of free time every day. You can free up time in your weekly schedule by dropping some of the following activities: pointless tasks, boring meetings, scrolling on your digital screen like a zombie, wiping dry your dishes (air-drying is great), shopping for more clothes, long meal preparation (healthy meals are made quickly), etc. If you still think you can’t find free time for exercising, then consider riding a bicycle, running or walking as a means of transport instead of using a car or a motorbike. If that last tip doesn’t work for you, then it seems that getting in shape is the lowest priority at the moment. Only you can decide to change how you prioritize your daily activities.

❒ Not enough money for equipment and protein shakes?
This is a common misconception fed by protein shake sellers. Protein is actually so easy to get in any whole food that it is not a factor in the choice of a diet. Even fruit and white rice have enough protein. Excess animal protein is bad for your health, as it exhausts the kidneys and creates inflammation in the body. What about male bodybuilders? Buying protein supplements is still a waste of money. Famous bodybuilders with impressive muscles will never tell you which juice they are on, they’d rather tell that their secret lies in the protein powders they sell.


❒ No energy?
Time to eat enough and right. Time to hydrate properly too. Also consider quitting drinking coffee and tea, as they decrease your iron assimilation and drag you deeper and deeper into a pithole of low energy. Also, low reserves of glycogen (carbohydrates stored in muscles) equals low energy, low libido, little motivation and low attention. Listen to your body when it comes to carbs. Nobody ever thrived on a low-carb diet long-term.

❒ Very little motivation?
In order to have body results and health benefits from exercising, you need to have a consistent routine. And this requires motivation. Consider training in a group or download a fitness app/sports social media like Strava. Positive social interaction improves motivation. If it still does not work for you, then you may be doing the wrong sport. It is paramount to enjoy your workout. Being bored takes away motivation. Making your training fun will definitely improve your motivation. Try to make a game out of your training session, or try other sports until you find something you enjoy.


❒ Get discouraged by your shape vs fit people?
If comparing yourself with super fit people is an issue, then stop watching them and stop being too harsh on yourself. All you have to care about is becoming a better version of yourself. Getting fit takes times. Start small. Have reasonable goals.

❒ Get discouraged by your low fitness level?
If you never start exercising, then you will always stay the way you are now, or even worse. If you are genuinely willing to look after yourself, then you will make a life-changing decision now. If you have never exercised, then you’ll have to start from the bottom. If you’re doing things in a sustainable way, then it will work. If you never get the result you desire, it is time to try a different strategy (diet, sport, rest…). You have to accept to start small and have gradual improvements with time.

❒ Forget to exercise?
Forgetting things could be due to a high-stress lifestyle, lack of sleep, alcohol consumption and too busy timetables. You can work on improving these issues for your own good and then, it’s time to set reminders on your computer or your phone. Once you organize your schedule better, you will get more things done.

❒ Hate the gym’s atmosphere?
You don’t have to train in a gym. You can do it at home or do outdoors training if your environment allows it. If you really want it, you will make it happen. If there is nature close to your place, then you could enjoy the nice clean air and landscape to train in.


❒ Don’t know anyone to train with?
You could be a fitness inspiration for your existing friends down the road. Meanwhile, you can find a group by joining sports clubs or download a fitness app/sports social media like Strava to have more stimulating social interaction. Eventually some people you interact with will become your friends.

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❒ Want effortless muscles?
Only silicon implants will do the job then. But they will not make you strong nor healthy. Little effort and steroids could lead to muscles. I do not recommend any of these options. You don’t have to suffer to be in shape. Doing things right will make it easier for you.

❒ Want effortless body fat loss?
Exercise is a minor factor while diet is the main factor for a low body fat percentage. Restriction works in the short-term only. A healthy diet will give you lasting results. I will tackle the diet topic in later articles.

❒ Don’t know where to start?
Find your sport, start training modestly at least once a week, listen to your body and make it fun.

Let me know if these tips work for you or if you have additional tips for a sustainable and efficient exercising routine.


Update of day 5 – What I ate during my raw vegan challenge

As announced on this video, I started a fruitarian 30-day challenge. I stopped it on day five because I love my starches too, as explained in this video.

Here are the calorie detail from Cronometer:

Sugar is not the bad guy

In this article, I’m going to address several scientific notions around sugar.

Chemical composition of sugar

What we call table sugar or refined sugar is sucrose/saccharose. It has a sweet and nice flavor. Sugar is extracted from some plants, mainly from sugar cane and sugar beet, and also from sugar maple, date palm, pineapple and other plants. Sugar is a disaccharide composed of glucose and fructose.

What is the difference between white sugar and brown sugar?

The whiteness is not related to the plant, it is due to the product quality. The whiter the sugar, the purer it is. The darker the sugar, the more coloring matter (caramels) and traces of mineral salts and vitamins it contains, hence the common an incorrect idea that it is more natural and healthier. Indeed this mineral salts and vitamins are present in insignificant amounts for the human body. The near absence of micronutrients in sugar is not an issue, and nobody eats only sugar in a day. The other foods that we eat provide us with the minerals and vitamins we need.

Is sugar acidic?

It is often said that refined sugar is acidic in alternative groups. Is it true? There is a scientific criterion that determines the potential renal acid-base load of foods on the human kidneys, this is called the PRAL index. It has been determined that sugar is neutral.[1]

Is sugar a drug?

Dr. Hisham Ziauddeen says that the rodent studies had been misunderstood by the authors. A data review of the matter he co-authored in 2016 did not support the idea that sugar was addictive to humans.[2] The rodents had access to sugar for only 2 hours every day, they were hungry, that’s why they showed addiction-like behavior. If you allowed them to have it to whenever they want which is really how we consume it, they don’t show this addiction-like behavior. Ziauddeen adds that it was not surprising that even rats hooked on cocaine might prefer sugar, pointing out that many animals would naturally look for sweet things not cocaine. Dr. Tom Sanders said that it was absurd to suggest as sugar is addictive like hard drugs, sugar is not addictive like opiates or cocaine. Individuals do not get withdrawal symptoms when they cut sugar intake. Dr. James Dinicolantonio said that sugar consumption in humans did not lead to physical withdrawal. Sweetness actually helps us to recognize foods rich in vitamin C.

“The human body cannot do anything with refined sugar”

After digestion, all sorts of carbohydrates that we eat are either stored as glycogen at different locations first and foremost or oxidized. As a last resort if all reserves are full, they are transformed into triglycerides in the liver and stored in the adipose tissue but at a very high energy cost.

Some people believe that a human body cannot do anything with refined sugar but science says otherwise. All the cells in the human body are able to use glucose to produce an energy intermediate – the molecule ATP – which is used in many cellular processes.

Nerve cells, including our brain, absolutely require sugar to function. Sugar does not feed cancer, all cells actually need sugar. How do cancer cells fuel their growth? Scientists found that amino acids, not sugar, supply most building blocks for tumor cells.[i]

The sugar free trend

All of us have heard testimonies of people who claim that they have felt health benefits after adequate refined sugar. In actual fact, these people stopped eating industrial foods that contain sugar however industrial foods can also contain all sorts of ingredients like salt, milk, eggs, flour, oil, cacao and preservatives. These people have felt health benefits from quitting pastries and various kinds of desserts which are far too fatty. They shop less at the supermarket and shop more at the farmer’s market. They eat more fresh and fruit vegetable, which is healthier.

Glycemic index

Glycemic index has to be taken into consideration only by people who have quite a fatty diet. A high glycemic index is good for people who have a low fat diet, as it implies a good energy intake.

Insulin resistance

The more fat you eat, the higher the blood sugar spike and insulin resistance.[3] Fatty meals cause a fat layer in blood, which does allow the sugar to reach the cells for 12 to 48 hours depending on the fat type, saturated fat being the worst type.

The fear of carbohydrates

Many people fear carbohydrates in general and the refined sugar in particular. But a high-carb diet does not cause diabetes, it actually increases insulin sensitivity.[4] Even pure sugar increases insulin sensitivity. And a diet made of 85% of simple sugars improves the condition of diabetics.[5] Animal protein, animal fats and vegetable oil decrease insulin insensitivity.[6] Dr. John McDougall has written many articles about that on his website supported by scientific studies. Dr. Neal Barnard even has a high-carb low-fat dietary program that reverses type-2 diabetes.[7]

What about fat gain?

Any excess of dietary fats will be stored as body fat without any chemical transformation. Any carbohydrate excess is many burned by our body to generate heat, this process is called thermogenesis. The human body is very inefficient in transforming carbohydrates to body fat.[8]


Triglycerides are the main constituent of animal fats and vegetable oils. Ironically, people who warned you about triglycerides production so-called due to carbohydrate meals tend to eat fatty foods such as animal products and oils. It is true that adding refined sugar slightly increases triglyceride levels. But… here is the amazing thing:

“Triglyceride levels are relatively high in certain third-world societies which are virtually immune to coronary disease so long as they persist in their traditional very low-fat diets; in Ornish’s celebrated study a moderate rise in triglycerides coincided with a marked reduction in coronary events.”[9] In other words, if your diet is very rich in carbohydrates and low in fat, you can add sugar without issue.


In order to avoid cavities when you eat refined sugar, all you need to do is stay hydrated. Do not eat unripe citrus if you intend to maintain your tooth enamel. Rinse your teeth immediately after eating or drinking anything acidic. A diet that includes inflammatory foods like animal products increases the risk of cavities regardless of the food you eat. It is safer to have proper dental hygiene by flossing and brushing your teeth every day.

Caloric density

  • 1 gram of fat = 9 calories
  • 1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories
  • 1 gram of protein = 4 calories

Therefore sugar less than half as calorically dense as fat.

Fake sugars

Fake sugars are low-calorie sweeteners that have a sweet taste but they provide little or no carbohydrates or energy to the body. Fake sugars cause symptoms ranging from headaches and migraines to weight gain and health conditions as severe as cardiovascular disease.

My experience with sugar[10]

For one month, I did the experiment to add 500 grams of sugar per day to my usual high-carb low-fat diet 80/10/10. I did that during my rest days and my active days. Despite a 2,000 calorie surplus each day, I did not gain any weight and my blood test results were normal. When I stopped using sugar at the end of the experiment, I felt no withdrawal symptoms whatsoever. My mood and my energy levels were stable before and after. I’ve had no cavities because I stayed hydrated.


If you exercise consistently or have a low-fat diet, then you can also add some refined sugar to your diet. Simple sugars help for performance and long distances among others. I eat sugar several times a week and I’m fine. Refined sugar does not contain any trace of toxic substance sugar is composed of pure sucrose only. In short, carbohydrates are an excellent energy source for your brain, muscles and various bodily processes. Of course, don’t force yourself to eat 1-2kg of sugar every day!

Why is there so much hype against sugar? Probably to turn your attention from foods that are commonly consumed, carcinogenic and sold by a very powerful lobbies.

Scientific sources:

[1] Remer T, Dimitriou T, Manz F. Dietary potential renal acid load and renal net acid excretion in healthy, free-living children and adolescents. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 May;77(5):1255-60.

[2] Westwater, Fletcher, Ziauddeen. Sugar addiction: the state of the science. Eur J Nutr. 2016 Nov;55(Suppl 2):55-69. doi: 10.1007/s00394-016-1229-6. Epub 2016 Jul 2.

[3] J Shirley Sweeney. Dietary factors that influence the dextrose tolerance test. A preliminary study. JAMA Int Med, Dec, 1927, Vol 40, No. 6.

[4] Komiyama N, Kaneko T, Sato A, Sato W, Asami K, Onaya T, Tawata M. The effect of high carbohydrate diet on glucose tolerance in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2002 Sep;57(3):163-70.

Sargrad KR, Homko C, Mozzoli M, Boden G. Effect of high protein vs high carbohydrate intake on insulin sensitivity, body weight, hemoglobin A1c, and blood pressure in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. J Am Diet Assoc. 2005 Apr;105(4):573-80.

Bessesen DH. The role of carbohydrates in insulin resistance. J Nutr. 2001 Oct;131(10):2782S-2786S.

[5] Brunzell JD, Lerner RL, Hazzard WR, Porte D Jr, Bierman EL. Improved glucose tolerance with high carbohydrate feeding in mild diabetes. N Engl J Med. 1971 Mar 11;284(10):521-4.

[6] Galgani JE, Uauy RD, Aguirre CA, Díaz EO. Effect of the dietary fat quality on insulin sensitivity. Br J Nutr. 2008 Sep;100(3):471-9.

Tovar AR, Torres N. The role of dietary protein on lipotoxicity. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Oct 1.

[7] A low-fat vegan diet improves glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in a randomized clinical trial in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Barnard ND, Cohen J, Jenkins DJ, Turner-McGrievy G, Gloede L, Jaster B, Seidl K, Green AA, Talpers S. Diabetes Care. 2006 Aug; 29(8):1777-83.

[8] Hellerstein MK. De novo lipogenesis in humans: metabolic and regulatory aspects. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1999 Apr;53 Suppl 1:S53-65.

Acheson KJ, Schutz Y, Bessard T, Anantharaman K, Flatt JP, Jequier E. Glycogen storage capacity and de novo lipogenesis during massive carbohydrate overfeeding in man. Am J Clin Nutr. 1988 Aug;48(2):240-7.

Minehira K, Bettschart V, Vidal H, Vega N, Di Vetta V, Rey V, Schneiter P, Tappy L. Effect of carbohydrate overfeeding on whole body and adipose tissue metabolism in humans Obes Res. 2003 Sep;11(9):1096-103.

McDevitt RM, Bott SJ, Harding M, Coward WA, Bluck LJ, Prentice AM. De novo lipogenesis during controlled overfeeding with sucrose or glucose in lean and obese women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Dec;74(6):737-46

[9] McCarty MF1. An elevation of triglycerides reflecting decreased triglyceride clearance may not be pathogenic — relevance to high-carbohydrate diets. Med Hypotheses. 2004;63(6):1065-73.

[10] I show my sugar experiments in two video series (incl. calorie data):

1 lb sugar for 1 month “Climbing Sugar Mountain”

Unlimited Sugar

[i] Amino Acids Rather than Glucose Account for the Majority of Cell Mass in Proliferating Mammalian Cells. Aaron M. Hosios, Vivian C. Hecht, Laura V. Danai, Marc O. Johnson, Jeffrey C. Rathmell, Matthew L. Steinhauser, Scott R. Manalis, Matthew G. Vander Heiden. Developmental CellVolume 36, Issue 5, 7 March 2016, Pages 540-549.

The same explanation in my video about sugar:

First blog post

This is the post excerpt.

Welcome on my new website Sugar Made Me Lean. First of all, I have to tell you that you can achieve what I achieved too, all you need is the right information and some motivation. I hope you’ll enjoy my future articles, my existing eBook and my upcoming meal plan. Meanwhile, you can follow my blog and check my other social media. Let me know if you have article requests in the following subjects: diet, fitness, relationships, wellbeing, self-development and minimalism. Please let me know how you have discovered me too.