to get in shape quickly

How to Get in Shape Quickly and Safely: 4-Step Beginner Guide

This step-by-step strategy guide will tell you everything you need to do to lose weight and get healthy starting today.

I know you have lots of questions, and I promise I’ll answer every single one of them (yes, even that one).

These are the exact strategies we tailor to each 1-on-1 Online Coaching Clients, and I’m personal trainer Toronto excited to share them with you today.

In this guide we’ll discuss:

  • Step #1: WHY you want to get in shape (Inspiration)
  • Step #2: HOW to eat (Nutrition)
  • Step #3: WHAT to do for exercise (Move!)
  • Step #4: WHO belongs on your Squad (Support)
  • Real Talk: How quickly can I get in shape? (The Truth)

You can read our overall philosophy below (which has helped hundreds of thousands of people), and help you get started today!

Step 1: WHY Do You Want to Get In Shape? (Inspiration)

Let’s begin at the starting line: WHY have you found your way to this guide?

Are you aiming to get in shape to:

  • Re-enter the dating scene?
  • Triumph in a weight loss challenge at your workplace?
  • Engage in activities with your recently born son?
  • Grow old gracefully with your partner?
  • Prove wrong all those who doubted your capabilities?
  • Simply feel more confident in your own skin?

Have a solid motivation, my friend!

Jot it down, display it prominently in your room, engrave it in your thoughts, or write it on a piece of paper and tape it to your forehead.

However you choose to do it, ensure that this reason for seeking a better life stays in the forefront of your mind.

In our 1-on-1 Coaching Program, we call this “Your Big Why.”

This purpose will keep you moving forward during challenging times—be it bad weather, fatigue, or a rough day at work when you’re tempted to indulge in binge-watching The Office and ordering takeout.

Aside from having a compelling reason, many individuals find motivation in reading success stories of people similar to them.

Fortunately for you, we have an abundance of such stories at Nerd Fitness, with many more to be shared. These are genuine individuals who share a love for video games, books, and work desk jobs (click on each to delve into their complete story):


Mary found her perfect workout.


Jeniffer followed the paleo diet.


The doctor who prioritized health


Lesly started rocking pull-ups after training

Perhaps success stories don’t resonate with you, and that’s perfectly understandable.

Maybe you find inspiration in slightly nerdier avenues, like articles based on your favorite narratives:

  • Indiana Jones
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Hunger Games
  • Assassin’s Creed
  • Star Wars
  • The Matrix

Or perhaps you’re a fan of videos!

If so, these videos might motivate you to overcome obstacles.

Here’s a video that emphasizes, ‘When your desire for success is as strong as your need to breathe, that’s when you’ll achieve success.’

Some advice from the Terminator might also ignite your motivation:

You might find yourself deeply inspired by this one, even to tears:

This article aims to fuel your desire to begin strength training today.

Why emphasize inspiration and motivation?

Because achieving a fit physique is never a stroll in the park.

The initial week, when enthusiasm is at its peak, is enjoyable.

It’s the days with lousy weather, busy work schedules, or low motivation when you DON’T feel like working out that truly test if you’ll attain your fitness goals.


You can start building the habit of exercise

Unless you can summon the discipline to persevere through those challenging days, surrendering at the slightest hurdle becomes increasingly tempting.

And the fundamental principle is ‘consistent dedication.’

In simpler terms, it means not skipping a workout and sticking to a steady, healthy diet.

Step 2: How to Eat (Nutrition)

The right diet is a surefire way to success

If you want to get in shape quickly, start making slightly better food choices!

80% of your success when it comes to getting healthy will depend on your diet – unless you are running marathons on a daily basis, you cannot outrun your fork, and you can’t out-train a bad diet.

If you’re not losing weight, it’s because you’re eating too many calories!

So, if you can work on making SLIGHTLY better food choices, and filling up your plate with plenty of protein and vegetables, you’re less likely to overeat calories!

Whether you want to count calories, cut out certain foods, or attempt a new diet altogether, this is the most important step you can take.

Now, most people can’t stick with nutritional changes because they try to make TOO many changes at once, their stomach freaks out and they run back to their comfort foods.

Sure, you can do things like the Keto Diet or Paleo Diet, but restrictive diets are really tough to stick with for the long term.

And temporary changes create temporary results!

My advice? Pick one food change every few weeks, and stick with it.


  • Eating fewer calories per day.
  • Switching to diet soda.
  • Eating more vegetables.
  • Cooking your own meal once a week.

These small changes can lead to big successes in the long run.

I know how changing your diet can be overwhelming sometimes, and sticking with changes in the long term is really tough.

Step 3: What to Do For Exercise (Move!)

Alright, so you’re feeling excited and motivated, ready to take action.

A) Establish SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound).

Be incredibly precise with your goals so that you can develop actionable steps to achieve them:

“I’m dedicated to losing 25 pounds this year by attending the gym three times a week for the next six months.”

That’s a strong goal.

Alternatively, you can focus on forming a consistent habit that indirectly supports your goal.

EXAMPLE: “I’m striving to walk a mile every day for a month and make progress with each walk.”

This approach allows you to assess your day or week with a simple question: “Did I accomplish what I set out to do?”

Regardless of the method you choose, being deliberate in your actions is essential:

  • If you’re setting goals – be EXTREMELY SPECIFIC, write them down, and plan meticulously.
  • If you’re developing new habits – integrate them into your calendar, set phone reminders or alerts, and stick to them EVERY DAY.
  • Recognize that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Optimus Prime didn’t transform in a single move. This isn’t a quick-fix diet; it’s a LIFESTYLE CHANGE. Don’t expect instant results or abs in a fortnight. It’s about consistent, steady progress.

Next, let’s proceed to…

B) Acknowledge Your Weaknesses (Your Kryptonite).

Recall the last time(s) you tried to get fit and lose some weight.

  • How successful were you?
  • How long did you remain committed?
  • What made you fall off track?
  • If you didn’t succeed, well done!

You already know which approach to “get in shape” doesn’t work for you.

It’s simply the wrong piece of the puzzle you’re attempting to solve.

Achieving fitness is akin to solving a puzzle.

Getting in shape is like solving a puzzle.

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different outcomes.

So, unless you find joy in not seeing results, don’t attempt to get in shape the same way you did last time…it WON’T work!

If you counted calories, spent hours on the treadmill, and practiced kickboxing, and you’re dissatisfied with the results, it’s time to try something new.

Ask yourself:

  • Did work become too overwhelming, or did you go on a vacation?
  • Was it because you genuinely disliked exercising?

Whatever the reason, this time, you need to embrace a different approach.

C) Engage in an Activity that Brings You Joy and Do It Often.

  • Do you like running? Great, do it (just do it right).
  • Do you enjoy lifting weights? Excellent, make sure your workouts are effective.
  • Perhaps you’re into yoga, dodgeball, Ultimate Frisbee, rock climbing, or something else!

If you tell me, “I don’t like to exercise,” then you simply haven’t discovered the activity that brings you joy yet.

We’re genetically programmed to stay active, so find something you truly enjoy doing.

Starting a new activity, or even a dietary change, can be incredibly exciting.

So, if you “dislike exercise,” it’s time to experiment with various activities until you find something that resonates with you.

Try a new class, join your company’s running club for a day, experiment with something at home—just keep trying different activities until you find one you like.

And then, engage in it as frequently as you can. As long as you consistently consume fewer calories than you burn each day, you’ll lose weight.

D) Accelerate Your Progress and Build a Strong Body.

This robot knows strength training will help him gain muscle and lose weight.

This puppet knows that lifting weights will help him build muscle and shed weight.

And last but not least, educate yourself on how to get stronger.

Getting stronger is one of the MOST effective ways to shed weight and get in shape.

Your body processes calories differently when you engage in strength training compared to other forms of exercise.

To sum it up…


  • Define your goals or the habits you wish to cultivate.
  • Understand why your past attempts didn’t yield the desired results.
  • Choose an enjoyable exercise that brings you happiness and engage in it regularly.
  • Strive to be stronger today than you were yesterday.

I understand if the thought of getting in shape seems overwhelming.

Navigating through the plethora of information, from boot camps to “What is CrossFit” to Weight Watchers to paleo to vegan to Klingon, can be challenging.

The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.

So, if you’re looking for a coach to create a workout program and diet strategy tailored to YOUR specific situation, explore our 1-on-1 Online Coaching Program.

Step 4: Who is On Your Squad? (Support)

Last but not least, you need support.

Yes, I understand it’s kind of fun to be an army of one: the lone ranger trying to succeed against insurmountable odds….but it’s not necessary.

Once you decide to get in shape, want to know the best way to guarantee success?


#1) Consider making it public.

  • Tell your friends, start a blog, and/or inform your co-workers and ask them to keep you accountable!
  • Unless you like being called a quitter, you’ll probably think twice about skipping out on your workouts.
  • Maybe your word isn’t your bond, and you need a different kind of motivation and support to succeed.

#2) Put your money where your mouth is.

My buddy Saint said he would pay his friends $500 if he didn’t get in absolutely incredible shape for his wedding six months down the road.

Saint didn’t have $500 to lose, so he decided instead to just get in great shape…and it worked.

#3) Build your own Jedi Council.

Find people who are:

  • Stronger than you and work out with them.
  • Faster than you and run with them.
  • More educated than you and ask them questions.

There could even be a droid out there you’re looking for…

These are people that you can turn to when you need advice or help. If you don’t know anybody in real life, keep reading…

#4) Find a workout buddy, hire a trainer, or hire a coach!

There are going to be days when you want to sleep in and skip your workout. There will be afternoons following a crappy day of work where all you want to do is play Halo.

Find somebody who’s at a similar level of fitness as you, and work out with them!

He/she will push you on days when you’re dragging, and vice versa.

You can inspire and support each other, feed off of each other’s success, and offer up tough love when the complaining gets too much (and yes, there will be complaining).

Now, let’s say you’re the ONE person in your group of friends that wants to get in shape.

Or you’re the only person in your office who doesn’t stuff his face every day. Maybe you don’t have anybody to turn to for support or advice…

Welp, we’ve got you covered:

Personal Training Toronto – a persistently amazing, always inspiring, never judgmental group of people who want nothing more than to help you succeed.

I have never been more excited and proud to be part of a community.

Or if you want to take it to the next level…

5) Join our coaching program: If you like the cut of our jib, consider hiring one of our trainers to keep you accountable and answer any questions you have.

Real Talk: How Quickly can I get in Shape? How Fast Can I lose Weight?

Today signifies the onset of a new chapter in your life.

Choose a goal you intend to achieve within the next 30 days and commence your journey towards it.

Make this goal clear and uncomplicated, then take that initial step today.

But I understand your immediate question:

“How fast can I achieve a fit physique?”

Allow me to provide you with a succinct, transparent response:

By beginning to reduce your caloric intake (comprising 80% of the equation) and increasing your physical activity (representing 20% of the equation), you can anticipate a safe and steady weight loss of approximately 1-2 pounds per week.

I am aware of extreme diets like the Military Diet, promising “Lose 10 pounds in 7 days!” However, it’s essential not to be swayed by such claims.

Temporary alterations bring about temporary results!

Our goal is for you to be a little bit healthier today compared to yesterday.

And then, even healthier and happier in the coming year than this one.

This suggests that you should adopt a perspective of Years and Days, not just weeks and months:

Rather than asking “How quickly can I shed weight?” ask “What actions can I take now to cultivate the right habits for the future?”

  • Engage in a few push-ups.
  • Take a walk.
  • Consume a serving of vegetables.

Join the Rebellion – commence enhancing your nutrition with minor changes today.

If you’ve just completed reading these 2,500 words and still find yourself overwhelmed, you’re not alone!

This can indeed be overwhelming for even the most determined individuals. If you seek more hands-on guidance or genuine assurance that you’re following the correct program, I’m here to support you!

As you establish a habit, gradually elevate the ‘challenge’ and attempt something a bit more demanding. However, it all starts with habit formation.

Educate yourself, find your sources of inspiration, and create a network of support.