Charles D'Angelo

Charles D'Angelo (center) with clients (from left) Sam Llanos (lost 104 pounds), Mark Dodd (lost 105 pounds) and Janice Skaggs (lost 175 pounds).

Maybe you've tried every recipe plan, diet book and exercise video out there in an effort to finally reach your ultimate weight-loss goal, yet you keep coming up short. But your past doesn’t have to be your future, according to Charles D’Angelo. The weight loss coach, who has come full-circle himself—losing 160 pounds more than a decade ago—is in the business of motivating people to change the script in their heads to achieve healthy lifestyle goals. “The key is to drop the excuses and tap into that God-given spark that everyone has to fulfill their dreams,” D’Angelo says.

On the journey to their fitness goals, the first step D’Angelo walks his clients through is creating a healthy identity. “See yourself having things you want and being the person you desire to be,” he explains. “Envision yourself as a fit, healthy person with a layer of fat that is covering the lean physique you want—your job is to chisel off that fat.” D’Angelo says successful spouses and business people can apply the same positive strategies to their weight-loss goals. “You’re in a condition that is not permanent,” he says. “You are not your behavior.”

To stay on track, D’Angelo recommends creating a list of compelling goals for the weeks, months and years ahead. “Some people have no real direction for each day, but if you wake up with goals you want to achieve, you can make the most of your time.”

To that end, D’Angelo advises setting up a daily routine. “We know that life can be unpredictable and pull you to comfort yourself with food,” he says. “But in an effort to break this cycle, create a consistent plan to fortify yourself against that vulnerability.”

For achieving your summer beach body, D’Angelo also has tips for staying trim and avoiding temptations. “Don’t drink any calories—eliminate all caloric drinks, such as milk, soda, fruit juice and alcohol.” Eat six small meals a day every two to three hours, combining lean proteins, healthy fats and low-glycemic carbs—and cut carbs after 1 p.m. each day, he explains. And work in at least 30 minutes of cardio five days a week, he continues. “This is a sure-fire recipe to reach your goals in no time like so many of my clients have.”

Another helpful tool is finding a role model, D’Angelo notes. He serves as that role model for those who seek his help. He reached weight loss success as a teenager and has never looked back, going on to counsel thousands of people to their own health goals. Among his clients are nationally known names, such as Sen. Claire McCaskill and Golden Globe-winning actress Angela Bassett. All the while, D’Angelo was gaining the insights that would become his book, Think and Grow Thin, which has been endorsed by Bill Clinton, Tony Robbins and Richard Simmons. “I'm a young man who didn't let my history stop me, and I want everyone to know the people they look up to were once where they are,” D’Angelo notes. “If I and so many others I’ve coached can do it, why don’t you?”

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