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10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Fit

3 years ago, I thought I knew it all when it came to health, fitness, and nutrition.

I was sold on the idea of low-carb and low-calorie diets, thought cardio was the answer to my fat loss prayers and tried every single extreme trick in the book.

Well, through trial and (a lot of!) error, I realized that these weren’t the way to achieve my goals.

And through my own journey, and working with others, I found out the truth and put together the 10 things I wish I knew before I got fit.

Check out the video or read on to find out what lies, myths and misconceptions I fell prey to, so you can avoid making the same mistakes.

1. Muscle Burns Fat

Back in the day when I was 180 pounds and 24 + % body fat, I didn’t realize the importance of muscle.

I thought muscle was only for bodybuilders, and that if you wanted to get lean and drop pounds, you had to do cardio, cardio, cardio. All day, every day.

What a mistake that was.

I started weight training, built some lean muscle and the fat just fell off me.

Muscle increases your metabolic rate, meaning you burn more calories 24/7 –even while you’re sleeping!

2. Carbs Don’t Make You Fat

Good quality carbs are essential if you’re training hard and want to build a fit, strong, ripped physique.

It’s refined carbs –your white bread, your soda, and your candy –that make you fat.

You never have to completely cut your carbs –you simply have to pick the right types of carbs and cycle them.

⚡ Related: Learn the Difference Between Good and Bad Carbs

3. The More Water the Better 

This is so simple to do but so effective.

My general rule of thumb is ½ oz of water per pound of bodyweight, but more is better.

⚡ Related: Learn How Much Water Your Body Needs Daily

4. Metabolism Adapts

If you eat more, you burn more.

If you eat less, you burn less.

That’s because your metabolism adapts to what you give it, and is the reason why ultra-low calorie diets end up failing every time.

Your body has nothing to use for energy, and so tries to store everything that you eat, meaning your fat loss plateaus and becomes stagnate.

5. Cardio Isn’t the Most Effective Exercise for Fat Loss

Are you still pounding away on the treadmill for hours and hours in an effort to lose stubborn fat?

Are you making steady state cardio the mainstay of your routine?

I can guarantee that this is one of the reasons why you’re not making progress and getting the results you want.

Everybody (regardless of age, experience, and ability) is better served to make weight training or HIIT the focus of their program when it comes to getting lean, fit, and healthy.

⚡ Related: Learn if HIIT Cardio is Right For You

6. Weight Training is Essential

Strength training is so incredibly underrated when it comes to changing your body.

Weight training absolutely has to be the foundation of your workouts. You don’t have to do bodybuilding-style workouts, but you should be striving to get stronger, be that with free-weights, incorporating weights and bodyweight moves into your HIIT workouts, or even with machines.

A good analogy of this is a sprinter vs. a marathon runner.

The sprinter does virtually no steady state work, and focuses on power, yet is jacked, ripped and lean.

The marathon runner only does cardio, and is skinny, weak and still, has some stubborn fat.

7. Fats Don’t Make You Fat

While the name might imply the opposite, fat isn’t the enemy.

Low-fat foods are actually a huge roadblock to your success, as they’re highly processed, contain nasty ingredients your body doesn’t like, and can seriously wreck your results.

Stick with natural fats like avocados, almonds and olive oil.

⚡ Related: Learn the Difference Between Good vs Bad Fat

8. Consistency is Key

Don’t try to go all out, straight from the start.

Just pick a goal you can easily achieve, and stick with it from day one.

Even if that means you only commit to two 15-minute workouts each week, you’re far better off doing that, and making it a habit, then declaring you’re going to do an hour every day, then completely falling off the wagon by the start of your second week.

9. Goals 

“A goal without a date is merely a wish.”

People never achieve anything without set, time-defined goals –so start making them.

Like point #8, making it attainable is crucial, so goals like –

  • Make sure I get all my workouts in this week
  • Avoid alcohol for the next 7 days
  • Have 4 servings of vegetables every day for the next month

⚡ Related: Learn How to Set Goals for Faster Fat Loss

Work like a charm.

Even better are 30-day goals, such as –

  • Lose 8 pounds
  • Drop an inch from my waist
  • Fit into my favorite suit again

10. Be Patient, Stay the Course and Let’s Get Fit Together

I cannot stress how important this is.

Patience is a virtue, and never more so than in fitness.

If it took you 5 years to put on excess weight, it won’t come off overnight. Sure, you can make quick progress, but try to keep the big picture in mind.

This runs into staying the course –nothing worth having comes easy, so be prepared to put the work in, enjoy the highs and ride out the lows.

And as for getting fit together?

Are you surrounding yourself with like-minded people who are also goal-driven?

Are you making fitness part of your life?

You know that I’m in your corner, cheering you on, but have you got these kinds of people around you too?

A great social support network can be the difference between failure and success. If you need extra support, head over to become an ELITE member, where you will find a community of people just like you who are there to support you, not to mention support directly from me and my team, with updated workout videos that are updated constantly, new recipes every month, complete training guides and much more!

For a more in-depth look at the 10 things I wish I knew before I got fit, check out the video –

Meet Michael Morelli, founder of Morellifit! Michael has always been involved in fitness (and believe it or not was once even a very competent magician), but the journey to where he is now is an uncommon one. Always a big believer in hard work, Michael set up a successful retail business after dropping out... read more


  1. I’m really interested in your program. My goal is to lose 10-15 lbs. I currently go to Crossfit and Ive gained muscles but I’m not shedding the fat. I know my diet is a HUGE part of it and I thinkthis program will allow guide me and teach me the proper way to eat. Can I still do Crossfit with this program?

  2. Gabriela says:

    What a great coach you are Michael! I’ve been following you for a couple of months, bought your HIIT workout and I’ve changed my eating habits based on your advices and I feel great!!! I definitely have a leaner figure! Please, continue to post recipes (or send them through email). They are delicious and help me a lot since I struggle sometimes on what to cook that is healthy, but at the same time tasty!

  3. Christeen says:

    Hi, I purchased your plan, but cant figure out if I do your program M, W, and F, what days to do the ab workouts, thinking Tuesday and Thursday, but not sure if I do all six of them, or how that works, it doesn’t really have a schedule and I was hoping for that. Please help.

    • The program is to be done MWF also you can do the abs program right after or you can do it on your zone one (active rest) days. Pick one of the six ab routines and do that specific one 2-3x through with minimal rest between rounds. Each time you do abs pick a different one of the six.

  4. Hi… I need to seriously lose some weight, I’m 64kg 5’3 body fat of 24% now. I’ve always been thin I’ve never had to worry about my weight, even after having three babies I always lost the weight naturally, then I got ill with breast cancer, after 2/3 years of treatment, I got better but my body has completely changed shape, I’m carrying a lot of weight especially around my tummy and hips, I’ve been working out 3-4 times a week doing weights and a bit of cardio, for 2 years now and I’m still the heaviest I’ve even been, I have a thick tyre around my middle, I’m on hormone drugs tamoxifen and I really think this plays apart in my weight,
    Which training program would you recommend ? I hate cardio give me a squat rack any day would you recommend the hiit program, but I need to lift some weights! I want to drop two dress sizes but I love muscles, so don’t want a cardio body, I would like a booty still but be ripped looking!! can you help me in the right direction please…. Thank you

  5. CBullock says:

    Very interested in your plan but don’t have the time to commit my diet and exercise fully whilst doing exams and revising? Managing to work out consistently but haven’t really attempted a change to diet other than removing all drinks other than water and stopping the amount of snacks etc. Im relatively lean but want to be more lean for summer as over winter bulking ive gained body fat. What would your tips be without completely changing diet? Thanks

  6. sam evans says:

    Hi I’ve purchased the HiitMax program and I am on the beginning of my second week. I am doing the program Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday because I could not do Mondays and Wednesday dose that matter? . I have tried loads of fitness programs before and none of them have worked . I have changed my diet but find it really difficult to eat clean because I am not sure what I can and can’t eat and I crave chocolate really bad and suggestions and tips would be great because I feel no matter how hard I try and commit to training I get no results and feel completely de – motivated .

  7. Jolene Wilson says:

    Good morning, I recently started the gym , I’m trying to get rid of my stomach fat but also tone my body. I am a petit 34 yr old and don’t want to look too “skinny” during my duration at the gym. My question is what are the workouts I should do to build lean muscle and to look sexy. Also I’m very confused about what my diet should consist of. Your customized meal plan sounds great but I can’t afford it right now. So until then is there any foods you suggest I should stay away from and the foods that I should steer towards? Thanks Jolene

  8. Shelby Griffing says:

    Hi Michael!
    First off my husband and I love your program! I have a question for you. I’m a very busy student with 2/3 jobs. I worry about my sleeping habits. When is the best time to workout? If I eat clean and workout whenever, can I get only 5 hours of sleep? I know I’m over committed and plan on changing my schedule next semester. But the issue of sleep I get caught up on.
    Thank you, blessing,

  9. Christine says:

    I just wanted to say thanks! My first week..and you really keep me motivated! 🙂 thanx!! Love from Norway!

  10. Hey Michael,
    I love your website and newsletter. I’m really thinking about ordering your custom meal plan because I feel like I’ve been eating super clean and healthy but maybe I’ve got it all wrong, or I’m just impatient and need to work on the exercise component more. I’ve already ordered HIIT Max. Anyhow, I was reading through the macro nutrient list and grocery guide — just out of curiosity why white rice and not brown rice?? I’ve heard the opposite from so many others.

  11. Nicolas P. says:

    Hey Michael! At first I just wanted to say that your story is really impressive and motivating! So now something about myself: I’m 16 years old and I want to build some muscle, because i don’t want to look skinny and weak. I’m 1,83 metres tall and weigh 80 kg.. with about 20% fat. So what do you think which program should I take? And do you have maybe some tips?

    Thank you, you’re great!
    Nicolas (Germany)

  12. Hi! I’m interested in purchasing HIIT MAX but have a few questions. Are they DVD’s or phone and tablet friendly? Also, are they cardio or weight training combinations? Is it a standalone fitness program or have to be combined with additional cardio or other programs to show results? I’m hoping to lose 10-15 pounds, currently 138 and 5’4″. The scale doesn’t really bother me, I just want to lose the bad fat and see some muscle! Especially around my tummy, butt, and legs (be gone cellulite)! I also love food (especially the bad stuff) but have slowly starting improving. Thanks!

    • Thanks for the questions…it is phone and tablet friendly. It is a form of cardio called high intensity interval training and also has some active rest days being light cardio. It’s a stand alone plan with nutrition information for you to follow to get the best results. Phase out those bad foods and you’ll start getting the results you desire 🙂

  13. Hello Michael.
    I recently started following you on instagram and created an upper body work out from your guide that was amazing. In about 4 months I lost 15 lbs buy I would like to shed about 10 more but as you say I hit a plateau. I have small meals and I work hard but I go up and down 2 lbs but have not been able to keep going down. What do you suggest I do.

    • Switch up your training. Your body most likely has gotten used to the exercises you’ve been doing so you have to keep the body guessing because in fitness routine is the enemy. Don’t give up you got this 🙂

  14. What about those of us who are marathon runners? I want to lean up a bit and better my time, but “cardio, cardio, cardio” is essential to marathon training. However, yes I do feel weaker than I’d like to be & admittedly have some stubborn fat. Suggestions?

    • Then absolutely you still have to get your run on. Mix in some HIIT exercises and HIIT cardio as well like 20 second sprints then 20 seconds rest, 30 second hard run 30 seconds rest.

  15. Hallo mike, I heard soda made us fat in the video, im wondering how bout diet coke, deit pepsi, coke zero, or any other 0 calories beverage soda? Is it the soda or the sugar in the soda make us fat? Coz iwhen im travelling to italy many people there is drinkin carbonted water something like sparkling water with no taste at all. Is it bad for fat loss.

    • I’ll give you a challenge…drink nothing but water every day for 1-2 weeks and see how your body feels and how much clearer your face looks after the time frame. If you want to achieve your goals drop the soda 🙂

  16. I’m interested in your program, i was reading through the comments saw that it says it is cardio high intensity interval training i want to shed fat mainly upper arms and belly, i dont want to lean my legs though. I would like to build muscle on my lower part is that possible? I would like to have thick legs and a butt lol i guess what im trying to say is it possible to lean up upper body with the cardio and yet not leaning lower body but build it up?

  17. I NEED YOU IN MY LIFE!!!!!!

  18. darrell says:

    I want to purchase this program I just have a few questions I’m 5’4 175 pounds my girlfriend is around the same I want to lose weight and also gain muscle I start my day around 3:30 am due to my work schedule what would you recommended me eat that early and will your program include a weight lifting program as well and should I do the program before I lift or together just curious

    • You can try doing your workout fasted without eating and see how your energy levels are. Also with the program it is a HIIT program and has some nutrition guidelines bug doesn’t come with a weight lifting program. When weight training and doing HIIT you will want to do weight training first followed by HIIT for the best results.

  19. Shalaya Thomas says:

    Good morning
    I’m 235lbs 22 years old and just gave birth to a son. I want to change my life by starting to working out and I believe you and your work are the perfect way to do that because you have inspired me. I just have NO IDEA on where to start or even how… I’ve recently started drinking a gallon of water a day but that’s pretty much it PLEASE HELP!!!
    Thank You so much in advance

    • That’s a great start…go to my instagram page @faststartfatloss and click the link in the bio to get my FREE 30 day program. That will get you a good start for working out. After that check out my program HIIT Max at http://www.hiitmax.com I have almost 80,000 people all over the world using it and getting amazing results.

  20. Hi there! I’m a mom of three beautiful kids and my husband works/goes to school full time. Between his schedule, homeschooling, church and the rest of life, i really dislike being a short order cook! Any tips on making food everyone will eat? Thanks!

  21. I’m in az as well, do you offer personal training sessions? If so where or what club are you at?

  22. Hello Michael, great job u doing out there.i have been going to the gym and working out for years now until recently when i lost the motivation and now have put gain additional belly fat.can you please advise on the best work outs and meals that can enable me shed belly fat like quickly?i need to get that summer body.thanks

  23. Hi Michael! Was introduced to you last week and am very impressed. Been a Beachbody customer/believer for years. Quick question: is it best to do weight training on the same day as HIIT Max or can it be done in place of and on Zone 1 days instead? Thanks! I really appreciate your time!

  24. Jessica M. says:

    So true! I replaced most liquids with plain water (or water with flavor squirts). I didn’t realize how many calories I was drinking!
    What do you think of the 8×8 rule for how much water you’re supposed to drink a day?

    • I don’t think it’s right to tell someone who is 400 lbs and someone who is 150lbs to drink the same amount of water in a day. A good rule of thumb is half your body weight in ounces.

  25. I need help… I’m 5’11” 300lbs and can feel my life slipping away on a daily basis. Depression rules my life and siphons all motivation from my soul. I have a fit girlfriend who does not understand our care about my health. I’ve begged her for help and it goes unanswered. My daughters are 17 and 16, I’m afraid I won’t be alive long enough to see them have families of their own. I don’t know where to start…

    • Joseph…you just started and didn’t even know it. The first step is wanting to make the changes. Next is finding the tools to make the change. I’ve got a FREE program to get you underway for the first 30 days to get you rolling. Go to the main page http://www.morellifit.com and on the right side it says Fast Start Fat loss Guide. Enter your email and it will get sent right to you. Let’s get you going and get you the results you deserve. Talk to you soon.

  26. Zula B. says:

    Hey Michael,
    I just started your Hiit Max+Abs today and feeling great. Besides doing your Hiit Max, I am trying to lift weights and wondering if you have any weight lifting guidelines for women?

  27. Samreen Feroz; says:

    Hi, i just purchased your Hiitmax program . I am aiming at loosing 20 pounds. Hope i get to feel the leaner me . I miss my leaner body. Will update you on instagram as soon as the results show up.

  28. Shaikha says:

    I have been on a diet for 8 months and my body is not that kind that will lose fast I lost only about 16 kg and for this month I started jogging for 1 hr 40 min and doing cardio do u think that this is wrong and I am fasting for 16 hrs everyday it is not a thing I can stop it is something in my realign it’s not my choice but do u think I should stop these bullshits that I do on the treadmill

  29. Finishing up my first month of HIIT Max Elite and going into my second week of your diet plan. I just noticed within the last day or so a big change. I feel leaner, my legs are getting toned and I’m gaining muscle. It may be that I’m beginning to lose fat and see the muscle that was underneath, whatever it is, I can’t wait for next months program! Today is my first day using your Primal Body as well, so excited to try it for my afternoon snack. Thank you for an amazing program and meal plan. Cheers!!

    • AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME! I’m so excited for you Sarah. There’s nothing like noticing your body change. It’s such a gratifying feeling. Hope you’re loving your primal body 🙂 I drink it every day and put it in recipes etc. Check out some of the recipes I use on the site http://www.primalbody.com if you haven’t done so already.

  30. Kirsten says:

    Hi! I’ve been looking at your program for a while now and I’m going to download the 30 day jumpstart. I’m 5’9 188. I’m an athlete but I have never been extremely toned although I have a good amount of muscle. My comfortable weight is around 175ish. In February I changed my diet. I started at 201 and by the end of February with no working out I had lost 16lbs. By the first week of May I had gotten down to 179 but I’m back up to 188 bc I wasn’t working out and I wasn’t eating as clean as I had been. I currently am walking 3.5-4 miles per day in about an hour and 10 minutes and lifting weights. My legs and arms are toning well and my upper back/shoulder area tones quickly too. I have stubborn fat around my stomach and mid to lower back that I have never been able to get rid of as well as fat around my triceps. Can you help me with those areas and should I continue to do what I’m doing while completing your 30 day program? By the end of the summer or sooner (preferably) I really would like my back to be toned especially, but also the rest of my body.

    Thank you.

    • Kirsten yes you can still do what you’re doing and incorporate fast start fat loss. Your body might be used to what you’re doing and sometimes it takes doing something new to shock the body and get the results train rolling again. You’ll love that program I have so many clients that used it first and got great results.

      • Hey michael,i am university student where i cannot cook healthy food.can you give me guideline to eat healthy in social situation.

        • Hakim…making the best choices of what you have given is the best thing you can do. If you’re at a restaurant and their best option they have isn’t exactly whats in line with your goals, it beats just ordering anything off the menu. Try and get protein, healthy fats, and a good carbohydrate when having your meals.

  31. Hi Mike,
    I’m about 5’2 I weigh 138 lbs I’m wanting to lose a lil weight and really tone up. I’m clueless when it comes to fitness. I need help. How do I start and what kind of exercises do i do? Wanting to see change but i know I’ll have to be dedicated.

    • Lisa…I have a program called HIIT Max. Everything is laid out for you from A-Z and perfect for beginners. It tells you exactly what to do and when to do it…also included instructional videos for each exercise in the program so you know exactly how to do them safely and effectively. Check it out at http://www.hiitmax.com

  32. aric torres says:

    Hi I currently lost 120 lbs not doing your program but need some help to finish my transformation ,I currently weigh 180 and have body fat 21%. I have loose skin around my midsection ,I am really wanting to lose that and build some deffintion I was wondering if your program would help..

    • Aric HIIT Max will definitely help training wise but most important thing is your nutrition and that is why I recommend you allowing me and my team to design you a custom meal plan that will help you get to that final goal and take the guess work out for you. You can check that out at http://www.custommealplans.co Let me know if you have any other questions.

  33. Thanks for this. I gained about 50lbs during my 4+ years of graduate school for my PhD. I’m 5’8 and the heaviest weight in my life (208). I have a month off and I want to use this time to get back on track. I just joined a gym and trying to figure out good nutrition for my body. These ten tips will come in handy. Patience is key in this process.

  34. Ammanda says:

    Hi Michael-

    I just purchased your program and am excited to see what results will happen. Making time to workout is the easy part – it’s the food part that always gets me. Any extra tips to help in that department.

    • Ammanda…definitely stick to the foods in the macro guide. This will help you achieve the best physique possible. Also it’s ok to have a cheat meal every 10th meal. So after 9 meals the 10th one can be a cheat meal…whatever you want…just make sure you leave it at that meal 🙂

  35. Hey Michael, I’ve always been athletic and lifting weights but I’ve stopped for about 2 months. I’m restarting my schedule however I gained some belly fat cause of my diet. I changed my diet to lean protein and fruits and veggies and I’m currently doing the 30 day program just to see if I can get results. If I see results I am planning on getting the hiitmax workout . The only question I have for you is will this 30 day program help me lose body fat. I’m 6’1 and weigh 200 but I’m a naturally big boned guy (not fat). So Yeah I was wondering WI’ll this 30 day program help me? Thanks

    • Hey Joe…glad to see you’re back on track! Yes my free 30 day program will help you lose body fat. Stick to the plan 100% because you get out of it what you put in it. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future once you’re done and ready to jump into HIIT Max.

  36. I am four weeks postpartum and nursing. I started walking after babe and the last two weeks have started to do some light post natal HIIT workouts from online.
    Once given the go ahead from my doctor (at my 6 week check up) I would like to start your program. I am concerned that my milk supply will decrease and there may be some moves that are not good for postpartum (stomach) (i.e. i have heard cruches are not good ). Any insite or guidance?

    • Lisa…congrats on the baby 🙂 Your doctor should give you specific exercises they recommend you to stay away from based on where you’re at during your 6 week check up. Once in the program you can reach out to me if there are any exercises that are in there that you shouldn’t be doing and I can get you an alternative. Thanks for reaching out.

  37. Hi what are your recommendations when it comes to squats and burpees re weak knee. I am not able to continue when my left knee acts up. Thank you so much for your help.
    Just note your exercises are seen here in Barbados 🙂

    • Hey Sally…Thanks for reaching out. Absolutely if your knee starts acting up then I recommend you stop doing the exercise. Please double check your form by checking out my tutorial videos on @hiitmax and @gymsecrets on instagram. Some people get a pain in their knee form not having their form correct, so I recommend that first. Also you can try doing lunges as well and see if that bothers your knees.

  38. Hi Michael! I am a female college soccer player., 5’7, 145lbs and 19% body fat, but even during season I can’t seem to get toner or leaner, in fact I feel like my stomach has started storing more fat. Any thoughts as to why this is? I eat anywhere from 1800-2500 Cals/day. Too much?

    • No your calorie intake isn’t too much. It’s not the calorie intake you should be worried about, it’s the quality of food you’re putting in your body. You can eat more of the right foods and get lean if that makes sense. Also I’m not sure what your training looks like I know you do lots of running with practice and games etc. Try adding in some HIIT during your training.

  39. Hey Michael
    I have recently purchased your HIIT Max workout programme and just have a few concerns. I did send an email but the team said they can’t respond individually to every email received. I experience extreme levels of nausea and fatigue after 10-20 minutes of any type of weight training and the feeling continues long after I finish my workout. Do you have any advice for me to overcome this problem?

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