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OXYGEN: How did the relationship between you and Morris Chestnut come about? Who came up with the idea for the book? How long have you two been working together?
Obi Obadike: My relationship came about with Morris when I trained him for the 2013 Universal Pictures movie called The Best Man Holiday. I had to get him in the best shape of his life to play a football running back character named Lance Sullivan. There were a couple of shirtless scenes he had to do in the movie, and he had to look lean and muscular for that film. So when he came to me in December 2012, he was literally in the worst shape of his life.
I ended up helping him lose 33 pounds in 12 weeks to get him in the best shape of his life at 44 years old. He ended up landing the November cover of Muscle and Performance in 2013 the same month his movie came out. So between the fitness magazine cover he was gracing and his lean, ripped body in the movie, people were raving about his transformed physique.
When he did the national TV tour to promote the movie, every TV host kept talking about his ripped body in the movie more than the actual movie itself. He credited me on all these TV shows as the guy who helped train him. We were both bombarded with tons of emails and messages asking what was his exact weight-loss diet and training program.
I texted Morris shortly afterward and said I think we should do a book together about how to get the average person back in shape in 12 weeks. He liked the idea and concept that I pitched, and shortly after that, we inked a major book deal.
In the book, I am the diet and exercise guy and he is the motivator giving motivational tips throughout the book. It also features his personal story as an example that you can change your body just like he did.
OXYGEN: What has the overall reaction to The Cut: Lose Up to 10 Pounds in 10 Days and Sculpt Your Best Body been like?
OO: The response has been overwhelmingly positive because we have been booked on just about every major national daytime talk show as guests to talk about this book. We have been booked on Steve Harvey, Wendy Williams, Rachael Ray, The Chew, Dr. Oz, Access Hollywood, etc. Our literary agent told us it is rare to get that many national daytime talk shows as authors to support your book.
The book also got a great review in Publishers Weekly.
OXYGEN: Have you had any standout transformations?
OO: We’ve had a lot of standout male and female transformations.
We had a guy named Mike Hopper who lost 115 pounds working with me for one year following the exact diet and exercise program for the book. We also had two standout female transformations — one being Tiaja Pierre who lost 30 pounds in 12 weeks and Rose Bolton who lost 28 pounds in 12 weeks. Former professional football player Rome Douglas lost 79 pounds in 10 months following the program in this book. I believe we had over 18 successful weight-loss transformations that were featured in the book and on the back cover.
OXYGEN: What makes this program special? How does this program differ from the thousands out there currently?
OO: The program is unique because the diet program is scientifically tailored to your body type, so you pick a diet that is formatted to how much you weigh. Also, the diet program follows an 80/20 rule, meaning you’ll eat healthy 80 percent of the time and indulge 20 percent of the time while still losing weight. We also don’t restrict carbs or fats from your diet, but our philosophy is that it makes no sense to restrict certain macronutrients.
This nutrition program is not some silly nonsensical low-carb or no-carb diet where you walk around like a zombie. We understand that carbs are important in terms of giving you the fuel and energy to function throughout the day.
We also have different workout programs where you can pick the program that is formatted toward your fitness experience level, age and body type. We have home and gym exercise programs of all levels that you can pick from, and they are segmented into beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. This exercise program truly fits anybody of any age.
OXYGEN: We all lead busy lives, what is the best way to efficiently meal prep? What are some of your secret tips to nutrition success?
OO: Prepare your meals for the week over the weekend because it’s hard to cook every single day for the next day after you get off work. So prepare your weekday meals on the weekends, and that will make it easier for you on your work nights.
OXYGEN: Cardio is a word that turns many people away. How does this program keep things interesting?
OO: The cardio program has a variety of more than 20 cardio home exercise boot-camp moves that are fun and interesting. The home exercise cardio program is like going to a fun, upbeat boot-camp class or workout. The cardio moves would be enjoyable for most women as they seem to gravitate toward those types of classes.
OXYGEN: What is the No. 1 thing women have said they struggle with?
OO: I think women struggle with their legs, stomach and butt in terms of that being a problem area. All women want to have nice legs and a nice toned butt. We’ve made sure that we have programs designed to help women improve tremendously in those common problem areas, as well as the belly.
OXYGEN: How can women, especially, benefit from this diet and exercise plan? How customizable is it for women?
OO: Because women are the biggest buyers of these types of diet and exercise books, we made sure to customize certain programs toward women. We’ve included the home exercise beginner, intermediate and advanced programs where a working woman or a stay-at-home mom can work out at home in their living room with a boot-camp or circuit-training workout.
OXYGEN: How many days a week do you recommend a beginner vs. intermediate vs. advanced individual train?
OO: I believe with the beginner program, we have the fitness enthusiast exercising three days a week, the intermediate program includes workouts for four days a week and the advanced program is five days a week. We don’t have any programs with anybody working out more than five days a week as we believe in everybody having at least two days of rest for recovery purposes.
OXYGEN: If short on time, what are your favorite moves for a quick 20-minute workout?
OO: A couple of cool workout moves for a 20-minute workout includes bench dips, suicides, burpees, mountain climbers, push-ups, wall sits, etc. These are all great circuit-training and boot-camp moves you can do at home in a quick workout.
OXYGEN: Do you need to be fit before you start? Can someone start from off the couch?
OO: You don’t need to be fit before you start. We had two focus-group participants who were considered obese from a weight, BMI and body-type perspective. They had to start on the beginner program before they lost enough weight and were fit enough to eventually graduate to the intermediate program.
We made sure anybody can do this program whether they are 400 pounds or 130 pounds, and we had focus-group participants who were all within range and they were all very successful. We had one focus-group candidate who weighed close to 400 pounds who lost 79 pounds on this program in 10 months.
OXYGEN: We hear you include a chapter on debunking many exercise and diet myths.
OO: Unfortunately, there is so much misinformation online and even in books out there. Whether it comes to eating right, what supplements actually work and how much exercise you should really do. What are the best foods to eat to lose weight, or will lifting heavy weight make women bulky or shapely, etc.? We included a chapter where we debunk all the myths that people still believe is true.
Our job in this book is to educate and give the right information to help you reclaim your health and get your body back. We unveil the garbage that fitness experts and medical doctors continue to spew, and we unveil the truth on what actually works. A lot of supplement companies may not agree with us in terms of what we are saying, but we think it’s important for the consumer to get the truth.
OXYGEN: Where can you find The Cut: Lose Up to 10 Pounds in 10 Days and Sculpt Your Best Body?
OO: You can find The Cut at any Barnes & Noble, Amazon or any of the independent bookstores out there. You can find the The Cut on our website, which is the easiest way to purchase the book. This diet and exercise book is about real transformations, real stories and real people who transformed their body and mind by following this healthy, tailored, sensible diet and exercise plan. If they were able to do it, anyone can.
Obi Obadike is a celebrity fitness and nutrition expert who has trained some of the most influential celebrities in the world. One of the Top Ten Most Influential Fitness Experts on the web (according to Dr. Oz’s ShareCare.com), Obadike is the co-host of a national health and wellness syndicated Talk show, “Lifestyle Magazine” and Spike TV’s Sweat Inc. with Jillian Michaels and Randy Hetrick. Follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Morris Chestnut has enjoyed tremendous critical and commercial success as a film and television star. He is best known for his roles in Boyz n the Hood, the Brothers, The Perfect Holiday, Think Like a Man, The Best Man, The Best Man Holiday, and The Perfect Guy. Chestnut also stars in the title role in Fox’s series Rosewood. Follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.