Start here. It’s a simple enough diet plan: you eat for 8 hours out of the day, and don’t eat the other 16.
I go for a 12 noon to 8pm cycle. Intermittent fasting doesn’t just give you good results, it’s a lifestyle choice. Who wants to worry about eating regular meals when you can just put up with a little hunger now and then. A solid 8 hours of eating, scheduled whenever is most convenient, more than makes up for being occasionally hungry.
Eat real food. I’m not that strict, but I make steak, salmon, tuna, vegetables (usually of the frozen stir-fry variety, I’m lazy) and fruit the basis of my diet. I then supplement it with bread, cottage cheese, whey protein, creatine, beta alanine and beer. Sometimes followed by McDonalds. Come on, you didn’t really think I’d give up Friday night madness did you?
If you eat out, stick with healthy stuff (2am bingeing notwithstanding). I eat Subway for fast food, and in restaurants I stick to dishes that are all protein and vegetable. Love me some Korean BBQ.
Hit the gym. Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe is a great place to start.
My workout program is very simple: I squat, deadlift, bench press and overhead press, and I supplement that with powersnatches (because they’re fun) and chin-ups. I don’t do crunches, core strength, bicep curls, steroids or posing in front of a mirror. Note: a mirror is useful for checking your form during exercises.
Don’t go crazy. Three sessions a week, one hour per session. It’s all gym-time you need. Bodybuilders hit the gym more than that, but they’re either on steroids or they have awesome genes. You don’t. Walking is nice, but don’t go crazy on the cardio. Run if you have to, but otherwise don’t. If you’re sore, think twice before hitting the gym at 100%. Overtraining is as harmful as laziness.
Record your workouts. Keep track of how much you lift, when you lift, how much you weigh, how good your form is. Take photos of yourself. You need an honest appraisal of whether you’re achieving something or just fucking around.
Stretch. Or don’t. It can’t hurt but it probably doesn’t help that much either.
As I keep saying, incentives matter. For most people, there’s no incentive to go to the gym: it’s work without reward. Follow these simple steps, do some reading, and that equation will change.