Back in October of 2018, I wrote a post about how I lost about 70lbs in 4 months. It was very long.
At the time I wrote it, I weighed about 175lbs, down from 240lbs and a 42 in waist.
Today as I write this, I’m down to around 155lbs. 30 inch waist, small / medium t-shirt size, and a 15.5 slim fitted dress shirt.
So, to simplify and to answer all the questions everyone has been asking me, I’m going to write a relatively short post.
This is what has worked for me…
1. Skip breakfast. Eat your first meal around 1pm to 2pm. Stop eating around 8. Personally, I wake up in the morning around 5:00am, drink my tea (green tea with macha, either iced or hot), and then hit the home gym for a little while in a fasted state. The workout involves hitting my heavy bag, pushups, air squats, and sit-ups. My home gym is nothing elaborate — some basic weights, a chair for inverted pushups, a pullup bar, pushup bars, and a cheap smart TV to play P90x on. (The entire BeachBody library is $99 a year. Great workouts, great value, almost zero investment in terms of equipment. I still recommend a traditional gym if you have time and can afford it, though. Not entirely necessary.)
I eat my first meal around 2pm, go to jiu jitsu / kickboxing / the gym (depending on the day) around 6pm – 7pm, and then eat dinner. Rinse repeat.
2. Eat keto, avoid carbs, and don’t overeat. Keep your diet limited to poultry, beef, fish (canned is fine), pork (I don’t eat pork), eggs, avocados, and vegetables. If it didn’t exist 1000 years ago, it isn’t food.
Always start with a small portion. If you’re still hungry, eat more. However, if you start with a large portion you’re going to eat everything in front of you. If you’re out to dinner, start with a low carb appetizer and then see how hungry you’re feeling. Chances are you won’t be feeling that hungry.
Drink your coffee and tea plain with no sugar, honey, and no milk / cream. Even if it’s skim milk. These things just add calories. Add a lemon to your tea if you feel like. Buy good coffee and you won’t want to dilute the taste by putting stuff in it anyway.
Foods like bread, crackers, cereal, ramen, pasta, muffins, fruit drinks, soda, etc. just derail your diet. I know, the American Heart Association says all that stuff is healthy because it’s low fat, but it’s not. Avoid sugar like the plague. Personally, I do not eat any artificial sweeteners.
Make some minor adjustments when you eat out — if you order tacos, get them wrapped in lettuce instead of a tortilla or hard shell; skip the cheese. Ask for a side salad instead of fries. Order a club soda with a lemon first. Get a burger without a bun and cheese. If you order wings, substitute ranch / blue cheese with sour cream and hot sauce.
Once you get adapted to a keto / paleo diet, you won’t want to eat any of that stuff anyway. I’ll take a good steak and some green beans with Kerrygold butter any day over junk food.
I carb up once a month, but it’s on gluten free stuff like potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn tortilla tacos, fruit, and even a cider here and there.
3. Do exercise you enjoy, or don’t do any at all. Personally, I enjoy cycling, jiu jitsu, kickboxing, walking, hiking, kayaking, etc. I do not enjoy running, treadmills, or elliptical machines.
My life doesn’t revolve around exercise — I just do the things I feel like doing when I have the time. Your body composition is 90% diet. You’ll never be able to sweat out all the fat with a bad diet, and you most certainly don’t have to sweat it out once your diet is squared away. Focus on the diet, but feel free to incorporate some activities you enjoy to kill stress, get in touch with nature, and maybe listen to an audiobook or your music. A good hike is way better than sitting in a bar.
Play some pickup basketball, softball, racquetball, or anything you enjoy that involves movement. As long as you enjoy it.
4. Don’t drink alcohol during the week. Alcohol is high in calories. Your body also burns the following as fuel in this order: 1) alcohol; 2) carbs; 3) fat; 4) protein. Even if you’re drinking low carb alcohol like wine or spirits, you’re still taking in unnecessary calories and throwing a wrench in your fat loss.
Personally, I drink some red wine on Saturday nights, because Sunday I go to church, eat brunch, and then do a light workout. Monday through Saturday I’m doing martial arts. Now I have a very low tolerance for alcohol, so usually two glasses and I’m off to bed. Added bonus: when you go out to eat, you’ll save a lot of money. My average restaurant bill is about $10, because all I usually get is a light appetizer and a club soda with lemon.
If you have trouble sleeping like I do, take melatonin instead of drinking alcohol. You can get it in the grocery store. Before bed each night, I take 6 grams of melatonin, turn out the lights, and listen to an audiobook on low volume. I’m usually off to sleep in about a half hour.
5. Enjoy yourself. When you first start eating like this, you will get the “keto flu.” You’ll feel lethargic, miserable, and crave carbs. Eventually that goes away. Then the weight starts to fall off and you will have boundless amounts of energy. The thought of a bicycle ride sounds fun, hiking sounds like a blast, and you’ll want to do stuff other than watch TV and sit in bars.
If your life revolves around your diet and rigorous exercise, you’re going to be miserable and fail. Personally, two meals a day simplifies my life. I don’t spend hours a day doing meal prep and putting things in Tupperware containers. My usual lunch is sardines with mustard on Boston lettuce, and then dinner is something simple like steak and green beans. Sometimes I’ll make fried coconut shavings with eggs, or chicken coconut curry. Today it’s fish and ginger soup with mushroom.
I enjoy all the food I eat. Same with the physical activities I do. None of it’s a chore.
That’s how I managed to lose the weight and keep it off.
Questions? Hit me up in the comments.