I’m writing this post to help you. If you made the decision at the start of the year to get in better shape, to lose your flab, to build some muscle, etc…, then this post is for you.
Last year was my year. In 9 months I lost an estimated 15 lbs of fat, and gained around 10-12 lbs of muscle. I am now about to buy new belts and new pants because the ones I have are really loose. It may not seem much to some, but for me it’s a big achievement. I took control of my body, changed my lifestyle, turned it all around.
Please don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean to brag or anything. I don’t think I did anything superhuman. But it was a lot of hard work. Now I can confidently say that I can carry my wife and 2 daughters out a burning building.
I just want to share my experience to help anyone else who wants to have the same confidence. Here’s exactly what I did.
You may think that you know what to do, but the truth is that the exercises you did in high school or college won’t cut it any more. You’ve gotten older, your hormone levels and metabolism aren’t what they used to be. If you plan to start jogging, it won’t be enough. I’ll say it again… Just adding jogging to your weekly schedule won’t help you fit into your old pants again.
There are ways to lose fat and get in shape that are a million times more efficient than jogging. But first…
There needs to be a lifestyle change.
You cannot continue to live and eat in the same way that you did before. That’s how we got all the flab, remember?
The 2 choices for changing the way you eat
Basically you need to eat less and create a caloric deficit to lose fat. There are 2 ways to do this.
Rationing. Eat 6 small meals a day. (Make sure they are small)
Fasting. Eat 1-2 meals a day. (fast for 16 hours, feast for 8)
They will both work, but it will depend on your preference and current physical condition. Personally, I started with the 6 meals. I did it for around 3 months. Then I experimented with fasting. Now I like fasting better.
Here are the advantages and disadvantages that I see with each.
- Easier for those who love to eat: you never starve yourself.
- It requires less will power: you don’t mind eating less since you know you’re eating again in a few hours.
- more expensive
- requires more planning of meals
- It’s cheaper.
- requires no real planning. You just skip a meal.
- you have more time to be productive.
- there are a lot more benefits to fasting
- difficult to start. The first 16 hour fast is terrible. It usually takes a week or two before your body adjusts to the new eating schedule.
The Non-negotiable: eliminate (or minimize) simple sugars / simple carbs in your diet
Sorry, but here’s a little bit of science: the rise in blood sugar caused by eating the simple sugars triggers the body to release insulin. This causes your body to immediately start storing the carbs as fat as fast as it can. The result? You get more fat, and because blood sugar suddenly drops, you get hungry again. It’s a vicious cycle to pack on loads and loads of fat.
The solution to fast carbs: Replace your “white carbs” with whole wheat carbs. Unlike the simple sugars, this does not produce a blood sugar spike and your body consumes your food in the normal way.
The compromise for the sweet tooth: have a cheat meal once a week.
Muscle is built in the gym, but fat is lost in the kitchen. Unfortunately, people think it’s the other way around. No amount of exercise will overpower a bad diet.
That’s all for now. It’s getting late. Please watch out for my next post about the exercise that I did. Until then, you can look at this post.