One day I turned around and I was 270lbs. I literally couldn’t believe I got this fat, I looked at myself in the mirror and I almost came to tears. I said right then and there this has to stop, today!
Here are 3 things that I did that contributed to this:
Number 1: I stopped drinking completely.
It was a Saturday mid afternoon I grabbed a workout and before I jumped in the shower, the person I saw in the mirror didn’t look nothing like me. After I showered I went straight home and poured all my liquor down the drain, every single last drop. From that day I stopped drinking and I haven’t had a sip or traste since.
It’s been almost two years.
Drinking alcohol for me was not a good thing because I wasn’t a social drinker, I was a stress drinker and would come home every night and drink to release stress from the day, this consumption adds up in calories quickly from a glass to two glasses of wine to a bottle sometimes and not to mention the weekend where I’m having vodka, brandy and beer.
The calories add up fast and also alcohol lowers testosterone and disrupts one’s metabolism which equates to increase in fat primarily in the mid section which increases risks for heart disease.
The bottom line alcohol if not controlled packs on weight fast! So for me, there was no choice but to go cold turkey and stop drinking completely. One of the toughest things is when you go out people want to offer you drinks or your friends want to pressure you into drinking, this used to annoy me and I would get me pretty upset.
For this reason, I would avoid social functions until I got a grip on how I handled these situations before I went out.
Number 2: Eliminated carbohydrates as much as possible out of my meals.
This was not easy, because I love pancakes and bread! And one of the hardest things to do is find out how much carbohydrates have and when I should take them out of my diet.
First I used a 21 day with no sugars or carbohydrates such as simple or complex at all. Not even fruits.
The rules were: if it didn’t run in a field, swim in an ocean, fly and wasn’t green don’t eat it.
So my meals consisted of meat, fish, chicken, veggies and water! That’s it for 21 days.
It was hard but after the first 12 days you adapt and get into a rhythm. I lost 8 lbs in three weeks, I was off to a good start.
The next step is to have a cheat meal. My choices were the following: a cheat evening, cheat day or an entire cheat weekend.
Of course, I choose the cheat weekend and went crazy, I ate banana pancakes, oxtail rice and peas, chocolate cake, etc. Pretty much everything I missed for three weeks. Obviously that having a cheat weekend was way too many calories from carbohydrates so I restricted myself to only cheat afternoon & evening once per week on Sundays starting at noon.
I did this until I lost 59 lbs.
During this process I would experiment with Intermittent fasting: this concept is to eat within an 8 hr window. My window was from noon – 8pm. It worked well in terms of losing total weight but I felt I lost to much muscle using this method. Also I was highly irritable and had little patiences which was never my strong suit anyway. But if you want to lose weight fast this method works.
I didn’t like the way I looked when I dropped to 211lbs. I was too skinny in my eyes and not muscular enough. So dappled with carb back loading which helped pack on muscle but didn’t help my addiction to carbs!
I couldn’t control myself and I packed away to many carbs after 3pm daily so I went back to restricting carbs to only one half day per week. This time my breakfast was consistent with a meat and nut breakfast, this worked well for fueling my morning workouts and packing on muscle while losing body fat.
But I stumbled on something that works really well for me.
I noticed after my carb coma Saturday evenings with my wife, I would not eat because the next morning because I was full. I wouldn’t eat until 2pm or sometimes 4pm.
The extra 2 to 3 lbs I put on from my carb feast would drop off quickly using this method.
Now I adapted this little trick and it works real well for me. Anytime I have carbs, I intermittent fast the next day. I will only eat with in a 6 or 8 hr window and this for some reason works wonders for me.
Number 3: Train everyday.
The basic concept is that I must do something every day! I structure serious workouts 4 to 6 times per week and the other 1 or 2 days I do whatever I want.
If I am on a strength kick I do two heavy max effort days and two volume days.
If I am on a bodybuilding kick I may hit a different body part everyday or hit two body parts for example chest and back, quads and hamstrings, biceps, triceps & shoulders.
On this two body part split, I rotate 3 days on and one day off, off meaning doing something else such as skipping, strongman, kettlebells or one of my favorite bodyweight circuits push ups x 15 reps, chin ups x 10 reps and dips x 15 reps for 5 to 10 rounds.
I like to feel strong so I always go heavy at least once per week on some exercise no matter if I am on a bodybuilding cycle just to gain mass or doing more calisthenics for a certain cycle. I never stray far from heavy lifting.
These are three simple concepts that worked well for me and still are working to the day of writing this blog.
The key for me is “I know myself”.
One key advice one of my mentors gave was to know yourself. I stopped drinking completely because I know I couldn’t handle drinking occasional like on my cheat days, which I am allowed to have anything I want. The pull would be too strong not to drink during the week if I get stressed.
Eliminating carbs is something I always knew instinctively, when I eat too much pasta, bread or flour such as pancakes I feel bloated and I look pregnant. It was and still is hard for me to get abs. When I was 21 and jacked I still didn’t have abs. But I am going to get them soon trust me because I am older and wiser, the #questforsix is real. Also, the fact I don’t metabolize carbs well was solidified by genetic testing done.
Training everyday works for me because I like daily routines and rhythm. When I am in a rhythm I am at my best. So I try to train everyday no matter what, It may not be at the same time but I will train, It may not be at a gym but I will train, it may not be for an hour or 30 min but I will do something. This goes back to knowing myself, rhythm and routine are keys to me being successful in almost anything I put my mind to so I apply this to my training.
In my opinion the key to achieving your goal in fat loss is to know yourself and structure your routines to reflect.