If you read Here’s what a Year of Unlimited Eating Did to Me…, you’ll know that I gained an eye-watering 58lbs between January 2014 and January 2015.
That was all part of my n=1 experiment to see how much weight I would put on if I ate unlimited quantities of all the foods I enjoy for a full 12 months.
The bottom line is I ended up at 245lbs, making me clinically obese according to the health charts.
But fast forward just 27 weeks, and I was down a whopping 61lbs and in the best shape of my life.
No oiling, no shaving, no pumping up, no Photoshopping or anything like that.
Just as importantly, I’ve been able to keep the weight off, which is something over 80% of dieters fail to do.
Here’s a photograph taken another three months down the track, the night before my 45th birthday (and first half marathon).
Now, this isn’t some kind of “hey, look at me” ego trip – the whole point of doing this was to learn something useful from the experience and then pass that on to other folks.
After all, it’s impossible to effectively coach something that you haven’t experienced first hand, right?
Looking back on it, there were three fundamental things that not only allowed me to lose the weight but to actually enjoy the process.
That’s super-important because if we enjoy something, doing it takes pretty much zero effort or discipline.
The 3 Keys to Rapid & Dramatic Fat Loss
On the morning of January 16 2015, I weighed in at 245lbs – that’s a full 25lbs heavier than man-mountain George Foreman when he fought Muhammad Ali at “The Rumble in the Jungle.”
But in my mind I was already a lean 180lbs.
I wasn’t thinking “wouldn’t it be nice to be a little less fat” or “I’d sure like to lose some weight” – I knew exactly what my outcome was and I had 100% certainty that I’d hit it.
I was going to be a lean 180lbs, come hell or high water.
Once I’d committed to that goal mentally, all I had to do was follow through physically and make it a reality.
Each day I focused on getting one step closer, losing just a few ounces of fat, knowing that stacking those small increments of progress was all I needed to do to achieve the desired result.
I didn’t focus on how much more weight I had to lose, how far away from the goal I was or the size of the task ahead.
Each day I woke up excited to know that today was another opportunity for me to inch just a little bit closer to the goal I was 100% committed to achieving.
And, as I lost weight and made measurable progress (pants looser around the waist, scale weight coming down), that fired me up even more.
If you get nothing else from this article, remember these three words.
Desire is key
Then do whatever you can each day, trust in your ability to see it through, and make achieving your goal an absolute must.
Remember, no one day during those 27 weeks was more or less important than any other.
So, make every day count.
A boy comes to me with a spark of interest, I feed the spark and it becomes a flame, I feed the flame and it becomes a fire, I feed the fire and it becomes a roaring blaze
– Cus D’Amato
Now, while having the right mindset is essential, you still need to have a strategy that gives maximum results for minimum effort.
Put it this way, if I’m in New York and want to drive to Los Angeles, heading due north for 12 hours is the wrong strategy.
Likewise, driving the correct route but keeping the car in second gear isn’t the right strategy, either.
The bottom line is you can have all the desire in the world but if you have an ineffective strategy, you’re making success that much harder to achieve.
My strategy for massive fat loss was simple:
• Establish a baseline for activity and food intake using the free apps, Walker, and MyFitnessPal
• Then focus on steadily ramping up general activity levels while progressively throttling back on overall caloric intake
• Consume at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight each day
• Emphasize foods that are low in calories but high in volume (think fibrous vegetables)
• Record everything I ate each day using the basic Notes app on my iPhone (a plain-old diary would work fine, too)
• Do resistance training for two 1-hour sessions per week
Those were by far the main drivers for fat loss.
Sure, I’d love to be able to tell you that it was down to a secret South American superfood or some magical fat-blasting exercise, but those things simply don’t exist.
Losing a massive amount of body fat takes consistent effort applied through an effective strategy fueled by a burning desire.
Now, there were a bunch of neat little tricks I used to spontaneously reduce caloric intake and increase caloric expenditure.
Things like consuming an 8-oz glass of water before every meal.
Now let’s be honest, that sounds pretty lame, right?
After all, when we think of “massive weight loss, fast” we picture starvation diets, insane workouts where we hammer ourselves into a sweaty mess, and a whole bunch of other extreme stuff.
The little things that are simple and painless tend to get overlooked, but when you stack them together you get a result that’s way beyond the effort it takes to do them.
Listen, if there’s an easy way or a hard way to achieve the same result, I’m going to take the easy way every single time.
This became increasingly important as I zeroed in on my goal weight and the law of diminishing returns started to kick in.
After all, it’s way easier to go from 245lbs to 240 than it is to go from 185lbs to 180.
Bottom line, get a strategy that not only works but is sustainable for you.
Every battle is won before it’s ever fought
– Sun Tzu
When you’re working towards a goal, it’s important to keep an eye on your progress so that you stay on track.
And guess what? Getting knocked off course every now and again is inevitable because anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and vacations are bound to come along.
Being flexible is the key to dealing with that.
So don’t be the guy miserably picking at a tuna salad while dreaming of a big slab of lasagne when you’re out celebrating your wedding anniversary or your child’s birthday.
One meal, one evening, or even one week won’t make that big a difference so long as they’re just a blip.
Remember, it’s what we do habitually that really counts, not those isolated things (either “good” or “bad”) we do every once in a blue moon.
Put it this way, it’s perfectly possible to eat a 2000-Calorie breakfast and still keep your weight loss on track.
(That’s exactly what happened to me one day on summer vacation when my kids couldn’t eat the breakfasts I’d ordered for them).
Flexibility is super-important because events that are outside our control are always going to happen, and it’s better to work with them rather than fight against them.
We have to be prepared to lose the occasional battle to win the war.
Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind
– Bruce Lee
How To Get Lean, Strong & Bulletproof
So, what did I gain from the experience?
Well, I now have a much better understanding of what my weight-loss clients are experiencing.
I know how it feels to be obese, what it’s like to wear a rash vest in 80-degree weather to hide your body, and what it’s like to see yourself in the bathroom mirror and feel your heart sink.
I also know what it takes to lose a bunch of weight fast making it not just as painless but as pleasurable as possible.
I know how food choices make a huge difference to how fast you both put on weight and how fast you lose it.
I know all this because I’ve lived it.
And I’m truly grateful for the experience as it’s allowed me to understand how theory and practice are different things – that’s something only folks that have gone through the process themselves can really appreciate.
In fact, the experience was so valuable I decided to put all the essential information together in an easy-to-digest format so I can help other folks achieve their health and fitness goals.
Over the past 1½ years I’ve poured my heart and soul into this project and the result is my very first book, How To Get Lean, Strong & Bulletproof.
Writing this was one of the most challenging and rewarding things I’ve ever done and, after endless rounds of proofreading, editing, and graphic design work, I’m incredibly proud of the finished product.
Now, I hate “salesy” people just as much as you do – that’s not what I’m about.
In reality, if you work through all the 100+ articles on this website and put them into action consistently, you’ll get awesome results.
But How To Get Lean, Strong & Bulletproof takes things to a whole new level – it’s over 130 pages long and goes into way more detail than I could ever get away with in a blog post.
Plus I’m providing a 60-day, no-questions-asked, full-money-back guarantee.
So if you’d like to kick things up a gear, head on over and check it out here!
You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain.
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