Friday, May 17, 2013

7 Steps to Losing Weight

So, last week, I discussed the ability to change your life through losing weight in as little in 90 days, and I promised I would share some more thoughts. Here's a 7-point rundown of how I believe you can do it (or at least how I did).

1) Change your relationship to food and alter your metabolism by shifting your diet from 3 square meals a day with open snacking to 5 small, purposeful meals a day with no snacks.
What do I mean by "purposeful"? Well, I treated food as fuel for my workouts, which means I ate protein, complex carbs (fruits, nuts), and good fats (nuts, avacado); and I cut out the simple carbs and bad fats: Frappachino's, chips, cheeses, pasta, bread, candy, soda, beer, juice (other than 100%), and crackers. Basically, I looked at food in terms of its benefit to me, and my relationship to food changed as a result. Each smaller meal consisted of 1-3 portions of food, each one approximately the size of my fist.

2) Give yourself a splurge day, once a week, when you can eat anything you want. 
Stay disciplined at all other times, remembering that a day is coming when you are allowed to have ice cream, fries, pie, whatever. This was huge for me. It's much easier to say "no" when you know you can say "yes" later.  If you are doing 5 meals a day, then you have 35 a week, and 5 of them can be whatever you want. 1/7 of your diet being garbage can actually help your body burn fat; this is not my opinion, it's science.

3) Dedicate yourself to 6 days of active working out a week. 
Let me assure you, that by "active working out", I mean 20-40 minutes of high intensity fitness. Not two hours at the gym, taking my time and talking; not 1-2 miles depending on how I felt. I demanded of myself 20-40 minutes in the gauntlet, at war with my body, striving to burn every calorie I could. It would hurt. Every day. But I would do it, and it paid dividends.

4) Take a note from the Bible and force yourself to rest on the 7th day. 
No jogging. No morning push-ups. You rest. Let your body fully recover for the next week of war. Take the rest and savor it.

5) Sleep. 
When you know that each day will demand you take it to the limit, you will want to sleep. And you should. Your body will need it, and your body will thank you for it at the 18- minute mark when you crave death but know you must hold for 2 more long minutes. I tried to get 7 hours a day minimum. The days when I didn't, and I was running on coffee fumes, I really, really felt it.

6) Get accountability. 
Let people know you are changing your life. Those who naysay you can prove wrong, and those who support you will be rewarded for their faith.

7) Which of course, bring me to what I believe is the most important factor: you must purpose in your heart to do this. 
It's so easy to get discouraged. Cynicism is the easiest mindset man can adopt. Be better. Make a promise to yourself, maybe even make a promise to a handful of people to whom you've spoken, and follow through it.

That's how I did, and I believe you can do it, too. If you're interested in more details, feel free to e-mail me at or comment.

Here's three BONUS TIPS that are somewhat unique to me, personally, but also helped immensely.

* I am a huge fan of the Rocky films, and I cannot tell you how many times the words of Corner Man Duke echoed in my mind during my workouts. Do you have motivational moments in film or TV, hold onto them for the clutch, and hear them resound in your mind when you are hurting. Your emotional connection to them may help you over a hurdle.

* I found some workouts that I specifically loved doing, and I kept them on deck in the event that I was unsure of what to do for a given day or felt unmotivated. It's okay to do workouts that you actually enjoy doing, as long as you take it to the max.

* I hold to the first Colossians 3:17,  "Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the father through him." This verse helped me tremendously on the days I wanted to quit, the meals I wanted to cheat, and the runs I wanted to stop. I told myself for whom I was living, not myself but God, and this verse was a powerful motivator.

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