How do I lose weight?
Here’s the million dollar question just about everybody looking to a healthier lifestyle asks. You try this, do that, eat things that look like they should be in outer space, count macros and calories, and on and on. Why don’t we keep things simple and fun, instead of turning you into an amateur rocket scientist to get this very basic task done?
Mindset and Goal Setting
Before doing anything, as my number 1 personal rule: get your mind on track. This means coming to terms with the fact that to achieve your goal, you need the discipline and commitment not just somewhere in between, but all the way from start to end.
If that means getting up at the crack of dawn, drinking a liter of water as soon as you get out of bed, going for a walk, gym, whatever at a specified time, or following a weekly routine, like a robot, so be it. If you want to achieve something, you gotta put in the work; nobody got to the top by staying in bed until 12pm.
Find your own "Fuel"
There are numerous ways to get a person moving and achieve goals. Typically, a method that works for one may not always work for the other. So its vital that you do a bit of “soul searching”, trial and error and learn to step out of your comfort zone to discover your very own brand of passion fuel. This applies to everything in life you hope to achieve, not just losing weight.
To me, this was strength in general. Mind and body. Physical and mental strength. I’ve faced my own share of stresses and problems thrown at me through the circle of life, and the way I learnt to not only cope, but deal with them was by investing myself in strength as a whole. I didn’t just want to be fit, I wanted to be the fittest, the strongest, and the baddest dude in the gym. Likewise, I wanted to carry these traits out into the world, not being told what to do, not be like everybody else around me, but an individual, a person that always stands out, someone different, stronger and more intelligent, what we call an Alpha.
Make this your desire, your goal, the ultimate dream, and work your ass off day in and night, not stopping, even after you reach your goal, but asking yourself: how do I take this even higher, to the next level?
Picture being the CEO of a very successful company, e.g. Apple or Google. Your organization is now at the apex of its field, but if you, as its leader, think that this is good enough and sit on your laurels, chances are, before you know it somebody else has now taken your place at the top, you’re spiraling downwards because you sat on your ass when the competition kept grinding.
What do I Do?
Forget the complicated macro, fat counting, and other “wizardry”, here are a few things you can do to get this done. Keep in mind, nobody here is superman, and you don't get results overnight.
Here’s the miracle drink to the healthiest state you can be in. Not only does it prevent other factors such as fatigue and illnesses, it also purifies your body and keeps it running at optimal condition, which, in other words means improved metabolism and increased fat usage. The recommended amount per day for the average adult would be 2+ Liters, however, if you are supplementing with Creatine, you should increase your daily intake to 3-4 Liters. Another handy trick is to drink a large amount (around 600ml or more) as soon as you get out of bed in the morning. This has proven to be a form of a natural boost to wake up the body, making you feel more refreshed and alive right away.
Most people consider a diet to be eating healthy, but less. This is wrong. Healthy food is a requirement, but make sure your body gets enough of it to keep it going throughout the day. If not, you just get weaker and weaker- ending up in a worse state than when you started. Also practice eating many small meals instead of a few large meals. This ensures enough time and space for your digestive system to be done with the previous meal, so the next one is taken in properly as well, leading to the stoppage of overall fat gained from the excess wastage brought by large meals few and far in between.
Humans aren’t meant or built to be couch potatoes- people who invest in fitness throughout their life are living testaments to that. They are overall healthier, more agile and more alive, no matter their age. Have a daily activity on schedule, so you have your daily dose of fitness. Trust me, keep it up and you’ll see how rewarding it is, not just physically, but mentally as well. Join a gym if possible (for the novices out there). You can also try going for a walk or light jog every day for an hour or so, just after you wake up in the morning and have your water. That’s it. Your empty stomach at the time means that for this exercise, the first fuel source to be used by your body will be the fat itself.
If you’re already in the gym world, here are a few things you can do:
Always do some cardio, whether it’s arm, shoulder, or even leg day. Preferably after you’re done lifting weights and about to finish up. All your energy will be spent by then, and you’ll be huffing and puffing, running on fumes till the end of it- this is the best way to cut that fat.
Stretch. Before and after your workout. Keep your muscles on optimum levels and less prone to injury (your “50 year self” will thank you later for this, trust me).
Kettle bells are good. Not only do they build that explosive power, they also push your body to the limits- after that 50th or so rep, you’ll be torching that fat. Just make sure you go with a weight you can handle- the gym is not a place to brush up on your ego, that will only earn you a ticket to the hospital. Focus more on pushing yourself for longer.
Condition yourself. Besides others mentioned above, train heavily in bodyweight exercises. Pushups, pullups, dips; if you wanna be a certified badass take yourself to the plyometrics division and own that shit.
Skipping. Combat athletes best friend next to the kettle bell. Try to go for longer and longer, add in a bit of HIIT if you’re more daring. Just remember to stretch those shins and calves. You don't want your calf muscles with knots in them or the infamous Shin Splints. Believe me, I’ve had both and I know the great deal of long term suffering they bring.
Standing for High Intensity Interval Training, this is a method used by the Elite to burn fat at massive levels- if done properly. You can incorporate this into any form of cardio. For example if you’re running, instead of going at a constant speed, you go all out for 20 seconds. Then slow down to a crawl for 10 seconds. Go all out again for another 20. And so on. I prefer to cut the rest time to around half the work time to get the maximum effect out of it. What you do it upto you. Give it a try, you’ll see results very soon.
Setting aside martial art in general, as this may not be everyone’s cake, it does not however hurt to get yourself a pair of gloves and hit those bags for a very powerful cardio and conditioning workout. Time yourself- maybe start off with 2 mins for the beginner, going up more and more as your body is conditioned over time. A few tips- I personally had more of a “fall, get up and learn” experience, so when I started, especially with heavy bags, this was the situation. Don’t focus on hitting hard (you need to strengthen your body with weights and functional training to improve your power), but focus on hitting fast, light, and for longer. The first few months for me was literally a pain filled experience, where I used to sprain my wrists and ankles over and over again (from the hard hitting and starting off with a pair of 16oz’s, no kidding!), but with proper strength and functional training, as well as proper punching and kicking techniques, you get stronger and go for longer gradually, over time.
Yep, you heard it right. Too much work can but the body to overstrain which leads to weaker performance, mobility and in worse cases, injury. Try not to jump into bed as soon as you had your dinner though, so
Find the right food
Do your research and figure out all the healthy food and nutrition you need. Green veggies, raw eggs, chicken breast or other lean meat, brown rice, berry shakes are all common body essentials that metabolize and help cut out fat effectively. Drinking raw eggs every morning is a powerful energy source that will keep you going throughout the whole day. Take around 2 or 3 (depending on your fitness level), and try to get them to be free range. You can also add in more eggs, but I wouldn't advise taking more than 3 yolks per day. If you must have more, make sure you separate aside the yolks and only drink the whites of eggs 4, 5, 6, etc.
Where to from Here?
As mentioned before, there are so many things you can do to achieve your weight loss goals; these are just a few of mine. They have been highly effective to me and I have never counted a single macro or carb content in my 12 years of training. The key here is to keep going and keep grinding; like I said, it’ll take a while until you see results, depending on the intensity of your training, but eventually you will see them, so when you do, you’ll see how well your hard work paid off.
As you can see, I have mentioned exercises you can do and food you can eat, but didn’t go into too much depth into either. This is to keep the article focused on it’s main topic. I will develop exercise routines and meal plans soon; when I do, I will link them back to here so you can go into depth on whichever topic you’re interested in.
Now that we’re done here for now- take all this knowledge, energy, desire and hunger for more; young Padawan, and put it to work for you!