10 years ago, at the age of 22, I lost about 25-28 lbs. dropping from a heavy 215 lbs., down to 188 lbs. To be honest, when I think back at that summer of 08, and I try to recall how this happened, all I can come up with is that a change was made to my eating habits.
The main reason it’s not entirely clear to my memory, is because it was not intentional. I did not start that summer off, with the specific intention of dropping 25 lbs., it just happened. Remember I was 22 at the time, so my metabolism was also working VERY quickly.
When I weighed 215 lbs., I was living in a fraternity house and was not eating the most nutritiously dense meals.
2 common meals I would eat were:
1.) Frozen calzones from the freezer section at the grocery store (2 at a time), and
2.) Italian sausage links, which I cooked on a George Foreman grill.
There were more than a few frozen meals I would eat actually. This isn’t to mention all the fast food I was eating at spots surrounding the frat house, or all the beer I would drink.
Once I dropped the weight, I made sure to keep it off. The reason for this, was because it wasn’t until I’d lost the 25 lbs., that I even realized I’d gained so much weight in the first place. Moving out of the fraternity house, and cooking more of my own meals, was a big part of the lbs. falling off (and staying off).
A Few Years Later:
I dropped another 15 lbs. (from 188 down to 170 lbs.). I did this by strictly adhering to the Brad Pitt diet from the movie Fight Club. At the time this seemed to be a desired look. Now I feel that look is too small. When you consider Pitt only actually weighed 153 lbs. in the film, then you know what I mean.
Since this time I’ve put on about 10 lbs., and for the last several years, I have maintained a healthy-looking 180 lbs.
I can honestly say that 180 lbs. is where my body wants to be. I’m 5’10, so a weight of 180 around a muscular, athletic frame, looks good on me. The real question, is how I’m able to maintain this weight, without creeping back up to the heavier weight I used to be of 190 (or even worse 215).
I get cravings just like everybody else. In fact I can get pretty intense cravings that come seemingly out nowhere, and can sometimes send my flying off the rails of my healthy routine. As I get older, these hunger pangs are getting a little less common however. This is because over time I continue to build up more self-control and self-discipline.
I have compiled a list below, of what I believe to be my top 10 reasons, for why I’ve been able to maintain my muscular, lean and mean physique.
1.) Intermittent Fasting.
This has, without any doubt whatsoever, been the main #1 thing I have done that has kept the weight off me. If you haven’t read my article on intermittent fasting, then I would suggest you check that out. Intermittent fasting is a very simple concept. Human beings have a tendency to want to complicate things. I am encouraging you NOT to do that with intermittent fasting, again…. it’s not a complicated so don’t make it so.
All it entails is you skipping breakfast, and making sure that you only eat inside of a certain window. For example: you can eat within a 6 hour window, and then fast for 18 hours (so first meal is 12:30pm and 2nd meal is 6:00pm), OR you can eat within a 4 hour window, and fast for 20 hours (so first meal 2:00pm, and 2nd meal is 5:30-6:00pm).
It’s that simple.
You are not allowed to eat breakfast.
Technically, you could also eat breakfast and lunch, and then skip dinner, but I don’t think that is ideal for most people. The best way to go about this is by skipping breakfast. That way you’re not slowing yourself down in the morning by trying to digest a big breakfast. After you eat, your body has to go through the digestion process, and to do this requires energy. Most people have their most productive hours in the morning. I know I sure as hell do, I’m absolutely lethal in the mornings as far as productivity is concerned.
To me, it just makes logical sense to eat a moderate lunch (not too big), and then a large dinner. I don’t want to be slowed down in the middle of the day either.
Try to eat dinner 3 hours before going to sleep. So if you normally go to sleep at 10pm, then try to make sure you’re done with dinner by 7pm. That way your body has a few hours to digest the food. It’s never a good idea to eat a huge meal, and then go right to sleep.
2.) Reduction Of Carbohydrates (Mainly Bread).
The best diet to follow is the carnivore diet. The carnivore diet is without any doubt whatsoever, your most healthy way to eat. In my opinion, most people need to be eased into the carnivore diet. I don’t think most people can just go completely cold turkey ”meat and dairy” only, and expect not to find it very difficult.
One problem that I ran into when I approached the carnivore diet in this ”cold turkey” fashion, was constipation. This resulted from the lack of fiber in the diet (and the fact that I’m a daily kratom burner). So yeah the kratom, in conjunction with the no fiber, put me in a serious state of constipation. To avoid this, my advice is to incorporate green vegetables into the diet at first. I would do this for the first 2 weeks of the diet, and then ween yourself off the broccoli. So in the 3rd week maybe only have like 2 pieces of it.
The main point here however, is that you need to drop the carbohydrates. This is what I have done for the last 7 years, and its the reason I’m still lean and mean machine. I do not eat carbohydrates during the week, while I’m following my carnivore diet or doing my intermittent fasting.
You can allow yourself if choose, to eat bread and carbs on your cheat day, but that’s it. This is crucially important. It’s points like this, when people miss what’s trying to be communicated to them: no carbs means just that: NO CARBS!
3.) A Busy Work Lifestyle (But Not Too Busy).
I wholeheartedly believe that being busy, plays a part in staying lean. This is because you’re too busy thinking about what needs to get done for work, instead of what your next meal will be. I heard in a video one time about the eating habits of Vince McMahon. Vince McMahon of course is the owner of the infamous WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment).
He’s a billionaire and built a little empire. Anyway, Vince has always had a very good physique for a guy his age. Although I’m sure performance-enhancing substances were used at times, there’s no denying that any guy would take his body for someone in their late 50’s/early 60’s.
The video described that for Vince, meals were not something to be enjoyed, rather they were something that ”had to be consumed” for survival. He would scarf down his meal in a matter of minutes, so as to ”get it out of the way”, so that he could get back to work. Recently I realized, that this is actually what I do too. My lunch breaks are never longer than 11 minutes. I’ll often eat hard-boiled eggs, and a couple protein bars.
Now technically protein bars aren’t on the carnivore diet, but with the crazy work lifestyle I’m still dealing with, I’ve found this is just what I have to do currently. The protein bars I’ll often even eat while I’m driving to my next appointment or work location. That said, sometimes my ”lunch breaks” are only 4-5 minutes.
Point is, I’m damn busy and the meal is almost an annoyance to me. This works out in my favor. If the meal were super important to me, I’d be more inclined to cheat. I’d be more inclined to cheat due to how much importance I’d be placing on the meal.
Why Not Too Busy?
There is a reason I say you don’t want to be too busy. That reason is because being too busy makes it more likely you’ll fly off the rails and find yourself at Jack In The Box. This can happen when you’re so busy, that you literally forget to eat. When you finally remember you’re starving all of the sudden. So then you don’t have the patience to spend 20-25 minutes cooking up some chicken or pork chops. So of course you end up resorting to whatever is closest (ie fast food).
Most of us know how that story ends.
4.) The Only Thing I Drink Is Water (Occasionally Milk), And Coffee.
The only thing you should be drinking is water, and maybe a couple cups of coffee in the morning (no sugar!). Forget the Gatorade, forget the sprite or coca cola’s, forget the juice, energy drinks, or any of that other crap people drink.
Water is your friend, and you should be consuming a shit load of it. Drinking water all day has most definitely been HUGE for me in keeping these lbs. off!
5.) Cooking And Preparing My Own Meals, With A Heavy Concentration On Animal Protein.
The best thing you can do for yourself, is do a 2-4 hour meal prep every Sunday. It will work absolute wonders for you. I don’t about you guys, but I often find myself working until 7 or 8pm on weeknights.
When this happens, and its one of those weeks where I didn’t meal prep like I was supposed to (on Sun.), then it can be very easy for that night to turn into an unwanted cheat night. I’ll go for what’s easy and quick, rather than the protein-fueled meal of champions I’d normally eat. That said, either make sure you get out of the office early enough to cook your meal that night, or do it all on Sunday with a meal prep. Its work the time investment on Sunday, so you don’t have to do it during the week.
Here is what my meal will typically look like:
1.) 5-6 Eggs (mostly eggs whites, with a few real eggs added in as well (with their yolks)),
2.) Pork chops (1-3), and water. If I’m not eating those, I’ll either eat: chicken breast, steak, turkey burgers, or wild caught fish of some sort. I like salmon, shrimp, catfish, flounder, haddock, etc. I’m not picky with my seafood as long as its wild-caught, and grilled.
That’s it. Yes, only 2 food items, but eggs are filling and I’m eating 5-6 of them, along with 1-3 pork chops (or chicken breasts, etc).
I’ll cook the eggs with butter (real butter), and cook the fish and meat with extra virgin olive oil. I use a wooden cutting board (avoid plastic whenever you can). I’ll likely add Tabasco or hot sauce to the meat (I love hot sauce), and salsa to the eggs for flavor. That’s it however. Do not use barbecue sauce, ketchup, mustard, or any other sauce that contains sugar.
6.) Taking A Fat Burner A Couple Times A Year.
You don’t need to take thermogenic fat burners non-stop, but they are helpful to take a couple times a year. You can take them for cutting, or just for maintenance (if in the early stages of trying to keep weight off you just lost).
Here is the fat burner I recommend. This is the only fat burner I fully trust, I don’t use any other fat burner except this one.
7.) Routine, Clockwork Gym Sessions, With An Emphasis Placed On Weightlifting (Instead Of Cardio).
I realize it can be hard to make the gym a daily routine, but you got to do your best. I’m not perfect about it, I never have been, but I always do my best. Ideally, you should be lifting weights 4 days a week, and doing cardio 2 days a week. You could also lift 5 days a week, and do cardio 1 day a week.
Point is: the majority of my gym time is lifting. You’ve got to get your body to a point where it can coast off the muscle you’ve built within it. I’ve mentioned this before, but I started lifting weights when I was only 14 years old. So I acclimated my body to it at a very young age. I know most guys won’t be able to say the same for themselves, but the sooner you start, the sooner your body will get there.
Because I started so young, my body is at a point now where it doesn’t take much for me to get bigger. It doesn’t take much for me to lose a few pounds if I need to. In other words: I naturally burn fat at a faster rate than most guys. I got this way by making the gym a daily priority. If you gotta go in the mornings to make sure you get the gym session in that day, then so be it. You do whatever you have to do.
What makes the gym experience more interesting for me is taking some sort of supplement, or perhaps even a PED. These make my progress funner and more exciting to track. I’ll also listen to interesting podcasts while I’m there, so that helps make a routine workout easier to get through.
8.) Not Keeping Bad Food In Or Anywhere Near My House.
This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many guys I run into that don’t follow this common-sense rule. If you buy food that’s rich in carbohydrates or sugar, and you keep it in your pantry: YOU WILL CHEAT EVENTUALLY. It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when.
Only buy groceries that fall into your approved list of foods. Save the bad food for eating out, DO NOT keep it at your house.
Again, it may sound like common sense, but it just amazes me how many guys don’t adhere to this.
And that’s it guys. These are the top 8 reasons I believe I’ve been able to keep my weight off, after losing it. The battle is not won after you’ve done your cutting, the battle is won after you’ve successfully staved off the weight for years after your cut.