How To Lose 20 Pounds (& up to 25 lbs.): I have always managed to stay in very good shape. Certainly not in ”contest-prep” shape all year round (I’m rarely in that good of shape), but for 80% of my year, I hover at around 10-12% body-fat.
I lost about 20-25 lbs when I was 25 years old, and since then (with the exception of maybe a few months), I have managed to stay at this body-fat percentage VERY consistently.
What that means is I didn’t gain the weight back that I lost. And if I did temporarily gain a little of it back (after a vacation or something), I’ve always lost it again within 5 days of returning from my trip.
In this article, I will share my secrets, and how I’ve been able to do this all these years.
It would easy to make this a complex and complicated article, but I’m going to keep it as simple as possible.
The truth is: losing a moderate amount of weight and getting fit is not complicated. However, most people do their best to complicate it, because that’s what human beings do: they take simple situations, and they make them as complex as they can.
After some serious thought and consideration, at the risk of this being ”too simple”, I have narrowed this down to 8-10 principles.
Here they are:
1) When I lost weight, I did not begin from a horrible starting point (I wasn’t already obese).
In other words, it’s not like I was ever 50 lbs. (or more) overweight, I was only overweight by the exact amount that I lost (20-25 lbs.). If I had been, I would have written a different article, because my experience would have unfolded differently as well.
If you’re just flat-out fat (you know who you are), this article will still help you, but you have some initial work you’ll need to do 1st before you can really get the most out of this article. This will likely require a physician’s input.
I have never been 60 lbs. overweight, I’ve never even been 40 lbs. overweight, so I cannot speak to men with that problem.
So you must not already be too overweight, and it will also help you if you already have a decent base of muscle before you follow my suggestions here.
This advice is for people who are anywhere from 10-30 lbs. overweight, and just need to get focused long enough to reach their potential (or what they know they’re capable of achieving).
Someone who has allowed themselves to get 50, or 60 lbs. overweight, is dealing with one, or a combination of a few additional factors, such as:
-Emotional issues or baggage.
-Extreme stress or inability to tame or deal with stress.
-Addictive personality (specifically with regard to food consumption, or substance abuse) or a
These are all the most common/likely culprits for someone who’s gotten that overweight.
2) Pay attention to calories in vs. calories out.
At the end of the day: calories count. Calories matter. Losing or keeping weight off is as simple as calories in vs. calories out. You should be keeping an eye on how calorically dense the food is that you’re eating.
Especially if you’ve never done this before, I’d highly recommend you download an app that helps you track the calories you’re eating every day.
Do your best to track every single item of food you eat (including what you drink as well). This will give you a feel for how many calories are in certain foods.
Again: this part here is much more important if this something you’ve never done or gotten a feel for before.
You’ll be surprised to find that some foods have a higher in calorie count than you thought they did. The app I recommend for this is MyFitnessPal.
You want your daily calorie consumption to be a little below your BMR maintenance level.
This can be calculated by entering in your numbers right here. Once there, I recommend using the Mifflin-St Jeor Formula option (in the Advanced Options section underneath).
If fat loss is your goal, then calculate your BMR and subtract 200-300 calories from this number!
This is the number of calories you need to stay below each day to lose weight in a realistic, healthy way. This will be exponentially easier to do with a calorie app tracker (the MyFitnessPal app).
3) Only eat 1-2 meals a day (1 is better), DO NOT snack or have more than 3 meals per day.
You must eliminate the bad habit of snacking or ”grazing” on food. It is very unlikely, that you’ll ever be satisfied with your body, so long as you are still carrying this habit around with you. It’s just too easy to go over the number of calories you should be staying under.
This is not what serious men do. Men who are serious about their lives (which should include their health & fitness), only eat when it is time to eat, but not in between those times.
For me, this is lunch and dinner. That’s it.
Occasionally, I’ll eat breakfast (probably 2 days a week). but the majority of the time I’m able to hold off on my 1st meal of the day until sometime between 2:30 pm-3:00 pm. Then I’ll try to finish dinner by 7:45 pm that night (so as to allow for a 19-hour fasting window, which will end the next day at 2:45 pm again when I eat lunch).
Just remember: a 16-19 hour fasting window is the magic number (and the longer the better)
There has been quite a bit that has been said and written about this method. If you’d like to learn or know more about why this way of eating works, then I highly suggest you read or listen to this book right here.
4) Reduce your carbohydrate intake.
Carbohydrates are like a drug. They give you the same dopamine release that you get when you take drugs, exercise, or listen to a song you love. Therefore: you must only eat carbohydrates sparingly. This is what I have done now for the last 9 years, and I attribute my success in losing weight and keeping it off, to being able to adhere to this.
When you eat carbohydrates, they convert into sugar in your body. They cause you to retain water, which is why you will almost always look more bloated after eating carbs, especially in your face.
For a man, having a slim face is the #1 thing that makes him attractive looking.
I first noticed this back in 2011, right after I lost those 25 lbs. I mentioned. One major thing I was doing during those 3 months when I lost all that weight, as I was severely limiting the carbs in my diet. It worked, and it showed very quickly.
Women started noticing me a lot more, once I had dropped that water weight out of my face and body. I’ve never tried an all-out Carnivore diet before, but it’s something that’s on my to-do list for this fall. I’ll report back what my results are of course after I’ve completed that experiment (the Carnivore Diet).
If there is one thing I am certain of, however, it’s this: carbohydrates are extremely addictive. They may be THE most addictive thing on the planet actually. Even if they aren’t, they’re at least in the top 5, and that should tell you something. Eating too many carbs most definitely WILL add water weight to you (especially your face), and it WILL make weight loss extremely difficult for you.
Now I have never completely eliminated carbs from my diet, but I HAVE always paid very close attention to how often I’m consuming them. I have always kept their intake very low. Only on cheat days do I really indulge myself of them.
5) Lift weights.
Lifting weights is something I’ve been doing since I was 14 years old. The great thing about weightlifting is that your body continues to burn calories, for 24 hours after you complete your weight-lifting session. Whereas with cardio, your body only burns calories for about an hour after your workout is over. So when you lift 4 days a week, and most of those days are back to back, that means your body is essentially burning calories non-stop, for 4-5 days straight.
It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see how that could be extremely beneficial to someone’s weight loss or weight-maintenance goals.
Here is the best pre-workout formula I have ever found in my entire life for the gym (after trying dozens of them).
6) Use Fat-Burners.
I used to be against the ideas of fat burners until I realized they actually have some application. The main thing fat burners do, is they suppress your appetite during the 1st half of your day (for someone that’s trying to adhere to Intermittent Fasting (IF)).
IF this is something you’re trying for the 1st time, then I highly recommend you consider using a fat burner, as a way to help you through the 1st half of your day, until 2:45 pm or the time comes to have your 1st meal that day(for me this is 2:45 pm).
Fat Burners have worked wonders for me in this regard. The key to using these, at least for me, was taking enough of them. In my case, I would take 3 pills (3 fat-burners) because I found that taking any less than this wasn’t enough to achieve the desired ”no-appetite” side effect, that allowed me to make it all the way until 2:45 pm.
Taking 1 or 2 pills was pointless, I had to take 3 of them to achieve this desired ”no-appetite” effect.
Fat burners also increase the number of calories your body burns through each day. This is huge guys and will make the results you see from your calorie deficit, show a lot faster than they otherwise would.
One thing you should also keep in mind is that drinking alcohol, when trying to adhere to something like intermittent fasting, is NOT a good idea. When you drink, the next day your blood sugar levels are lowered. The alcohol lowers blood sugar to below normal levels, so you’ll likely feel the need to eat carbohydrates, in an effort to alleviate this empty feeling.
With this said, obviously drinking is something you’ll want to avoid, not only when you’re trying to lose weight but also when trying to adhere to something you may not be used to (like Intermittent Fasting!).
You’ll also want to avoid other things that lower your inhibitions, like Phenibut for example.
TIP: Zero-calorie, zero-sugar seltzer waters (especially if you’re not used to drinking them), will act as an appetite suppressant. You can combine these with the fat burners and have a few of these to make you feel fuller in the morning, in the hours leading up to that 1st meal.
7) Intermittent Fasting.
This is one I’ve talked about at length before. You want to be putting your body through the process of ketosis, which is exactly what happens to it when it goes long stretches without a meal.
In ketosis, your body starts to burn fat, instead of grabbing that energy from the food you usually feed it. Do this once a day, and it will have a ”compounding-interest” type of effect on you.
The way I do this, is I have my 1st meal of the day, at 2:45 pm, then I have my 2nd meal at 7:20 pm (that way I’m finished with my dinner by the end of that 5-hour eating window (2:45 pm-7:45 pm).
Then my body has a 19-hour fasting window between 7:45 pm, and 2:45 pm the next day. I’ve tried several different eating window lengths, and this one here seems to works the best.
It just seems to work best in both a purely physical sense, as well as a psychological one. Make no mistake, in the first 3-4 weeks of doing Intermittent Fasting: it’s a bit of a psychological battle as well. It’s just not something most people are used to.
IF has been popularized for several years now, and there is much you can watch, listen to, and read about it online. The best book there is on it again can be found right here. This book will tell you any and everything you need to know about Intermittent Fasting.
8) Don’t graze or snack.
I certainly haven’t been perfect about this all these years, but more the most part, I have always had a pretty good grasp on knowing that snacking or grazing on food is NOT the way to go when it comes to keeping weight off you.
Some people have a bigger problem with this than other people do. To me, this seems like one of those things you either struggle with, or you don’t. For me snacking never been too much of a problem.
The only time snacking ever really becomes an issue for me is when I go out of town to visit my mother and stay at her house. Her pantry and refrigerator will often be filled with food I don’t ever buy. Most of her food isn’t even unhealthy by the way but is nevertheless still food I simply don’t keep in my house (it’s not food I’m used to having on hand, so I naturally feel more compelled to indulge myself).
I’m also a bachelor, have been for years now, so I realized a long time ago: that if I just don’t keep bad food in my apartment, then I have to exert focused effort to go out and get it if I really want it. Most of the time I find I don’t want it bad enough (although sometimes I do).
My weakness is a cookies and cream milkshake (especially from Chic-Fil-A).
However, when I want a milkshake, I still have to get dressed, grab my keys, and leave my home to go and get one. If you just simply stop buying and keeping unhealthy food at your house, you won’t end up eating it.
It’s that simple.
This is the easiest way to stop snacking and grazing: stop keeping snack food at your house! Just don’t buy it anymore when you’re out getting groceries.
On your cheat days, when you want to have those 2-3 cheat meals, you will have to physically leave your house to go and get them.
Guys this has worked wonders for me, for years. I find it hard to believe it wouldn’t also work for most of you.
Snacking and grazing will be more of an issue for men that live with a wife, woman, and/or kids. If that’s the case, then chances are higher that your pantry and fridge are filled with a lot more food than it otherwise would be (if you were just a bachelor).
This is why your weight is something you ideally want to start getting a handle on when you’re younger. For me, this was when I dropped those 25 lbs. at age 25. You want to start training your body and your metabolism when you are young, free and unencumbered.
By this I mean you’re not in a situation where, right from the jump the deck is already stacked a little against you (in this example: living with a woman or a family, and thus having to keep more food in the house).
Being able to avoid starting from disadvantages like this, is the ideal scenario.
Over several years, your body actually WILL adapt to the habits that you train into it. The eating habits I developed and focused on starting at age 25, have become ingrained into me. I don’t even have to think about them anymore, they just come naturally to me now.
Your body over time learns to adapt to what you’re putting it through.
It comes to expect certain inputs from you. So I mean this in both a psychological sense, as well as a physical one. I really believe that my body has physically adapted to my eating habits, which means I have to focus and concentrate on gaining weight, if that’s what want (going too far above the weight my body is used to is unnatural).
Of course, I never do this, because if I did I’d be overweight again.
This is how I’ve been able to keep that weight off all these years.
Start this process on yourself as early in your life as you can.
9) Replace calories, don’t add them.
For me, this one here is the newest one on my list. Since I’m new to it, I’ve struggled a little with correctly applying this principle, but the way it works is you simply keep track of the calories you’re consuming. This is similar to what I said to do at the start of the article.
If it’s not a cheat day, and you really cannot stop thinking about how badly you want that cookies & cream milkshake, then what you can do: is simply replace calories from another food (or drink) source that day, and shift them over to the milkshake. This will take some practice, meaning probably 2-3 weeks of using that calorie tracker app, before you’re able to accurately utilize this tip.
With enough practice, however, you’ll get it down.
I still think you should very judicious about how often you use this one, however.
At the end of the day, what you really are aiming for with all this, is self-control.
So making a habit out of this last point here, is the antithesis of that (the opposite of having or exerting self-control).
At the very least, you’re cutting your self-control muscle in half, and reducing it down to 50% effectiveness (IE still having the wherewithal to replace one set of calories for another).
In my opinion, doing this ”replacing practice” more than a couple of times a month is more mental effort than its worth. I’d rather use those precious brain cells for more important matters, like my work and financial goals for example.
Nevertheless, this is something I’ve recently started doing, and so far it’s worked for me.
Just remember that a milkshake has about 700 calories in it, so in my case, that means a couple of items of food will now not get consumed, even though (in this example), I’m only drinking 1 milkshake.
Just make sure you are acutely aware of how many calories these cheat items have.
And that’s it men, losing and keeping 10-30 lbs. is not rocket science, you just have to tweak some things. More importantly: you have to have at least some level of self-discipline. If you lack any respectable level of self-discipline, then that’s its own problem, and I encourage you to work towards fixing that.
As far as I can tell, anything I didn’t mention here, should already be common sense by this point.
Let me hear about what has worked for you personally, leave your comments.
Until next time,
SOME HELPFUL RESOURCES:
THE BEST FOODS FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Read Next: 10 Observations I Made From 30 Days Of No Alcohol.