A Comprehensive Guide to Losing Weight


Introduction:


I'm not a personal trainer, nor am I a doctor. What I do have is personal experience, countless failures, and success. Most books and "guides" about losing weight are very short winded. They usually focus on only one subject and leaves the reader with more questions than answers. They also typically don't give you a full picture of how to get it done; or don't do it in one book. Similar to those "get rich" books where the author talks about how he made a fortune and inspires you to do the same, yet doesn't give you detailed instructions on how it's done. Well it's time I shared everything I've learned in the past 18 years here for you to enjoy.

I guarantee results. If you follow my instructions - you will see changes. It's physically impossible not to see any changes. Impossible.



About Me:


My name is Peter and as I write this I'm 34 years old. I have been fat, normal, and totally cut up with 4% body fat in the past. I have read and watch countless weight loss articles/videos because I've had to deal with the culprit that plagues our society. Fat.

There are three types of people pertaining to body structures. Ectomorphs (naturally has a fast metabolism and has a hard time gaining weight), Mesomorphs (naturally has an athletic body with wide shoulders and narrow waists), and Endomorphs (naturally big boned with wide hips and waist). If you are an Ectomorph this article is not for you because I personally don't have experience with difficulties in gaining weight. I personally am a combination of Mesomorph and Endomorph. I'm not stubby, but I do have large hips and thighs and gain weight relatively with ease.

My worst enemy is carbs. Growing up in a traditional Korean family, my diet consisted of rice, noodles, side dishes, and soup. Protein was not a very common daily meal in my family. I believe because I was brought up eating so much carbs that I eventually became addicted. Pasta, bread, rice, french fries, anything made out of flour, I would just gobble it all up because it tasted so damn good. Even so, I had an active childhood because I enjoyed competitive sports such as basketball and football. Up until High School I was rather skinny and healthy. During Junior year of high school I started gaining quite a bit of weight due to the stress from Asian parents nagging you everyday about grades and College. I went from 160lbs to over 220lbs. I was looking at the mirror one day and could not bare to look because I did not like the reflection. I decided I wanted to make a change.

I enrolled to 24 Hour Fitness and started to work out everyday. Basketball, stairmaster, weight lifting, sauna. About 2 hours everynight before bed. Getting out of the house and being able to drive a car by myself at 17 late at night was enough motivation for this. My diet consisted of 2 meals a day. Breakfast, lunch and a small snack later in the afternoon. I would not eat anything after 6pm. I didn't know anything about counting calories or metabolism. I just knew that in order to lose weight, I needed to exercise and eat less. Even though this type of dieting is not recommended considering everything I know now, it worked. In 6 months I had lost 40lbs. And, in the following 6 months I lost another 30lbs and weight in at 150lbs. I was 5'11 and had a chiseled body.

Losing all that weight came with a very fruitful event. Girls started to notice me. Getting phone numbers and dates was easy. Eventually, I was preoccupied with my social life that I started to neglect my diet and exercise. Some years passed and I was in a serious relationship. All the dining out and alcohol killed my metabolism and I started to gain weight. Eventually I was back to 220lbs. Life sucked, and only got worse after breaking up with my girlfriend of 4 years. She probably got tired of my fatass. After soaking in my tears for a few months, I realized that change was needed. I started dieting again and working out everyday. The diet this time around was about counting calories. It didn't matter what kind of food I ate, as long as I didn't exceed my calorie limit for the day. I was eating ramen, rice, rice cakes, pasta, etc.

This method is also not recommended, but it still worked. It took about a year, but was able to lose 45lbs. I was down to 175lbs. My goal was 160lbs but couldn't quite get there. My new transformed body was shortlived however. One year later, I began a new career and the sheer amount of stress forked down on me. I was always tired at the end of the day and made excuses to myself to not work out. I was eating fast food everyday and once again relapsed to 200lbs.

I was fed up with the yo-yo diet and made a promise to myself. When I reach my goal this time around, I don't care what it takes, I'm going to keep it off. I began to read everything I could find on the web, only to come across articles and videos about one specific thing. There was no comprehensive guide that tells you step by step instructions or answers all the questions that I had. So, I just began collecting everything and trying out new methods. I would spark conversations with people at the gym or on social media. Losing weight was nothing new to me, but what I learned from all my research is that my approach was incorrect.

My new and improved diet are a combination of personal experience and countless articles/videos that I've come across. I will discuss how you should prepare yourself mentally and physically. Then, I will hold your hand and tell you what to do for the next few months to shed the pounds.




STEP 1: Prepare Yourself Mentally:


In two words, how do you lose weight? Many would say "Diet and Exercise". But they're wrong. Why? Because it doesn't start from an act, it starts with a thought. The thought of wanting a "Lifestyle Change". Anyone that is serious about being in shape will tell you that keeping a healthy diet with moderate exercise is a lifestyle, not a task or burden.

Diet and Exercise is the primary tool that we use to lose weight, but the reason it's not the correct answer is because without the correct changes in your lifestyle it becomes just a fad. You need to lose 5lbs for that wedding? Diet and exercise will do the trick, but trust me - you will gain it all back. There are three aspects when it comes to lifestyle change. Will power, commitment, and motivation. If you don't have these 3 elements, stop reading this because it's pointless. You may lose some weight, but in the end it will be another yo-yo diet that I struggled with all my life. I will explain each in more detail.

Will power


You need will power to make a change. This is where it all starts. You get will power when you come to the realization that you want to change something in your life. In this case, it's your body and you want to lose weight. Anybody can have will power, or the willingness to want change. The problem lies on the magnitude of that desire. You may "want" to lose weight, but if you have low will power it will always be wishful thinking. You will be eating McDonald's and just think in your head "I wish I wasn't so fat". Think to yourself for a moment. How much do you want to proudly take off your shirt at the beach and show off a six pack?

Commitment


The stronger your will power to change, the stronger your commitment will be. Without commitment, you can have all the will power in the world, but nothig will happen. This is probably the most important part of a lifestyle change. Anybody can start an act of change, but how many follow through and continue down that path? You just finished a 10 hour shift at work and came home. You're tired and the couch is calling your name. What do you do? If you have the commitment, you would get your ass to the gym, even if it's just for 30 minutes. Think to yourself for a moment. Will I start on this diet today and quit after the first month?

Motivation


The last part of a lifestyle change is sticking to your guns. What happens after you have reached your goal? If you stop, and revert back to your old habits, has anything really changed? Another reason may be that you have been working out for 2 months, eating right everyday - but you don't see any results. One of the top new year resolutions is to lose weight. Most people never accomplish their resolutions because they quit after a few months. These people fail because they lack the motivation. They get discouraged after a few months if they don't see the results they were promised in TV infomercials. "Lose 50 pounds in just 60 days" is what the offer - which is ludicrous. I will explain why in the latter portion of this article. Finding motivation to keep going may be difficult, but a key necessity in order to keep up a certain lifestyle.

If you're serious, and have the will power, commitment, and motivation - keep reading.





STEP 2: Set Expectations: What Weight Category are You?:


There are three types of people when it comes to losing weight.

Obese


These are the ones that need to buy two seats when flying. You go to the plus size stores because nothing else fits. No one is born obese, and ultimately there is no one to blame other than yourself. You let go - and right now is not the time to blame your parents for the bad diet habits, or genetics. Yes, some people may have a medical condition - but it's rare. I'm always amazed when I see obese people walking down the street sipping on their big gulps and blame everyone else about their weight problems.

If you're obese, there is good news and bad news. What do you want to hear first? Bad news is that you have very bad habits. Changing those habits will be very difficult. Eating right will be hard. Any type of exercise will be hard. Good news is that out of all other weight categories, you will lose the most amount of weight in the shortest amount of time. This is because someone that is 300lbs can lose more weight in a shorter amount of time, compared to someone that is already near optimal weight at 160 pounds. The same exercise will require more effort on a 300lbs body than a 160lbs body.

That's just how the body works.

Fat


Most people fall under this category. These people are just lazy. Lazy kills. You have a belly, double chin, probably can't see your own toes in the shower. You've been eating way too much sugar - and exercise is the 8th wonder of the world. Good news is that you aren't obese. You only need to buy 1 seat when flying. Bad news is that you're lazy. Your commitment will be tested.

Chubby


These are the ones that just want to lose 10-15 pounds before summer break, or let go during the holidays and want to get rid of the excess fat. Good news is that exercise and changing eating habits will be easier for you. Bad news is that seeing results will take time.

The fatter you are, the more effort will be needed. However, the results are more gratifying and faster. Figure out what category you fall under and have some reasonable expectations. This is in order to protect your motivation. Additionally avoid weight scales. While on this diet and exercise program, you will lose fat and gain muscle. And since muscle weights more than fat the scale is not the best indicator of your progress. Instead put on your jeans and see how they fit.


The following is a recommended weight chart by some nerds in white jackets. I don't agree with the chart because you could weigh more depending on how much muscle you have, but it's still a "relative" indicator of where you should be:

Height Small Frame Medium Frame Large Frame
5'0" 101-109 107-117 115-130
1 104-112 110-121 118-133
2 107-115 113-125 121-136
3 110-118 116-128 124-140
4 113-121 119-131 127-144
5 116-125 122-135 130-148
6 120-129 126-139 134-153
7 124-133 130-144 139-158
8 128-137 134-148 143-162
9 132-142 138-152 147-166
10 136-146 142-157 151-171
11 140-150 146-162 156-176
6'0"• 144-154 150-167 160-181
1 148-158 154-172 165-186
2 152-162 159-177 170-191
3 156-167 164-182 174-196
4 160-171 169-187 178-201



STEP 3: Diet, Nutrition and Metabolism Explained:


Diet:


The first step in losing weight is changing your diet. This is the single most important part of losing weight. Not only is it important during weight loss, it's also extremely important during weight maintenance. In a nutshell, weight is math. Calories in and calories out. If you burn on average 2,000 calories per day, eating more than that amount will gain weight and eating less will lose weight. Nutrition is another matter, which deals more about health than weight loss. You can eat whatever you want, as long as it's below your daily calorie allowance to lose weight. A professor at a university tested this theory by going on a Twinky diet. He only ate twinkies, but managed his calories and lost weight. Obviously, that kind of diet is not recommended since you aren't getting the necessary macro nutrients such as protein and minerals.

Depending on the weight category you fall under, it's pretty obvious what your diet consists of: the bad stuff, increased in portion sizes. If you don't change your diet - or don't plan on changing it, rest assured that losing weight will be VERY difficult to nearly impossible. For most people, it takes about 3,500 excess calories burned in order to lose 1 pound (Read this article. The 3,500 number isn't exactly correct. It's an estimate).

For example, if you eat 1,000 calories in a day, and burn 4,500 calories in the same day - you lost 1 pound. You can do your own math at home. From what i've noticed with my diet regime, I lost on average 0.3lbs per day or -1lbs every 3 days. That's approximately 2lbs per week. I burned on average 2,000 calories and ate approximately 1,000 calories per day.

What this also tells you is that you don't have to exercise to lose weight. You can stick with just diet and nutrition and still lose weight. However, if you don't exercise, the results will be slower and the chances you will gain the weight back increases. This is due to metabolism and muscle.


Metabolism:


One of the hardest and challenging step of weight loss is metabolism. There are 3 reasons why, and i will list them out here.

1. You need to eat

Most people think just eating less will help them lose weight. Yes, there is truth to that. But, remember that one guy from season 1 of "Survivor?" He lost like 50lbs during the show because he was eating less on that island. However, when the show ended and he went back home, the fat also came back. The reason is metabolism.

During winter, bears hibernate. They don't eat, and their bodies are able to adjust and lowers their metabolism to the point where they can survive. Our bodies do the exact same thing. If you stop eating or lower your calorie intake significantly - your body will react and lower the metabolism, thinking if it doesn't you will starve to death. This is why you need to eat. But there are tricks to how you need to eat.

• First, figure out how much calories your body needs to sustain your current body weight. An easy way is to multiple your current body weight by 10. i.e. 200lbs man needs 2,000 calories per day to maintain his weight. An alternate method is to go online and find a website that calculates it for you based on your age, height and weight. Click Here.

• Second, you need to eat at least 3 times a day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. There are debates about this topic. Some experts claim that eating only when you're hungry is enough, while others state that you need to eat at least 5-7 small portions meals a day every 2-3 hours. For me and most normal people, you can't eat every 2-3 hours as we have jobs and no time to do so. In my experience, eating just 3 times a day has been fine.

• Third, you need to eat small portions. THIS IS KEY. Whenever you eat more than your body can handle per sitting, you end up with calories your body doesn't really need and stores them for later use. If you want more info on this, go check out youtube videos regarding glycogen and fat. In short, why eat more than your body requires? It's easier on your wallet and saves time.

• Lastly, you need to eat smart. Chicken breast and fish, instead of pizza and hamburgers.

2. You need to gain more muscle

Muscle burns more calories than fat. That's a given. The more muscles your body has, the more fat/calories you will burn in a day. Your body will also thank you by increasing the metabolism to a degree.

Doing cardio (running, bicycling, walking) is a great workout and helps your heart stay healthy. I am all for cardio. But what it doesn't do that well, is help you increase your muscle volume or metabolism. So, along with a healthy cardio, you need to lift weights. If you don't have any weights, use your body! Sit ups, push ups, etc.

3. Genetics

Just like some kids are born into rich parents and have their whole futures laid out for them. Some people are just born with an instilled gene that keeps their metabolism high even without exercise. These are people considered to be ectomorphs.


Nutrition:


What not to eat

•Sugar
•Fat (fried foods)
•Simple Carbs

These are the 3 devils when it comes to weight gain. Pastries, donuts, white bread, fast food, pizza, bagels, fried food, etc. These are all bad. You already know this. Things that taste yummy generally mean it's not going to help you lose weight. Simple carbs are basically foods that are processed and contain high amounts of calories. White rice for example is a simple carb. It takes a very short amount of time to digest, and the body absorbs most of the calories into fat. White bread is high in sugar and is also a simple carb. Potato chips with labels "Fat Free" - means didly squat. It's a simple carb and it's fried. It's bad. Avoid it like the plague. Eating these types of food is bad because you don't feel full and end up eating more than you should.

Quick example: A bag of potato chips is like 250-300 calories. You can probably eat 3 bags if you wanted and still not feel satisfied. A single chicken breast on the other hand is about 150-300 calories and will give you a satisfied tummy along with better nutrients.

What to eat

•Protein
•Complex Carbs

Chicken breast, fish, wheat bread, brown rice, vegetables, fresh fruits, etc. White meat (chicken / fish) is lean and has very low fat. Red meat (beef / pork) has more fat, but can still be consumed moderately.

Protein is the key ingredient when it comes to losing weight. Protein is the element that help your body build muscle and recover after workouts. Complex carbs come from foods like brown rice, sweet potatoes and wheat bread. It will take longer for your body to digest and slowly gives you energy throughout the day. Cutting out carbohydrates has been a highly talked about topic. Carbs are a good source of energy - and unless you want to feel sluggish and lazy all day - complex carbs is the way to go.


My Meal Plan

Here's what I do.

• For breakfast, I like to start the day off with a Whey protein shake. Preparation time: 1 minutes. 120 calories

• For lunch, I eat 1 cup of oatmeal and 1 egg. I use the quick 1 minute oatmeal by Quaker Oats. Place one cup in a bowl, add water and microwave for 3 minutes. Fry or boil an egg while it's microwaving. Preparation time: 3 minutes. 350 calories

• For dinner, I use my George Foreman Grill to cook a chicken breast (6-8oz). The chicken is seasoned with garlic salt and olive oil. I boil the brocoli and season it with sesame oil, soy sauce and minced garlic. The chicken breasts are stored in the freezer and I put one in the fridge the night before so it defrosts in time for my dinner. Takes about 7 minutes to cook. Preparation time: 15 minutes . 200 calories

• For snacks between dinner and after dinner I stick with nuts (almonds, cashew, nuts, etc), and another Whey protein shake after my workout. Preparation time: 0 minutes. 200 calories

Very easy and simple and takes no time in your busy schedule. Approximately 870 calories. Remember to drink lots of water. If you still feel hungry between these meals, you can add a protein bar or additional fruits.

If you still have absolutely no time to eat this way, there is an alternative. Cook all of your meals for the week every Sunday. Put them into small containers and microwave them before eating. I used to use this method but quit because eating freshly cooked meals are more enjoyable.

My shopping list is simple:

Chicken breasts frozen packaged $6
Assorted nuts $10
12 x Eggs $2
Brocoli x2 $2

Total comes out to about $20. The above should last you about 8 days.


Bonus: Thermogenics

There is nothing wrong with getting help in this journey.

Thermogenics like Cellucor HD and Hydroxycut will help boost your metabolism and help break down fat cells for energy consumption by your body. If you work out regularly, this is a plus.

Summary:


1. Figure out how many calories you burn in a day. (Your current body weight x 10)
2. Get a calorie tracking app (Lose It!) and log everything
3. Stay below your daily calorie threshold
4. Optional but recommended: Work out

Recommendation: For those of you that are obese or fat - i recommend just starting out with a change in diet. Don't over exert yourself by going to the gym 7 days a week. It will be too much stress for most people and they fail within the first few weeks. Change your diet by cutting all the bad foods and eat moderately for about 1 month. Weigh yourself at the beginning and at the end of the 30 days. You will see a change - and it will give you motivation to continue and start exercising to speed up the weight loss.





STEP 4: Exercise


Ok, I changed my diet, what now? You need to exercise. There is no other way around it. Humans were created to be active beings. We used to run around with sticks to hunt for food or we'd be extinct. Here are my current exercises I do everyday (Weekends off).

1. Cardio / High Intensity Interval Training

Beachbody Insanity. Beware this program is not for obese or out of shape fat people. It requires about 40 minutes everyday and is not for beginners. Alternatives are P90X, running on a treadmill or around your neighborhood, walking up and down stairs or a stairmaster, and Aerobics. Cardio will increase your heart rate, burn fat, and help you sweat. 15-40 minutes a day is recommended.

Currently I'm doing a combination of stairmaster and insanity workouts and the results have been awesome. I am always drenched in sweat and feel great afterwards.

2. Weights

Bench press, decline press, include press, military press, leg press, squats, dumbells for arms and triceps. 30 minutes a day. Alternatives include using your bodyweight exercises, such as push ups. There are plenty of articles on the web that show you exercises you can do at home using your bodyweight. If you have to chose only one workout, do Squats. It works out all of your major muscle groups and has the highest cost/reward ratio.

Weights, is more important than cardio. Reason is because it builds your muscles and the foundation of being able to sustain a healthy body. The more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn throughout the day. Also having muscles will help keep the weight off. It is vital you have a good foundation of muscles, just like a house needs a good foundation or it will crumble in an earthquake. Concentrate on building your major muscles groups. The most common mistake people make is doing ab workouts thinking it will give them washboard abs. Note that abs are a very small muscle group in your body and doing just ab workouts will never give you a 6 pack. Work out large muscle groups like the butt, back, chest, and legs. As you lose body fat and gain muscle, the 6 pack will come eventually.

3. Sleep

Your body will need to recover everyday. Sleep at least 7-8 hours a day to give your body the rest it needs to rebuild and grow the muscles that you just tore up.




Conclusion


You may not have the greatest social life while on this diet, but once you reach your goal and just need to maintain it - it gets much easier. You will get to exercise less, and get to eat more varieties of food. Just keep counting your calories and don't go overboard with the sugar and fried foods. Cheating is okay once in a while, but remember this is a lifestyle change. Unless you are an Ectomorph, you risk the chance of being a fat bastard again. Try to maintain a routine and stick to it.

Last thoughts and Word of advice. Things I regret.

1. Start young. Never stop. Aging is a bitch because it slows the body's metabolism. The older you are the harder it will be to lose weight.

2. Take lots of photos. Go to a professional and take photos. Enjoy the moments of your peak physic and cherish them with photo memories.

3. People will occasionally jump the boat. Just remember to get back on it right away. The farther the boat travels with you not in it.. the harder it will be to catch up.

2 comments:

  1. I'm going to follow this advice and see what happens

    ReplyDelete
  2. woah! I used to be on the forum back in 2002 and lost 70 lbs since! crazy to see this stuff here, it's great :D

    ReplyDelete