How I Lost 20 Kilograms (44 Pounds) in 6 Months ENJOYABLY
If you want to be in better shape at an impressive pace without giving up most of your vices and turning into a complete health fanatic, then you’ve come to the right place.
It was in the early AM of July 19th, 2019. We were laying in bed, starting to catch our breaths. The pillow talk was going strong. Then she dropped the bomb…
“Hmm, you got a handsome face, but it’s a shame that you’re so out of shape!”
Although she was just playing — I mean, we did just get down to some business moments ago — I still took it to heart. I’ve been getting fatter for six straight years, and all it took was a spontaneous, intimate encounter with a lovely but brutally honest stranger to wake me up. From that day onwards, I was ready to leave my subpar physique behind for good.
In the six months that followed, I dropped 20 kilograms (44 pounds) while increasing my workout performance by 108% (based on personal best measurements) — I became the best I’ve ever looked and felt.
How Did I Do It?
I focused on three core things every day:
- Intermittent fasting
- Counting calories
- Basic exercising
Nothing more, and nothing fancy.
Oh, and I didn’t do everything right — e.g. I ate mostly what I felt like (including a reasonable amount of junk food), and I was still drinking and partying three times a week (I lived in Bangkok, after all). But I was maniacally committed to consistently nailing those three things I mentioned above, and that was enough to generate satisfactory results for me.
When I first learned about the numerous benefits of intermittent fasting (“IF”), it was one of those “HOLY SH*T” moments. I just knew I had to give it a shot for its following benefits:
- Accelerated fat loss in an extended fasted state.
- Higher levels of muscle-building human growth hormone.
- Enhanced repairing process of old and damaged cells.
- Increased mental clarity and productivity.
- Can be flexibly implemented to fit my lifestyle and preferences.
The most common IF interval is 16/8, which means having an 8-hour eating window followed by 16 hours of fasting — e.g. allowing yourself to consume calories between only noon and 8:00 PM every day. Although less optimal, 14/10 would be acceptable too.
I eased into it with 12/12 for a week before trying 14/10. In less than a month, I became comfortable with doing 16/8 regularly. During the six-month span, my success rates for daily 16/8 and 14/10 intervals were 70% and 95%, respectively.
This was ideal for me as it’s much easier to control when I eat, rather than what I eat. Knowing that I was burning fat — as well as feeling more focused — during my fasting intervals has helped me learn to embrace and enjoy that controlled state of hunger.
I’ve stressed the importance of tracking everything I do — it holds me accountable.
I began tracking my food intake with the MyFitnessPal app. It has a database of calorie counts for exercises and nutritional information for pretty much any food or beverage you can think of.
I also used calorie calculators online to calculate my daily calorie limits based on my age, height, weight, level of physical activity, and weight loss goals. This helped me end my days with slight caloric deficits more often than not, which already wasn’t difficult with IF in place.
Although I didn’t stick to a strictly healthy diet, tracking caloric intake still kept me mindful of what I was putting in my body so that I know I’m not being a total idiot like I used to be — when my “average” order at McDonald’s would consist of a Big Mac, a Cheeseburger, a Hamburger, and 20 McNuggets (true story).
I’m not talking about a killer gym session every day. Simply getting my ass moving on a daily basis was enough. My daily workout routine consisted of:
- Starting with 10 minutes on the treadmill to get my heart rate up.
- Working on flexibility and mobility for 25 minutes.
- Finishing off with a 10-minute HIIT circuit or a 15-minute calisthenics circuit.
All in all, that’s 45–50 minutes of well-rounded body work, and because I was only in high-impact mode for 10–15 minutes of the time, I was able to keep up this routine every single day without running myself into the ground.
My approach was primarily concerned with building momentum, not getting “shredded” ASAP. However, that momentum alone eventually helped with the “shreds” anyway. What helped me develop this approach was a Joe Rogan podcast segment on how to work out smarter.
How You Can Do It Too
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution and I’m not a health and fitness expert (yet…😉). However, there are some takeaways from my experience that I believe will help you all develop and execute approaches that will be effective and sustainable for yourselves.
1. Have patience.
Be patient and respect the fact that it’s going to be a process — regardless of how hard you try — so that you won’t set ridiculous expectations for yourself. Be ready for the marathon, not a sprint.
2. Be real with yourself and manage expectations.
Could I have achieved better results even faster? Perhaps. But I knew that would’ve required me to make more sacrifices than I was mentally prepared for — it could’ve just pressured me into giving up halfway. Since I knew I was in it for the marathon, I could live with gradually tweaking my lifestyle bit by bit.
3. Build momentum and consistency.
With patience and realistic expectations, you put yourself in the best position to continuously move forward. Remember the power of compounding — a 1% improvement every day results in a 3678.34% improvement in a year.
Let’s Get It 💪
Getting and staying in shape doesn’t have to be a painful process. Just choose a few core things to focus on, nail them with maniacal consistency and diligence, and trust the process.
As always, thank you for your interest. If I’ve provided anything of value, please follow me to stay tuned for more to come on all things related to, but certainly not limited to: productivity optimization; procrastination management; self-growth; business; tech; and music.
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