A few months before I turned 40, I looked in the mirror and saw an almost 300-pound man who was adrift heading into middle age.
My youngest son was almost a year and a half old, and I knew that I might not be around to see him graduate from high school if I didn’t make some changes.
I am not a fat loss or fitness expert, but I have spent countless hours studying and learning from those who are in my quest to be healthier. This is my story and what has helped me lose almost 100 pounds of fat.
2017 – 2018
Like most people, I began by working out more. I have always enjoyed running and started there.
I also tried CrossFit but could not continue with the training due to other time commitments. I researched other fitness programs and found an app called Stronglifts based around the 5×5 strength-building protocol. Stronglifts was a great program that helped me rebuild a lot of strength I had lost.
The keto diet was becoming very popular at this time. I did a little bit of research on it and decided to give it a try.
I also learned about intermittent fasting and began exploring this weight loss strategy.
My efforts over these two years resulted in about 30 pounds of fat loss.
In the summer of 2019, I stepped on the scale and was not happy with the number I saw.
I decided that enough was enough and got serious about shedding excess body fat. I read The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung and began leveraging fasting to lose fat.
By the end of 2019, I weighed less than 250 pounds for the first time in many years.
The Christmas and New Years’ eating binge carried on longer than I intended. The stress and uncertainty of COVID-19 quickly followed this. On top of that, my family was going through selling our house and moving into a new one.
Many gyms were closed during this time, and I decided that invest in some home gym equipment. While researching equipment options, I stumbled onto the Garage Gym Athlete program and community. I signed up and began following their Hard to Kill program in late April.
After family visited the first week of July, I stepped on the scale, and I was surprised to see that my weight had skyrocketed back up to 270. I couldn’t believe it! I had been consistently working out for almost two years, and I was the strongest I had ever been. Why was I accumulating fat?
I decided that it was time to get serious about fat loss…again.
I dove back into intermittent fasting and being more strict with nutrition. At this time, I began to “geek out” on the science of fat loss and nutrition.
I also began having a weekly check-in call with a friend who was leveraging intermittent fasting on his fat loss journey.
Focusing on nutrition paid off, and by the end of the year, I was below 240 pounds.
Like the previous year, the Holiday eating season extended well into January. My weight didn’t spike, but I lost weight at a slower pace than I intended to.
In January, the first Catalyst Circle began with a handful of people willing to beta test a weekly accountability group concept. The people in this small peer group have been instrumental in my personal growth and fat loss this year.
As of this post, I have reached my goal weight of weighing less than 225 pounds. As it turns out, 225 is not the right ideal weight for me.
I am losing more fat to reduce my body weight to between 205 – 210. This should result in the target body fat percentage for me.
I will update this post when I reach that goal later in Q3.
Lessons from my Fat Loss Journey
Below is an overview of what I learned in the process of shedding close to 100 pounds of fat. If you are interested in learning more about the resources I leveraged along the way, click here for the list.
- Losing excess fat is a challenging process. There will be ups and downs along the way. Be patient and take it one day at a time. Find people that will support and encourage you on your journey.
- Every human body is different and will not respond the same way to weight loss tactics.
- There is more to fat loss than simply calories in/calories out. Hormones, especially insulin, signal whether your body should be storing fat or burning it.
- Losing weight begins with what you eat, not the gym.
- The quality of food you put in your body makes a huge difference. Avoid high processed food as much as possible.
- Each the highest quality whole foods you can afford.
- Reducing daily calories too much for too long may damage your metabolism. Calorie restriction and fasting are entirely different approaches to weight loss with very different long-term results.
- When you eat matters. For many people, intermittent fasting is an effective method of burning body fat. Plus, it is healthy for you and gives your body a chance to heal.
- Cardio is not the best path to fat loss. Strength training focused on adding lean muscle mass will have a more significant impact on fat loss.
- Many voices are competing for your attention and money in the health, wellness, and nutrition industry. Research, think about what you see happening around you and find reliable experts who are motivated and focus on helping people be healthier.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor or medical professional. The information and products have helped me, and may or may not help you. To be safe, I recommend consulting your doctor or medical professional before starting any new wellness or exercise program.