In the past, I did not take my diet seriously AT ALL. I choose to believe the myth some in the dating community choose to promote which is that looks don't matter primarily because it seemed a lot more convenient than how complicated getting in shape seemed at the time.
Then I had a wake up call… I saw a picture of me on shirtless, and I couldn't believe how I looked. I looked terrible! That very same day I joined a gym and hired a trainer and thus began my journey into health and fitness…
Below I am going to offer tips from my own experience as well as all of the resources I have used to get myself into shape. In a year,
- I lost 18 pounds of fat
- Gained 12 pounds of muscle
- Dropped my body fat percentage by 13% in 6 months
- Had more girls and hotter girls show interest in me than ever before
- Have felt consistently better and happier
- Have had the best sex of my life
- Have lowered my risk for many health related issues
All of this was done while never feeling hungry, saving money on food, and working out a maximum 75 minutes a week…
Now, I’m not a nutritionist, nor do I plan on becoming one, but I do want to share some early tips that I have learned for finding a good diet. I'm just a guy who has always been a little fat and wanted to finally be the fit guy. If this worked for me, it sure as hell can work for you.
Ditch (Most of) the Fitness Magazines and Know where You're Advice Is Coming From!
After over 20 years of being slightly to moderately overweight, I stumbled on a book called The 4 Hour Body. And it had a lot of odd takes on how to diet and get in the best shape of your life. It also said that the majority of diet advice on the market is either outdated or flat out wrong. Tim Ferriss provided alternatives to commonly held ideas, like cardio matters for fat loss and calorie counting was the best method to weight loss… Using that book as my introduction into a diet and workout regimen away from the norm, I started seeing fat loss and muscle gains in ways I never had before… I learned it's all about the science… not what the bodybuilder with superior genetics for staying muscular and lean advises… Once I took that approach to my health and put on the blinders to the infomercials, fitness magazines, and fitness reality shows on tv, I became happier and healthier.
One step at a time
The first thing I learned is that you can do this one step at a time. I love diving into things all at once. Changing my diet and starting to workout was too overwhelming at first. What I didn't realize at the time was that I was addicted to sugar and the other crap found in junk food. Losing everything I loved and craved all at once was scary and hard, so I broke things up to make life easier. What eventually happened is I hit a turning point where I felt and looked so much better that the healthy lifestyle became the norm for me. Here's the exact path I followed…
First step: I started going to the gym. I knew I would need a trainer to keep me accountable at least at first. I chose the gym based on a chapter in Tim Ferriss's book The Four Hour Body, which led me to Body by Science, which led me to the (frequently down) website bodybyscience.net, which recommended a gym in which I would workout 1 to 2 times a week for 30 minutes and build muscle. Was it possible? I sure was going to find out!
Next step: I ate healthier by avoiding foods I absolutely knew were bad for me. I'm still eating unhealthy once in awhile.
Next step: I'm unimpressed with my results in the gym after 3 months of working out (relatively) hard and eating healthy-ish. I get smacked in the face when I do a DEXA scan and find out I'm 33% fat! I am sick to my stomach and the desire to get in shape gets bumped up several notches. I'm ready to take things seriously!
Next step: I added Bulletproof Coffee into my routine.
Next step: I realized I was supposed to use a blender when making Bulletproof Coffee and wasn't actually getting all the benefits just by stirring around the butter and oil. Oops… but hell a lesson!
Next step: I felt so good with the Bulletproof Coffee, I started following the Bulletproof Diet.
Next step: I realized eating 8-12 servings of vegetables a day was a pain in the ass and a lot of grocery shopping, so I took the advice from the guys in Engineering the Alpha 2.0 and had a greens drink once a day to give me most of the benefits I would get from all the vegetables.
Next step: I felt so good on the Bulletproof Diet, I took the advice of Engineering the Alpha 2.0, The Bulletproof Diet, and leangains.com I added in intermittent fasting.
Next step: I felt so good and never felt hungry because of everything I was doing, I checked out the supplements Dave Asprey (creator of the Bulletproof Diet) kept insisting people have, here.
Next step: I had never felt so good in my life. My body and brain were functioning at unreal levels. I added in a day of sprints based on advice from Dave Asprey and Engineering the Alpha 2.0. It sucked (at first).
Next step: After 4 weeks of sprints once a week for 15 minutes, I was having the best sex of my life! I looked the best I ever had! I wondered what else could take things even further… I realized there were more workout supplements for weight lifting to recover faster and thus improve quicker. I cross checked that info with Examine.com.
Next step: My gym performance was better than ever and I continue to look into new ways to improve while being grateful with how far I've come.
Since getting started, I've shared my strategy with people curious enough to ask about how I've changed so much, and I've always told them to just start with what seems easy and go from there.
For me, constantly feeling more alive, having a better sex life, and watching myself transform in the mirror were great motivators to get me where I am now on my journey.
You Can Be Imperfect
Similarly to the step-by-step approach I followed to get where I am at now with my healthy lifestyle, I started giving myself a break when I wasn't perfect. When I had previously dieted, I would take on an all-or-none, meaning I would check every single thing going into my body with no exceptions until I would crack and want to cheat on the diet. As soon as I had one bite of something that was incompatible with my diet, I would say, “Screw it!” and just eat everything in sight for the next week or so before being so sickened by my behavior, I'd hop back on the diet.
Then I read The Bulletproof Diet. In the book, Dave Asprey says that if you make a mistake, it's okay. That's all I needed to realize that I'm not going to be perfect all the time. And that's ok. Forgiving myself when I made a mistake was perhaps the best thing I had done.
Realize It's at least 80% Diet
One thing that I had heard then finally experienced that made it very easy for me to get on board with a healthier lifestyle was realizing that the diet is in charge…
Your diet controls which hormones your body is pumping into you and also what your body is going to be using as fuel. I realized that just by changing my diet, I could feel better and lose weight. The working out was just like a turbo booster for getting me where I wanted to go.
I was going to have to eat anyhow, so if I just ate the right stuff, I would start looking better.
Also I'm super lazy! I really don't enjoy my gym sessions… I just know that they help me grow. So if there were any way I could do less working out and still get the same rewards, I was in!
I realized, I could eat a donut (about 450 calories) and then run for 45 minutes (or walk for 2 hours!) to burn it off. OR I could sit my ass on the couch and watch crap reality tv and have the same net calories. I'll take the reality tv!
The final piece that really helped me get my ass in gear was education about what I was ingesting. Turns out, not all calories are equal and your body will use nutrient dense calories for vital functions more often while it will store most nutrient deficient calories (think Twinkies and sugar) as fat. So by getting a little smarter with what I ate and what I was doing, I saw dramatic results. For some of the primary diet tweaks I made, check out Part 2 of this post here.