Did I ever tell you guys that I used to weigh 185 lbs.? Yup, when I graduated college I was 20 to 25 lbs. heavier than I am now. First of all, my diet wasn’t nearly as clean then as it is now, and I trained entirely differently than I do now. One of my favorite things that I used to do was to order in from the local pizza joint. What could be better? Delivery was guaranteed in 30 minutes or you get a second pizza free. Smart guy that I was, (or is it am?) I knew what the busiest times were and 9 out of 10 times I ordered. If my devious order placement calculation was correct, the pizza would arrive late I would get 2 pizza’s for the price of one. I could easily take one whole pizza down on my own and part of the other pizza, too. That alone, was a 5,000 calorie experience once a week. I also had a coach who wanted soccer players who were robust and thick, so combine my pizza addiction with heavy lifting everyday, and you got a version of me that had full chubby cheeks and a barrel chest. It wasn’t until I graduated and actually started to do my own research on nutrition and training, did I start to lose weight.
I get asked this question more than any other question; “How do I lose weight?” It comes from people who want to lose 100 lbs. to people who want to drop the last 5 lbs. Throughout my 20 years of experimenting on myself, ( all of you who have tried numerous weight loss techniques can appreciate this) I have found the 3 most potent and most simple ways to effectively lose weight.
1. Limit carbohydrate intake to 50-100 grams per day.
a. What it looks like: Apple 20 grams, Salad with Chicken 10 grams, ½ cup of sweet potatoes 27 grams, 1 cup of broccoli 10 grams, and grilled salmon 0 grams. Total 67 grams
b. What it feels like: “I’m hungry…..what do I do now”? Eat more healthy fats like olives and full fat dairy. These will help give you satiety.
c. Why should I do this? Because carbs cause a release in insulin and increase body fat %. Also, when you eat carbs, your body craves carbs, and you teach your body to burn carbs and not fat.
2. Limit feeding window to 8 hours
a. What it looks like: Last meal of the day done by 7pm. Don’t eat again until 11am the next day. That’s 16 hours of not eating. You have 8 hours to eat your 3 meals without trying to stuff yourself full of 10,000 calories. Just eat normal portion sizes and follow rule #3. Remember, it’s ok to be hungry!
b. What it feels like: You will start off being hungry, but you will also adapt quickly and having things like tea during your 12 hours of fasting will help. We were not meant to eat all day. Our bodies were built to eat during a smaller window of the day
c. Why should I do this? Studies show that doing this type of scheduled feeding window reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease, not to mention body fat % and weight loss benefits.
3. Eat only until you are 80% full
a. What it looks like: Put one portion of food on your plate and put the rest away. Don’t sit down to a meal with a ton of food in front of you. Just put what you need on your plate, eat it, and be done.
b. What it feels like: You will be satisfied, but not stuffed and full. That’s what it actually should be like when you are done eating.
c. Why should I do this? It’s the easiest way to lose weight without having to engage a ton of fancy apps and tracking devices. No counting calories, just eat until 80% full. Simple!
Of course we all lose weight in different ways and combining these strategies with training is important. Please share with me what questions you have on weight loss.