Consistency = Weight Loss

Disclaimer: I am not a fitness coach, nutritionist, or doctor of any kind. I am a common dude who lost some weight and likes to share his thoughts on it. This means (1) I’m still learning all the time and (2) I might be wrong. Follow my advice at your own risk.

One of the most underrated factors in successful weight loss is consistency.

When I lost 100 pounds, I didn’t know what macronutrients were. I didn’t prioritize protein or limit carbs or look for healthy fats. I followed intuition, ate foods that seemed healthier, and fell into a routine. A lot of the foods I ate weren’t that healthy. I certainly didn’t have enough protein. But I consistently ate less calories than my body burned and the fat melted off.

I had a bowl of oatmeal every single day for breakfast. I even used white sugar to sweeten it. I had one serving of almonds I would eat about 3:00 PM every single day. I would go to bed hungry every single day.

The other thing I never varied was my workout. I’ve seen a lot of advice online about varying your workouts and preventing your body from getting used to the activity, but there’s a problem with this. You can spend more time thinking than doing. 

When I was successful with weight loss, I spent zero time looking up workouts. When I saw it was Monday or Wednesday or Friday, I simply knew I was going to go to my Total Gym and do the same 18 exercises back to back.

It was so simple. I didn’t worry about which parts of my body I was targeting or neglecting. I just knew it was a full-body exercise and it was unpleasant. When it got easier, I would move up a notch and get to work on that next level. (The Total Gym makes this easy.) 

Focus on consistency, not variance, until your results plateau. A second-rate workout routine that you execute without fail 3 times a week is much better than a perfect routine you perform once every 10 days.

My advice would be:

  1. Find a simple full-body routine. (Like this one.)
  2. Do it 3x a week. 
  3. Time yourself each time. Beat your last time each time without sacrificing form.
  4. When it gets easy, add another round. 
  5. Repeat steps 2-4.

Don’t change a thing. Don’t do any research at all. Focus on completing the action. Don’t get distracted or bored. Do the exact same thing until the results stop. Only then should you find a new routine and repeat the process.

My Favorite Marketing Slogan of All Time

There’s a small part of me that disdains advice on how to stop procrastinating, how to get more done, and how to find motivation. It’s not because I’m a superhero. I struggle with those things all the time too. I sometimes disdain this advice because I think misses the point.

When you have to get something done, it gets done. 

The reason we struggle so much with motivation is that we don’t have to do the thing we’re procrastinating about—not really

As much as we would love the promotion, as much as we would love to get shredded and fit, as much as we would love to read more, we don’t have to.

But when you will certainly get fired if something doesn’t get done at your job, you show up early and stay late without even being asked. When your wedding is approaching and you are determined to lose 30 pounds for the big day, you happily say no to the birthday cake. When the exam is a week away, you sit down and read.

And you don’t need a single word to get motivated. 

Motivational speeches only exist for people who would like to get things done, not people who have to

This leads me to my favorite marketing slogan of all time: Just Do It.

There are a lot of things we desperately want, but they are self-generated desires and no one in the world will care if we don’t do them. It’s these types of challenges the phrase speaks to so well. In three words it gives you all the explanation and motivation you need.

So while I enjoy tips and tricks to stay motivated and form good habits, they pale in comparison to owning your actions and relentlessly taking full responsibility.

Don’t wait until you have it all figured out or find the perfect tool or buy the perfect program or meet the perfect person. In some ways, as sad as it sounds, you are alone in this world. You may have people who love you, but when it comes to your personal goals, it’s you vs. you. 

The future you is counting on you.

Just Do It.

How I Lost 106 Pounds

  1. Exercise – Full body exercise 3x per week. I used a Total Gym, yes, the iconic Chuck Norris bench machine. I did the same routine every time: 18 exercises, performed back to back with no rest, 15 reps each exercise. It was intense, meaning a discomfort level of 8/10. Each workout took about 20 minutes.
  2. Diet – No sweets. No snacks. No sodas. None was easier than some. No up-sizing my orders. No second plates. I didn’t count calories. I didn’t even know what macronutrients were. (A cup of tea with a little honey before bed was the exception to the no-snack rule.)
  3. Eat Slowly – I only ate until the hunger was gone. Sometimes I was still hungry when I finished. It’s one thing to feel full, it’s another thing to feel satisfied. It takes a while for a meal to set in. If you’re full the moment you swallow your last bite, you’ve eaten too much. If you’re still a little hungry when you swallowed your last bite, you’ll probably be satisfied in a few minutes.
  4. I stuck with it. – It only took 8 months (two 4-month periods) of unwavering consistency.
  5. I was motivated. – This is the most important factor. Our problem with weight loss isn’t a lack of information. I was happy to not feeling full. I was happy going to bed mildly hungry. I didn’t consult myself on whether I wanted to workout, I just started it. How does one get there? It’s different for each person. My first period of weight loss happened the months leading up to my wedding. My second period happened because our new health insurance had to charge us an additional $80/mo. due to my waist measurement. In both of these situations, there was no possibility of failure in my mind. I was all in.

Everything I did was successful for weight loss. My new goal has been to build muscle and lose fat, which has proven to be much more difficult than weight loss in general.

There’s much more to say about this and I hope to talk about it more in the future.

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