How To Lose 20 lbs.
The first and most important step to losing 20 lbs is asking yourself, do I have 20 pounds to lose?
Judging by the percentage of overweight and obese Americans, I would guess that the answer is yes, but I just want to make sure.
I do not condone fad diets, or pills, or any other crazy weight loss gimmicks. The only methods I suggest are healthy, and effective. I promote a healthy lifestyle, not dieting before summer, after Christmas, or any of that hooey. If you are healthy 99% of the time, you can eat like crap at Christmas, won’t have any weight to lose before summer, and you will be healthier in the long run for it. Doesn’t that sound better? That’s what I thought.
You Can’t Outwork A Poor Diet
Remember this saying. I mean, if you are serious, remember this saying. If you are not, disregard.
Can you have sweets? Yes. But with this plan you only get one cheat day a week. There is nothing more irritating than the people who work out to offset the garage they are going to eat and drink that night. You know what I am talking about, burning 400 calories walking or going to the gym, then stuffing your face with 3500 hamburger, alcohol, and dessert calories.
I’m no mathematician, but those numbers don’t add up, hence the need to lose weight.
On top of that, you will need to ignore the “low fat” aisle at the grocery store also. It is not the number of calories, but the type of calories. More than likely, low fat means more sugar anyways.
So here is the key to losing 20 lbs, especially if you are already working out:
Cut Out The Sugar
Sound too simple? It is and it isn’t.
This means no: sugar, fake sugar, candy, breads, fruit juices, rice, and pasta. None. Zero. Zilch.
Do you like fruit? Guess what? Now you can only eat berries (blueberry, blackberries, and raspberries).
Your body is designed to burn fat, but we shut that function down with the crap that we eat. A little sugar in the coffee in the morning? No fat burning until at least that evening. More than likely you will have a little pastry, or a donut, or a sandwich for lunch. Now you are not burning fat until tomorrow morning, but then the cycle starts all over again. Before you notice, your pants don’t fit anymore.
Your body burns sugar first, then fat. Each gram of sugar is about 4 calories. Now think about what the Stairmaster says after 30 minutes, 150 calories burned? More? Less? Yeah, that’s a drop in the bucket for your total daily caloric intake, if that.
Life Is Nothing But Habits, Good And Bad
Do not let the idea of cutting out sugar turn you off to this. It is just a habit you need to develop. Life is made up of things we have allowed to become habits, good and bad. All you need to change them is time, and persistence.
Give yourself some time.
Push through the hard days.
Did I mention the cheat day? Woohoo!!
The only stipulation is you can’t eat ANY crap during the week. 6 days in a row of high quality, no sugar eating, and you get rewarded with one day of gluttony. Don’t go too crazy, but live a little. Save that ice cream for your cheat day, the burger, the candy bar. You can have it, but you need to manage it. One day. Once a week. That’s it.
After a few weeks you will start forming new, healthy habits. Before you know it, it will just be what you do. You will be healthy.
But you NEED to give yourself the time to develop it.
What To Eat
I am going to make it easy. Here is a list, eat/drink as much as you want.
Drink: Water, Coffee, Iced Tea, Hot Tea (no sugar, no artificial sweeteners)
Nuts: Insert dirty joke here, almonds, walnuts, pistachios. Raw, or baked. No extra garbage.
Veggies: Pretty much anything. Don’t be a smart ass and put potatoes in this category. Potatoes are a no no. Leafy greens, broccoli, sprouts, spinach, kale, etc. Pretty much anything in the veggie aisle except potatoes. Put down the spuds!
Beans: black/pinto beans, and lentils.
Meats: chicken, pork, beef, fish, eggs. I could have made it easier and just said all of them. If it is economically feasible, only eat organic, grass fed, or wild meats. It’s not sugar, but there is so much crap they put in the animals we eat, and the food that they eat. The higher quality meat, the better it was for them and is for you.
Desserts; None! This was a trick!! Suckers.
Just kidding, sort of. If you need something sweet, save the berries for after dinner. Maybe a spoonful of almond butter, but that’s it. Save it for the weekend people!
Fruit: strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and grapefruit. No: pineapple, no dried fruit, and no fruit juice.
Not So Bad — A Success Story
When I first started this, I opted to not have anything in the house until I got used to not eating sugary foods. No use in setting myself up to be tempted. When your body is clean, you feel better. When you feel better, you want to stay that way. This transition will not be as difficult as you may think.
I thought I ate healthy before I cut back on the sugary products. I lifted weights. I cycled 200 miles a week. I was in shape, but I was 225 pounds. Just changing my diet, I dropped 45 pounds, maintained my strength, and started obliterating all of my PRs (personal records) in cycling and running.
And I didn’t eat that bad!
Remember: You can’t outwork a bad diet.