Fat to fit in 8 easy(ish) steps
This post is written keeping one particularly close friend I’ve known for almost a decade in mind. Adi, this is for you. This will be like a follow-up or an update to my old blog post. You don’t have to read that one. I’ll also keep the language simple and the points actionable.This is only for weight loss if you are overweight as of now. How do you know if you’re overweight? Your face is puffy, your butt is huge or you can grab tyres/rolls of fat when you grab at your tummy.
Step 1: Get out of denial mode
You’re never going to lose weight if you don’t stop telling yourself that you look ok as you are or that you don’t need to change. You are fat. It’s not the end of the world but if you go down this path, it is bad news for you and everyone who cares about you.
Step 2: Drink more water
Even little kids who mug up badly-written books know that more than half our body is made of water. We need a lot of it. Our food contains quite some water, but we still need to be drinking at least 3 litres a day. Yup! At least 10–12 glasses of water depending on where you bought your steel tumblers. Water helps with digestion and also helps fill you up so that you don’t overeat.
Step 3: Know your macros
Let me explain: Macros are short for ‘Macronutrients’ namely proteins, carbohydrates and fats. All the food you eat can be classified into varying ratios of these three ingredients. For weight loss, you should be eating high protein, low fat and moderate carbohydrates. Read the labels behind everything you eat. Google all that you consume.
Step 4: Obsession about diet
This sounds bad, but it is effective. Buy a weighing scale for the kitchen, install Healthifyme or Myfitnesspal and start keeping track of the food you eat. You need this for the first few months. Then, this becomes your lifestyle and you know all the foods and their macros well enough to not have to rely on these tools. Till you get there, please take the effort to track your intake. It is vital! Weight loss is a job done by the kitchen and not the gym or park.
Step 5: Eat your calories, don’t drink them.
Seriously. Beer, colas, milkshakes, and even fruit juices are your enemies. Weight loss is simple math. You need to know how many calories go in and know how many calories you’re burning every day. To do that effectively, you’re going to have to reduce whatever you’re doing right now because it isn’t working. The easiest way to get rid of empty calories is by getting rid of high-calorie liquids. Eating less rice will make you feel hungry sooner. Drinking one less glass of orange juice won’t make much of a difference to your satiety levels.
Step 6: Know what your calorie intake should be.
There are a bunch of ways to figure this out and there are complexities involved with each of them. The apps I suggested previously will help you figure out what this number should be. I’ll leave you with a simple way to calculate this though: 31–33 times the weight (in KGs) you wish to be at after you lose the excess fat. That is the approximate range in which you can play. If you overeat on one day don’t try to make up by eating less the next day. The aim is to preserve your muscle mass and lose the fat. Plan your meals according to your schedule. I recommend 5–6 small meals spread throughout the day to start with, but if you prefer 2 large meals that works too. Just count your calories.
Step 7: Be patient and sleep well
This takes time. Getting fat took all these years. Getting rid of it is going to take a while too. Don’t lose hope. Stay motivated and keep at it. Also, notice how this is the first time you’re reading the word ‘exercise’ in this post. Weight loss happens in the kitchen and not the gym. Our stress levels too, make us fat. Whatever it is that is making you sad and use food as a crutch, get rid of the stress related to it. Don’t eat to feel better emotionally. Cortisol is the hormone which is produced thanks to stress and it keeps us fat. Be happy and sleep for at least 6–8 hours a night. It helps with weight loss. Take care of your mind and it will help you take care of your body.
Step 8: Move your body and lift some damn weights
Ease your body into it. Start with a walk in the morning or evening. Start tracking and progressively increase it. Then move into simple things to improve your strength at home. Some pushups and squats. After you feel comfortable investing about 1/24th of your day on your body, get a gym membership. Yeah, that’s how little it is. About 4% of your day.
You don’t have to go everyday. You only have to go 3-4 days a week. I’ll link you to simple stuff to do during your first few months at the gym or better still, if you got to this stage you can call me or email me and I will help you out with a gym routine that suits your needs.
Here are the YouTubers and websites I strongly recommend you follow. I spent a few hundred hours reading and researching these folks and finally ended up knowing whom to follow and what to do.
- Mike Matthews — https://www.youtube.com/user/muscleforlifefitness
- Mike Matthews website — http://www.muscleforlife.com and https://legionathletics.com/blog/
- Radu — this guy is amazing for people who’re starting out on their fitness journey — https://www.youtube.com/user/raduantoniu
- Radu’s website has some nice free e-books — http://www.thinkeatlift.com/
- Greg is amazing for next-level motivation — https://www.youtube.com/user/gog9