How I Transformed My Body in a Year

How I Lost 40 lbs and Stay at 10–12% Body Fat

Yuta Morinaga
Published in
7 min readAug 13, 2019


Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash

I’ve lost 40 lbs and am at 10–12% body fat. I’ve never been the athletic type, and I never considered my body as being strong.

I wanted to let you know that you can reach your fitness goals with a few tips from this article.

If you’re trying to lose a lot of weight, the big number may sound scary. But, if you break your current lifestyle down, you’ll start to notice what’s impeding your goals. And no, it’s not like I starved myself to death — I know that my basal metabolic rate (calories needed to just function) is 1688 calories, and my body requires between 2000 and 3000 calories on average to stay strong and not lose muscle.

Health is the cross-section of exercise, nutrition, and recovery. Where do you score in each of the areas on a 10-point scale? What points can be improved? Why do you want to be healthy in the first place?

Focus on your process/system rather than your goals

It’s essential to have concrete numbers when you set your goals. My fitness goal has been to drop my body fat percentage to 10–12% so that I have a strong base and body for climbing. That also meant losing a lot of weight.

I started out with tracking my weight daily, and setting goals like “Lose 10 lbs by the end of the week.”

It didn’t work. I didn’t know why it didn’t work until I started asking questions. Do I need to cut more calories? Do I need to run longer on the treadmill?

I then realized that although I was good about restricting my calories and exercising, I had at least three boba drinks a week. I always upgraded to the largest size, and even though I cut the sweetness to 50%, I was still ordering the drinks that contained tapioca, flan, and coffee jellies.

You might think, “no shit you didn’t lose weight!” And, you’re right! Easy access to sugar is our worst enemy when it comes to health and fitness. Sugar is so delicious and comforting that you lose yourself when you’re addicted to the taste.

After my epiphany, I set a process in place.