A huge part of becoming your own hero is feeling good about yourself in your own skin. For years, and even to this day I don’t feel great about my weight. I see pictures of myself and I don’t like what I see. After years of going to the gym, trying different diets I finally came across a plan that works great for me. The best part is I can easily stick to it.
The best part of these steps is there is no more guessing. Your weight loss will be be completely up to you. You will be in full control. If you have the discipline, you will lose weight. You can be super aggressive or moderate, it’s up to you.
Step 1. Find out how many calories do you burn each day.
It all comes down to the numbers. If you are at a calorie deficit, you will lose weight. You can easily find this number out at BMI Calculator. Or you can find your burn rate by (current weight x 12).
Example — 200 lbs x 12 = 2400. Meaning your body burns around 2400 a day. This number can change with the amount of exercise you do.
Step 2. Find a calories deficit that works for you.
I find most success being at around 400–500 calories deficit for the day on my eating. I have found that if I am done eating for the day and I am less than 400 a calorie deficit i’ll maintain weight for the day. If I am over 400 calories I will loose too much weight and be overly hungry the next day. It is key to figure out this number ASAP to start losing weight.
Step 3. Use MyFitnessPal to Track all calories.
MyFitnessPal will be your best friend for the first while. Get int he habit of tracking every single thing you eat. Do this just long enough until you can mentally track these numbers. I used it religiously for the first 3 months. I still use it fairly regularly throughout the week, but never on the weekends.
Step 4. Eat within a time window and that is it.
Fasting also allows you to eat the things you actually want. No more crazy diets to be on. Before you close your mind to fasting remember that fasting becomes easier with time. Eventually you will come to enjoy it.
Without fasting, you must restrict yourself to eating super clean foods all of the time. Which obviously for the most part you should anyways. But what is the likely hood that you will never eat ice cream or have cookies again? This is why fasting makes dieting so much easier. It becomes more about the numbers than it is the actual foods you eat. You can afford to eat other things as long as you are within a calorie deficit.
I eat roughly from 5–6 pm, consuming all of my calories in that time window. Some days my schedule won’t allow me to get all my calories in at one meal, so I may spread them out. But be careful with this. It can be easy to over eat the longer your window is.
Step 5. Drink something throughout the day.
Most people will advise you to just drink water while fasting. This is the best and most effective way to do it. I on the other hand can’t…. I tried it for about a month. I kept over eating the second I could within my eating window. Some people prefer tea or coffee. But no matter what it is, be sure to drink plenty of water.
To help me feel better through out the day I drink Essential Amino Energy from Optimum Nutrition. It has zero sugar and only 5 calories per serving. The two main reasons why I drink it is for the energy and the way it helps stop my food cravings throughout the day.
Step 6. Work on better eating habits.
While fasting you can still eat bad things and lose weight, but just losing weight shouldn’t be the only goal. You will come to learn that the way you feel today is typically a result of what you ate yesterday or even the day before that. The cleaner you eat the better and more full you will feel. If you consistently get your calories from low nutritious foods, you will find it harder and harder to stick with the fasting. Whenever I eat a lot of carbs, or sugar I find myself more and more hungry, even after I ate at my calorie limit for the day.
Step 7. Plan out and have a cheat day once a week.
Oh the beloved cheat day! For me the battle is always mental. I know that if I have a predetermined day that I can eat what I want, I won’t break my rules and stick to my guns. This is why the cheat day is super important. On weeks that I haven’t done this, I always ended up caving into craving and eating crap I shouldn’t have.
As lame as this sounds, plan out your cheat day. Think beforehand of a dessert or food that you get excited about. Each week I usually try something different. When you plan it out, there is less chance you will just eat whatever. Without a plan, I found myself wasting calories on lame food and way over eating. It would then take me 2–3 days to get back on track.
Last tip, don’t buy whatever the cheat food is until cheat day. If you buy it before, it is just one more thing that can tempt you.
Step 8. Work Out.
Not only will working out each day give you more calories to work with, but it will help you feel better. If you work out consistently, you know what I am talking about. If you don’t, start small and do anything to get your body moving a little bit more each day. You will see a huge difference in your mood and overall quality of life.
Step 9. Your Diet must evolve over time
I made the crucial mistake thinking what got me here will get me there. You have to always tweak what you are doing to make sure you are still progressing. This is where my biggest mistakes have happened. As soon as I stop reworking my system, I stop seeing progress and even gained some weight back.
The end goal is finding something that works for you. A plan or system that you can stick to and enjoy. Hopefully these steps will give you some ideas you can start working on.
Last thing I will say, is obviously I am not a doctor. These steps work great for me, but probably aren’t for everyone. Consult with your doctor before you try any one of these steps.
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