I don’t have a heartwarming weight loss story to tell. But I experienced something that many guys can relate to… Within two years of getting married, I got fat.
It happened rather inconspicuously; I averaged one pound per month. Before I knew it, I was carrying an extra 24-lbs of blubber. As a doctor, I knew better. But I did what most men do in this situation – I bought bigger pants.
My “harajuku moment” didn’t happen until a trip to the beach. I took off my shirt and instantly realized I should do everyone a favor and put it back on. That’s when I knew it was time… Here’s how I dropped from 209 pounds to 168.
I bought a book called The Abs Diet that I was originally drawn to because the recipes sounded so good. They’re easy to prepare (since most guys lack cooking skills), and I never really felt like I was dieting.
The workout focuses on circuit training and shows clear photos of how to perform each exercise. Prior to this, I had no rhyme or reason to my workouts. I would just mosey around from machine to machine, use them incorrectly, then leave with a false sense of pride. At the very least, this book will teach you how to not look like an idiot at the gym.
The single most important thing I learned is that each and every one of us already has abs; they just happen to be hiding beneath several layers of fat. Thousands of sit-ups won’t solve the problem. The key is to eat foods that prime your body’s natural metabolism.
I stuck to the plan as directed and by Week-12 I had lost 23-lbs. Beyond that, I seemed to hit a wall; the weight loss plateaued. I felt great, but I still couldn’t see my abs. I definitely felt them, but they weren’t visible. So I made a change.
I maintained the same metabolism-boosting diet, but implemented a different type of workout from a book called The Body Sculpting Bible for Men. It involves highly focused “super sets” that are incredibly productive and efficient.
After following the exercises step-by-step for 12-weeks, there was an undeniable change in my physique. Friends, patients, and even strangers at the gym started asking me to explain what I was doing.
I plugged away at this for 6-months, shedding fat and building more muscle. I felt great at my new 181-lbs, but I wanted to be lean! Seeing my abs was the goal.
I bought a third book called The 4-Hour Body, which explores the concept of becoming superhuman. Anything with “superhuman” in the title captures my attention.
You’re not supposed to read it cover-to-cover, so I’m more inclined to call this an encyclopedia of genius rather than a book. It’s a compendium of subjects; everything from efficient weight loss to productive weight gain; how to build muscle mass in minutes per week; and a dozen other zany topics that you’ll find fascinating. Watch the trailer below and you’ll see what I mean.
The author, Tim Ferriss, advocates a slow-carb diet, which I reluctantly embraced despite gagging at the thought of eating beans. It was definitely worth it though; I started burning fat that I didn’t even know I had.
The effectiveness of this approach was staggering. It caused me to rip through the sleeves of two of my most expensive dress shirts (Thanks, Tim!)… I dropped 13-lbs in a matter of weeks while simultaneously increasing my strength. Oh, and it definitely did the trick – I could see my abs. It also introduced me to kettlebells, which are a great addition to any workout.
Conclusion & Tips
Don’t just strive to lose weight; aim for body recomposition - replacing fat with muscle.
If you adopt the workout from Body Sculpting Bible, make sure you read the sections labeled “Proper Alignment” and “Technique & Form” – it makes a tremendous difference.
Cardio doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Try the Sprint-8 concept instead.
If you have terrible eating habits, a lot of excess body fat, and are terrified/intimidated to visit a gym, I believe The Abs Diet is a great starting point. Here’s why… First, it will teach you Nutrition-101. Understanding the foods you put into your body is essential for long-term success. Second, it offers more variety in meal choices. Having options makes transitioning away from junk food easier. Third, you can skip the gym during the first two weeks of the program. This shows you how powerful your metabolism can be if you eat properly.
If you have less than 20 pounds to lose, or simply wish to be more lean, I’d say 4-Hour Body is the way to go. Here’s a theatrical trailer the publishers made to promote 4HB: