TL;DR: How I lost over 15 kgs is all about a lifestyle change. Don’t entertain dogma: always question. Try out a ketogenic diet. Be disciplined. Consider the art of dry fasting. Ensure that you do some form of exercise, and choose these exercises based on your goals. For me, walking burns the most amount of fat while for most people, resistance training leads to muscle retention and muscle gain. Manage your stress. Aim for 8-10 hours of sleep. Optimize your nutrition: special attention should be paid to the consumption of vitamins and minerals.
You know it’s true — When you are fat, the jokes then write themselves. And, you will realize that those jokes become an albatross around your mental well-being — It becomes an active state of roiling pain. I decided to write how I lost over 15 kgs simply because the act of losing weight isn’t a complicated task, and almost anyone can do it.
Losing fat is a conservative pursuit. Your investment in diet, exercise, stress management, and sleep, is an extension of your well-being. There’s a reason this particular article is long; after all, it took a few months and a great deal of knowledge-based actions to help me lose close to 16 kgs.
From a personal viewpoint, it should be noted that there’s so much that needs to be looked into before starting your fat loss journey. Also, you should realize that we function differently, and what works for you may not work for me.
I’ve done it all, and some of these ways didn’t work, and, in fact, made my health worse. One such cultish route I took was going vegan: it truly was one of the worst decisions of my life. We are surrounded by so much dogma (one person’s truth is another person’s lie, you see), and that serves to gently prod you down the wrong route time and time again.
Just like how religious leaders have the ability to loosen your purse strings with eloquence and hands well-oiled to massage insecurity, the proponents of one dietary route have used the beauty of the English Language to cajole. Don’t entertain dogma, and always question what you hear. Not being a slave to dogma was central to how I lost over 15 kgs.
This is not to say that I’m demonizing going vegan rather it just didn’t work for me. It’s interesting to note that the strongest man in the world is vegan. From veganism, I trundled towards paleo. I’ve even done the whole Lemonade Diet popularized by Beyoncé. I only truly ever saw proper results when doing the Atkins Diet. In hindsight, I know now why the latter diet was far more effective than everything else — Refer the part about Ketosis in this post.
First, Some Background, Before I Tell You How I Lost Over 15 kgs
I’ve been relatively athletic in my 20s; I was a huge fan of Kyokushin karate, Kandyan dancing, tap dancing, swimming, tennis, badminton and was a regular at gym. I used to be a trim and slim guy with a 30 inch waist carrying around a weight of 70 kgs.
There was only one philosophy to follow in that era; it was worshipped time and time again — No Pain No Gain. Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) was what gym bros (myself included) aspired to believe — albeit wrongly — that it was this pain that led to muscle gain.
The early 20s were great in terms of working out. Then the corporate world happened. Late nights, stress, beer and a dysfunctional work culture led to weight gain and led me towards a destructive downward spiral.
I ballooned to 110 kgs with a waist of 45 inches in my late 20s. This wasn’t good. The mirror coupled with my brain had this habit of making the situation appear not too serious. It was serious. For someone who used to get up at 4 am to jog everyday, I could barely walk for 5 minutes without heart palpitations knocking an exotic beat in my chest.
That’s me in 2008 on the left in the above picture. Then me in 2010/11 on the right. Like I said, I tried everything from veganism to paleo to fat burners to some pretty hardcore workouts. Yet, it was the Atkins Diet that worked.
Surrounding yourself with the right people matter, but I ended up with a coterie of foodies. All sense of scale becomes redundant when you start consuming sugar: it’s all largely thanks to that oh-so-desired dopamine release and nefarious insulin response. Sugar and alcohol will gift pack you a heavy dose of mutually assured destruction.
The socio-economic environment at that time was of no help when it came to keeping me honest, so a whole basket of reasons (foodie friends, night outs, comfort food, late work nights, stress eating, stress drinking etc.) led me to lose track and balloon again.
The second-time assault on my love handles was more structured and I was better prepared. There’s a plethora of information out there that you can try and use for your own benefit.
How bad do you want it? There’s nothing glamorous about being fat, and I refuse to subscribe to the lie that being fat is okay. It’s not. Go Google all the data on obesity and mortality rates.
Comorbidity is a term you’d hear with regard to the Covid-19 pandemic; you’ll find that most victims of this virus had two or more chronic diseases — I’m looking at you diabetes, heart disease, cancer, high cholesterol and auto-immune diseases.
But let’s talk about my situation, and why I hated being fat: I hated the joint pain; the task of finding clothes to fit; the terrible feelings of fatigue; the lack of purpose; the uptick in insulin followed by the mindless eating and the resultant crashes; the cognitive decline; brain fog; mood swings; and, the physical unattractiveness that belonged to just me.
I wanted a trim waistline and a lean physique, and I HATED feeling and thinking like I was 70 when I was at the cusp of just 40. And so I researched every single day until I was convinced with the information I had to make a change.
Why Ketosis Is Key
Having read so much with regard to Peter Attia’s journey into a ketogenic lifestyle, I decided to jump into his teachings wholeheartedly. No fitness guru has quite the cachet of Peter Attia. As much as I wanted to believe that my body was 100% healthy, it wasn’t.
Fact is I was insulin resistant, and this Wikipedia article will explain the issue comprehensively, but here’s my one sentence explanation -— Some of us function better on fat than carbs with the focus being to minimize the insulin response.
Workout Smart (Not Hard)
When it came to working out in my 20s, I subscribed to the whole religion of No Pain No Gain at gym, and had only a world of hurt to show. I used to think that pain at the gym and the resulting DOMS was key to building muscle and looking good.
I didn’t know about the role played by Cortisol, Growth Hormone, Insulin, Leptin and Ghrelin, and the importance of rest and recuperation. For someone who used to jog daily followed by hours of karate, I can categorically say that my metabolism was on the road to dysfunction.
I have to thank Breakthrough Studio, and Ashanthi Mirchandani for helping me kick my butt into shape. Fat loss is directly helped by physical inefficiency. For example, the more difficult a workout is, the more fat you will burn. While being in a state of Ketosis helped me lose weight, I was sorely lacking muscle tone.
The whole art of TRX Training helped challenge me and my body to a whole new level of fitness. I also encourage you to find a solid personal trainer. Someone who will push you out of your comfort zone, but will also ensure that you won’t get injured.
Dry Fasting Works And It Was Central To How I Lost Over 15 Kgs
Contrary to most popular beliefs out there, you don’t die when fasting. I tried intermittent fasting where I ate only one ketogenic meal for the whole day at dinner. Your body doesn’t need a constant source of food. We are overloading our digestive system when we eat constantly.
Another piece of dogma that has been religiously fed to us is that we need three meals a day — we don’t. You do realize that when animals fall sick they fast. Us humans on the other hand increase our food intake.
I decided to see what else I could do besides fasting. I decided to try my luck with dry fasting for one day, two days, and three days, respectively. This was when I saw the craziest amount of fat loss, and it was unbelievable to see the fat just melt off.
The human body is super strong, and knows how to manage itself. In order to create water, the body taps into its fat stores thereby generating water and leading to a depletion of fat.
It’s Not Just Fat, Carbs And Protein
Trace minerals and vitamins are of utmost importance, and where I learned most of what I know is thanks to Dr. Berg and his YouTube channel. It didn’t take much detective work to realize that I was lacking in selenium, magnesium, zinc, boron, and Vitamins A, B, C, and D.
This is where I started introducing liver, asparagus, beetroot leaves, gotukola, lime, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, moringa and seaweed into my diet. And let me tell you — I’m so much better for it.
Dial In Your Sleep
Late nights in the corporate world is the worst thing you can do to harm your progress when it comes to fat loss. Sleep should be a human right. There is research to show that sleep helps drain amyloid plaques in your brain and gives your entire system a good rest. You’ll need it if you want your fat loss to be sustainable.
Deal With Stress
Life is short, and stress makes it shorter. There are many sources of stress that we are faced with. You’d know what stresses you out. Dealing with stress on a daily basis is key, and maybe tips like using mindfulness, gratefulness, stoicism, and meditation to deal with life might help you, too.
One huge area of stress for many is keeping up with the Joneses; this is fine as long as you choose the Joneses you want to keep up with. One of the main factors creating stress is social media. Read The Social Dilemma is Why I Left Social Media to understand more. Cultivate those other relationships. We put 90% of our energy into our dysfunctional relationships and only 10% to those who have our backs. Flip that.
What I Was In The Beginning Of 2019 And What I Am Today
I was fat. The corporate world and a cycle of working crazy late, drinking, stress, and breaking rest helped in offering a confluence of dysfunction.
I started the whole process of intermittent fasting, water fasting, and dry fasting.
It was a drastic lifestyle that led me to piling on the pounds. And I knew I needed a different drastic lifestyle to get myself back on track.
There’s nothing more fantastic than getting into clothes you thought you could never wear.
What’s even more fantastic is seeing your packs, and trimming your waist down to 29 inches.
What You Should Take Away From This Blog Post
How I lost over 15 kgs is not just a quick fix, and it was understanding the science behind it all. It is a change in thinking and lifestyle. I will conclude by saying that you should accustom yourself to new ideas, and erase off the comfort of dogma.
There are many fitness and health gurus who are on the opposite sides of this issue. The plausible deniability zone is something that even doctors and fitness professionals practice (not just politicians). You are seduced into listening, and you believe in the lie that appeals.
Be careful of the lies perpetuated by the health industry; believe and act on them, and they have a way of catching up with you. Knowledge is power, and research is what’ll help you in the long term. I hope this post encourages you to start your weight loss journey.