I did it by following these 3 steps:
- Fewer calories, period. Intermittent fasting helped tremendously with this.
- HIIT cardio (Short, 20-30mins—no marathon running here). Personally, I like swimming. So I did that. But any kind of cardio will work. I also did weights, but that’s optional unless you have muscle you want to preserve.
- Decent supplements that actually have scientific backing.
As a man:
Extra weight = Testosterone decreases
There is a direct correlation with excess weight and lower test levels.
Lower test levels mean less muscle and less ability to burn fat.
For this reason, weight loss can be a bit of a circular struggle for beginners. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, however.
Anyone can lose the weight if they put their mind to it. It doesn’t even have to take a long time.
Let’s break down the 3 things I did above into a bit more detail to give you a solid plan of action.
1. Fewer Calories
It’s simple. If you consume fewer calories than you expend, then you will lose weight.
The problem lies in finding that calorie balance.
Typically, people will:
- Under-report their calorie consumption
- Cheat too much, too often
- Not calculate their actual TDEE
The first problem can be fixed by logging calories.
Yes, I know logging calories is terrible and I hate it probably just as much as anyone else. But it’s something that is typically an absolute requirement for someone new to weight loss.
Simply because most people don’t realize how many calories are in certain foods. One meal can constitute an entire day’s calorie consumption, and depending on the food, you may not even feel full. It’s insane.
So track the cals, at least for the first 6 months until you get a general idea of how much calories are in the foods you generally eat. Then you can habitually “count” them in your head after.
The second problem is the infamous cheat meals.
You can eat 300 calories under your deficit all week long. But if you then turn around and eat a cheat meal on Sunday consisting of 1500 calories. Guess what? You only burned 600 calories that week.
One pound of fat takes 3500 calories. At that rate, it will take you 5.8 weeks to burn one pound of fat.
See the issue there?
Keep the cheat meals moderate, or do a fast for a day to recoup. Those are the main solutions to bridging the sugar desire and the “not being 400 lbs” consequence.
The third and final main problem with calorie consumption is not knowing what your TDEE is in the first place.
You burn a certain number of calories daily, regardless of what you do. This is your basic rate. You need to go under this rate to lose weight.
Let’s use an example.
Say your TDEE is 2000 calories (keep it simple). And you want to lose 1lb a week.
You could do either:
- Eat 1500 calories and do not exercise (500*7=3500 calories, which is 1lb of fat).
- Eat 2000 calories and do heavy exercise, burning 500 calories, so the final consumption is 1500.
- Eat 1700 calories and do moderate exercise, burning 200 calories, so the final consumption is 1500.
All of these will do the same because you end with the same calorie deficit. But the key here is you have to know what your body requires.
A rough and dirty way to find your TDEE is with a calculator. I like this one: TDEE Calculator.
However, those calculators are not 100% accurate. It’s a base.
If you want something much, much more accurate—you have to work for it.
There is a spreadsheet which you can find by clicking here. This spreadsheet will allow you to track your weight, calories, and bodyfat. It’s an adaptive spreadsheet, so over time it will be able to tell you a much more accurate TDEE.
And on top of that, it will adjust based on when you lose weight. This is important since your TDEE will change as you continue to lose weight as well.
The calculator bases you at a sedentary/moderate level, but over time, if you keep logging the information it will adjust itself to give accurate results. Give it 3 weeks.
It’s free, so check it out.
Conquering these three problems: under reporting calories, cheating too hard too often, and getting an accurate TDEE should be the #1 first step to any weightloss plan. They are easily the biggest obstacles most people face.
This is not “essential” if you’re strictly reducing calories. You can lose weight by just cutting out the calories.
But, food is awesome. So if you’re like me and want donuts, you’re going to need to workout.
And the best method for that is intermittent fasting and HIIT.
Intermittent fasting helps with insulin regulation and portion control. If you only eat 6-8 hours a day, you won’t be tempted with the snacks at midnight.
It’s an easy way to trick yourself into eating less. It’s also great because you’ll realize you have a lot more free time when you’re not constantly thinking about food 24/7. (Although, that takes a few weeks of fasting before the cravings subside.)
HIIT is great for exercise because it’s quick. It is “high intensity interval training” for a reason.
You do heavy exercise, fast, and in intervals. Then, you’re done.
So if you’re constantly busy like I am, it’s a lot easier to do a 20min episode of HIIT than trying to casually jog for two hours.
Another cool thing with HIIT is you don’t need special equipment. You can just run outside, or swim at your gym. It doesn’t really matter what the exercise is, rather the intensity of it.
Plus, it builds endurance. Women like endurance.
A lot of people like to have an interval timer. I don’t personally use one, but I’ve seen plenty of dudes with them. So if you’d like a dedicated watch, that’s probably your best bet.
And realistically, it is the only equipment you actually need for HIIT. (And it’s not even really “required”)
The key for losing weight with exercise is to keep it consistent. Start 2-3 days a week and build up to 5 days a week. I do weights/cardio 5 days a week now, and it’s second habit. I keep it under an hour as well, so I can always find the time.
This is also optional. Again, you’ll lose weight by just reducing calories.
But, if you have more specific goals or want an “edge”, supplements are the way to go.
I have a comprehensive article on bodybuilding supplements for men, so check that out for an in-depth guide.
But a few important ones to pick out of there for this article:
- Creatine: if you’re cutting weight and want to keep muscle, this is essential.
- Forskolin: if you’ve cut down a bit already and are targeting just belly fat, this helps. It sure did for my final 2% of bodyfat.
- Green tea extract: excellent supplement for overweight/obese men to lose weight.
These are the three I use:
Losing weight sucks. I get it.
The main factor in dropping the excess pounds is reducing calorie consumption. When you get that down, just give it time. It’s not an overnight process. It can take weeks, months, years depending on where you’re currently at.
But it’s possible. I did it. Anyone can do it.
Do the following steps:
- Make a plan about losing the weight. Create a reasonable timeline based on your TDEE and calorie consumption.
- Track the calories and exercise as needed to hit your calorie goal.
- Buy supplementation as needed (optional).
- Watch as the weight drops week after week.
There is a culture of obesity. Fight it, get fit, enjoy life.