Achievement Oriented is sharing profiles and the routines of everyday people who set out for a goal and do something great. No celebrities, just everyday achievers.
Today we’re talking with Brian, who decided to change his lifestyle in 2018 in order to live healthier. As a result, he was able to lose 50 pounds over the past year. It hasn’t been easy, balancing his approach with those of a demanding job, but it’s been impressive to see, and has a bunch of friends and colleagues asking how he does it.
We sat down with Brian to get the story on how it all started, the details of how it went, and what he’s planning for 2019.
A before and after for Brian: From the end of 2017 to end of 2018
Over the course of the first half of the test I dropped about 50 pounds, going from 205 down to 155. The second half of the year I maintained my new weight while cutting additional fat and adding muscle mass (as measured via DEXA scans).
Brian’s weight over the past four to five years. No advanced analytics needed to figure out where this trend started to change!
Q: Wow, that’s incredible! How did this all come about? What made you decide to start to live healthier?
Well it all started with read The Obesity Code by Dr Jason Fung in November of 2017. The book really crystallized for me how traditional diet advice fails to help people and that “Eat less, move more” is destined to fail in frustrating ways. His suggestions focus on cutting sugar and artificial sweeteners, and paying attention to the timing of your eating. I had slowly been gaining weight since my mid-20’s and just felt like I needed to do something.
Q: So once you made that decision, how did you go about coming up with an approach? What perspectives influenced you the most?
I really just followed the guidelines from the book. There are a number of other people who I follow on Twitter that have provided helpful perspectives on things, notably Dr. Tro and Dr. Ted Naiman. They are big fans of “eat densely, move intensely”.
Cutting soda entirely was really important. I’ve found that “no” is a lot easier than “low”. Same thing with cutting snacking.
The other thing was moving to time restricted eating. I slowly transitioned away from breakfast and now generally eat between noon and 8 pm.
Other than that I didn’t really change my workouts at all. I was working out a bunch while I gained weight, and I now know that exercise is super helpful in a lot of ways but doesn’t do much for weight loss.
Q: There’s a lot of advice out there on how to lose weight. Is there any conventional wisdom or pervasive beliefs that you feel are just dead wrong?
Breakfast being the most important meal of the day or that you should eat lots of small meals. The insulin hypothesis of weight gain argues against both of these points of conventional wisdom and I haven’t seen any rationale for them.
Q: Lastly, what are your plans for 2019? How much of the routine are you sticking with and is there anything else new on the horizon?
People often ask me what the hardest thing has been. I honestly think it’s been super easy. Once you know what does help and what doesn’t it’s much easier to be less strict about your diet. I’ll have birthday cake or chips and queso, I just follow it up with a fasting day.
2019 is about maintenance. If I can keep my gains for a full 12 months I’ll know that I have a sustainable path in my life from a diet perspective.
Do you want to give Brian’s approach to weight loss a try? It’s easy to start by tracking just five metrics in WeAchieve. No need to meticulously track calories, carbs, fat, or more.
- Time of first eating
- Time of last eating
- Number of Sodas
- High Intensity Workout Minutes
With each of these, you can then set goals to fit your own lifestyle. You can start with goals to:
- Don’t eat before Noon 3 days of the week
- Never eat after 9pm
- Do 60 minutes of High Intensity Workouts per week
- Have 6 no soda days each week
And of course, don’t forget to set a milestone to reach a new weight, say 10-15 pounds lower than where you are today so that you can celebrate your success!
Of course, feel free to customize and experiment. Every person is certainly going to have their own experience. But by tracking key actions in WeAchieve, it’s easy to see what is making a difference and make adjustments as necessary.
Need help getting this setup in WeAchieve? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to help you get started!