The first of February 1994, that's the day when a giant 5166 kg baby was born. That infant was me 24 years ago. Some people say that obesity and overweight is something that can be a part of your genes. However, I have had trouble keeping my weight down my entire life. Meanwhile, my brother, who consumed the same food and drinks as I did and played the same sports as I did, held his body tight and fit. Unfair? YES. But what can you do about it? Stop whining about the unfairness of life and get shit done, that's what I did. And this is my story about how I went from dadbod to beachbod in 4 months.
My whole life I've been struggling with my weight and failed every single 'magical wonder cure' out there. I felt bad about myself and even went so far that I tried a powder diet where you drink powder shakes and powder soups all day to lower the number of calories consumed with the purpose of losing weight. So basically, I was starving myself to gain that body and self-esteem I've always daydreamed about having. Of course, that didn't work either in the long run. No matter what I did, it only worked for a couple of weeks, and then I came back to where I started. It was a hopeless journey.
Around mid-May in 2015, I booked a trip to Australia. And literally, the moment after I confirmed my booking, I started to think about the many times I would have to take off my shirt while in a sunny country like Australia and basically panicked the sh.. out of myself. I only had four months left until departure, and I was floppy AF. At that time, I had just seen the new Wolverine movie and read about Hugh Jackman's "Wolverine diet.". So, I decided to give it a go.
The real name of the diet plan is Intermittent Fasting. Intermittent fasting means that you divide your 24-hour day up in eating and fasting windows. So, what I did was to eat in an 8-hour window, so between 12am-8pm. In the last 16 hours of the day, I didn't consume any calories at all. So no soda, no juice, no food, only water. And when I did eat, I made myself a WOK consisting of vegetables, chicken and an amazing sweet/sour sauce. Beautiful dish.
The reason why Intermittent fasting is so effective is that your body automatically burns calories just by going through your daily routine. But before your body burns away pure body fat, it will start with the food left in your stomach. After your stomach is completely burned out and empty of food, your system will start working on your body fat, and thereby you will lose weight.
Clever people say that it takes an average of 8 hours for the metabolism to burn away all the food in your stomach, and since you're only eating in an 8-hour window, that leaves you with the last 8 hours of the day where your system burns pure body fat. So, Intermittent fasting is actually pretty simple and straightforward, because you're burning pure fat just by living. However, it is quite challenging to get used to these 'window' eating habits during the first week and maybe the second week. But since the human body is incredibly smart, you should feel comfortable after a week or two, since your body adapts to your new eating habits.
But I was desperate! So, I mixed this diet plan up with an insane cardio plan. High Intensity Interval Training, also shortened as HIIT. HIIT is a training plan where you only have to work out 30-60 minutes per time. Imagine that you're at a running track, sprint 100 meters as fast as you can and walk back to the starting point. As soon as you're back at the starting line, turn around and start your 100-meter sprint again. Do ten rounds of walking and sprinting and you will quickly see results.
You can do HIIT with many other cardio activities or even machines. I did it with a skipping rope. As long as you make sure that you give it 110% for some time and then go down to 30% and back up again, it doesn't matter what specific exercise you do. High-Intensity Interval Training makes your pulse go up and down which increases your metabolism drastically. And the higher your metabolism is, the higher number of calories are burned daily.
I found that the two different sports plans are a perfect mix for me and my body.
I kept my diet straight through Intermittent Fasting, did my cardio with the HIIT program, and then I did standard weightlifting and strength training five times a week. That was the golden ratio for me, and it worked. I ended up with a toned body that I never thought could happen. It was tough at the beginning, but as soon as I started to see some results, I was hooked and motivated like never before. So, I just kept on doing my routine for those four months, and never have I felt so good about myself as I did when it was over.
I strongly encourage people to try this out. As earlier mentioned, I had tried every 'magical wonder cure' out there, and they just don't work as promised. However, this training program mix is extremely useful if you do it right here...
If you are interested in reading more about either HIIT or Intermittent Fasting you can go check it out on our sports blog.