A data-driven way to lose 10kg in 60 days

A data-driven way to lose 10kg in 60 days

Published
Apr 30, 2021 1:34 PM

With a little exercise, eating chocolate brownies, ice cream, cheesecake, tiramisu, and Nutella, mastered cooking and quit smoking. Before/after pics at the end.

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This post was originally started in 2019, but recently my friends started following the weight loss thread, so I decided to share my story.

Since I was 14, my body was that annoying thing that stopped me from fully enjoying myself.

It is ridiculous how little I cared about my own health.

I was sweating all the time and short-breathed after every staircase.

I was working 16-20 hours a day building my business.

I was also studying hard 4-10 hours a day towards a master's degree.

My palms were always wet, my posture was damaged in attempts to seem smaller.

One day, I realized that putting on a sock in the morning started to get challenging.

But even that wasn’t enough to reconsider my lifestyle.

Everything changed when my girlfriend who I dated for almost 8 years cheated on me and dumped me.

I don't blame her for it, really. I was far from a perfect boyfriend.

I am actually extremely grateful to her, as she opened the world of self-improvement and self-expansion for me.

That's when Tim Ferris came along with his 4-Hour Work Week and 4-Hour Body.

These two books alone led to my complete transformation as a human being.

The only thing I was left with after that horrible break up was my body (my mind went astray).

And it was fucked up.

So I decided that I will work my way bottom up trying to get myself back together: starting with the body.

So I set a goal of loosing 10kg in 60 days.

To keep myself accountable, I asked all my friends to bet real money against each other.

With a ratio of 2:1 for loose:win, I just couldn't hold myself to prove the disbelievers wrong.

I started a Telegram channel where I posted my daily progress and the challenge began.

You can still check it out, it’s a fun story to follow.

So how exactly did I go from 182 to 161 pounds in 60 days?

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Forgot everything I knew

We live in an era when most people are not conscious of their lifestyle choices.

If you actually had to grow and gather that potato you had for lunch, you would not weigh over 200 pounds.

We live in an extreme abundance of food supply.

I started questioning everything that I did.

Our habits are influenced by society and the media.

I realized that I started every day with a solidified mixture of pure sugar and processed starch (a.k.a. “cereal”).

Because everyone did 🤷‍♂️

I realized how much processed food I consumed.

Because everyone did 🤷‍♂️

I realized how little I spent exercising at the gym.

Because my priority was to become that guy working my ass off 🤷‍♂️

I had to completely rewire my food habits and become conscious about everything I put in my mouth.

Defined My Goal

Many of you heard about SMART goals. Losing so much weight in two months is not a very smart one.

Yet, it is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.

  1. Defined the target weight. It was no rocket science to find out my weight should be given my height and approximate muscular shape.
  2. Defined the deadline. I kept a short buffer of 1–2 weeks in case I fell behind the schedule.
  3. Calculated how much weight I had to lose per-week to meet my goal.
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All nutritionists discourage from losing more than 2 pounds of weight per week. I strongly recommend following this advice if you do not want to completely wreck your metabolism (see the Avoiding Damage section).

Made Myself Accountable

The promises made to yourself are the easiest to break.

Not only I shared my plan with everyone, but I also made 20 of my friends bet against each other whether I can accomplish it.

Moreover, I invited everyone to a group chat and made a promise to post pictures of my food and measurements every day.

Now, I could not let the believers down, nor could I wait to prove the disbelievers wrong.

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If this sounds like too much exposure, then you’re not crazy enough and you should stay fat for now.

I laugh at people that say they are losing weight and do not have body scales at home.

You can't improve what you can't measure.

There is a study that has shown that just being aware of your own weight makes you lose weight.

Weighing every morning, right after waking up, after the toilet, before eating or drinking anything is the most consistent and correct way to measure body weight.

Buying a $30 body scale does not seem like a lot of work to start losing extra weight, right? Try it.

RENPHO digital scales travelled 14 countries with me.
RENPHO digital scales travelled 14 countries with me.

I recommend buying body scales that measure body fat percentage. Even though the measurements are going to be very imprecise — it is still a good estimate.

Personally, I use RENPHO scales, but I also recommend checking out the Withings scale — they seem to have better software. For me, the main thing is to keep all my data centralized in on place, which is Google Fit for now, including heart rate and fitness tracking.

Scales lie

Weight is not the only measure of fat. If you exercise, you gain muscle which may result in a weight gain even in a calorie deficit.

To avoid getting demotivated, I recommend measuring your body with a tape measure. I used the $7 MyoTape measure because it is easy to use with one hand.

The important thing is to keep the measurements consistent. I found markers on my body like moles to always measure the circumference at the same places. Eventually, I got pretty accurate in it.

I recommend calculating the TI — total inches — the sum of the wrist, left arm, chest, left hip circumference. Do not forget the hips, since many people, especially women, have a tendency to accumulate significant fat in that area.

$7 MyoTape travelled 14 countries with me.
$7 MyoTape travelled 14 countries with me.

I also did a real bio-impedance body composition test once every 2–3 weeks. I found a free one at my gym.

It provides a more accurate insight into your body composition and points out some important aspects like if your left leg is bigger than the right one (as it turned out for me). It is important to keep those things in mind and working towards their improvement as they may result in injuries as one gets older.

Recorded everything

Everyone is different. The way your body reacts to different lifestyles is individual. Having the records made it easier to see where I made a mistake if the scales showed an unexpected deviation from the plan.

Starting with a google sheet, I eventually switched to Lifesum for weight tracking, activity tracking, body measurements, nutrition tracking, macros calculation, and recipes. I rarely pay for apps, but this one was definitely worth it.

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Before you start tracking calories, though, make sure to read the Avoiding Damage section at the end of the article.

One of my first measurements using RENPHO scales.
One of my first measurements using RENPHO scales.

Chose a diet, started cooking

I started with a low-carb diet described in the 4HB.

It proved very effective for the first 5-10 pounds.

But after a while, my weight loss plateaued, so I had to fall back to Keto.

I realized that eating out was not a viable option for my tight schedule, so I started to learn how to cook.

By the end of the challenge, I was making crazy things like low-carb bread, zero-carb pancakes, even zero-carb syrniki.

I still have a Google Photos album that features some of the best foods I made. Crazy stuff.

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The post is still in progress. The text below is a raw notebook. Please come back at a later time, or follow me on Twitter for updates

Started exercising

So what really made me fat?

Fruits made me fat

The reason warm countries are usually underdeveloped is because of bananas.

Nature’s candy they call it: when food simply grows on trees while you party, you don’t need a body of a hunter.

To readers originating from temperate climate zones: do you really think your homo sapiens ancestors occasionally found a ripe mango in the middle of December?

Friends made me fat

My habits made me fat

Exercise does not burn fat

To burn the number of calories contained in a single OREO cookie, you have to climb 83 stair flights.

Fat does not make you fat

Avoid the “low-fat” products, it is low in calories but it is absolute processed trash.

Your unconscious spending makes you fat

Your quick results will make you accountable for keeping them

Avoiding damage

Metabolic damage

Mental damage

Sugar substitutes. At some point, I started to use sugar substitutes. It made it easier for my belly but only provoked more cravings. Eating sweets make you want to eat more sweets. Avoid at all costs.

Inspire

Cravings

Last remarks

  • Only fallback to calorie counting if you are falling behind your schedule. It can really mess with your head, like for real.
  • Stopping when you are full
  • drink coffee
  • Remove all the cooking materials before you start eating. It’s like in a restaurant: you can’t eat more than you have in your plate.
  • avoid sugar cravings
  • keep it simple
  • mindfulness

References

  • four-hour body
  • recipes
  • keto website