Hans Johnson

How To Get Your Fat Ass Back Into Shape

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This is consistently one of the top resolutions each year. If one of your goals this year is to lose weight, get more fit or just look and feel better... here’s how to get it done.

If losing weight is not one of your goals, but you are among a majority who live a modern sedentary lifestyle (lots of sitting, desk time, processed food, etc) then you'll still want to implement this strategy, if for nothing more than for your physical and mental health (ie; honoring the temple).
  1. Create a daily calorie deficit
    - If you consume less calories than you expend in energy each day, you will lose weight - period.
    - Anything else is simply a fad or creative strategy of achieving the same result which is a metabolic calorie deficit.
    - Don’t rely solely on supplements. Learn basic nutrition and how to meet your daily calorie quota by eating a balanced diet of whole foods and the key macro nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fats, etc).
    - Losing weight is the same as getting out of debt - produce more (income/energy) than you consume.
    - Consider using an intermittent fasting strategy to prioritize "when you eat" by reducing the eating window to 8 hours per day.
  2. Use some form of resistance training
    - Losing weight isn’t enough, its muscle mass that changes your body composition, gives you strength and makes you look and feel better.
    - Building lean muscle usually takes some form of resistance training (which also happens to help burn fat).
  3. Embrace cardio
    - Cardio burns fat, changes your metabolic rate, increases blood flow, stamina and endurance.
    - More importantly it builds mental toughness and supports good mental health.
How to do it?
  1. Calculate your BMR (basal metabolic rate), the number of calories your body burns at rest every day. I prefer to use the Harris-Benedict Equation method which takes into account height, weight, age, gender and activity level to calculate BMR.
  2. Calculate your desired daily calorie deficit to achieve your fat loss goal. There are approximately 3500 calories stored in 1 pound of body fat. If you create a deficit of 3500 calories per week via diet, exercise or both, you'd lose approximately 1 pound of fat per week. Building on the BMR formula above, you'll factor in your activity level to identify your exact daily energy expenditure as well as your target macro nutrients percentage.
  3. Track your calorie intake and macro nutrients daily via an app like MyFitnessPal. I found the app a bit of pain at first. Not because of the app, but because I didn’t have the habit of knowing the weight or nutrient values of what I was stuffing in my mouth every day and the app (along with a bit of help from my hot wife) forced me to think about it and apply some discipline!
    - You cannot improve what you do not track! This is no different than good financial management and discipline. If you’re not accurately and consistently tracking your spending, you’ll never get out of debt or improve your financial situation. The same is true with calories and macro nutrients, it can be done other ways like portion sizes, but the fittest people in the world use systems to accurately know what’s going into their body every single day, just like the wealthy know exactly what their balance sheet, income and spending habits are.
  4. Track your body fat (BF) weekly via an app like BodyTracker.
    - Focus on your BF% and body composition (ratio of lean muscle mass to body fat), not your weight.
  5. Commit to some form of movement daily and at least 30 minutes of strenuous sweat producing exercise 3-4+ days/week.
    - Do something you enjoy but something that challenges you and gets your heart rate up.
    - Ideally some form of cardio and resistance training (i.e.; weights, TRX or other body weight workout, boxing or heavy bag workout, running, etc). If you don’t know where to start or you're really obese and/or out of shape, just start by walking briskly for 30 minutes, then increase from there.
  6. Drink only water and plenty of it.
  7. Have an accountability partner or connect with others socially during workouts to help with motivation or learn how to motivate yourself when you're not feeling like doing what you know you should do.
Pick up a copy of "Burn Fat & Feed Muscle" by Tom Venuto and read it. This book is literally the manual on how to do everything I listed above (the BMR formulas are on page 120). Its the best book I’ve ever read on the subject and something that helped me understand how 1) diet, 2) resistance training & 3) cardio work synergistically together to transform physical appearance and strength. It also brilliantly explains how the different food macro nutrients like proteins, carbohydrates, fats affect your body composition and energy levels and how to manipulate the inputs and percentages for different results.

If you do the 3 things listed above, regardless of what type of “diet” or workout plan you implement, you’re going to lose weight and start looking great... plain and simple.

2 additional tricks. If the above feels to complicated, try the following in addition to regular exercise.
  1. Increase your daily fasting window and reduce your eating time down to an 8hr window each day. I.e.; first meal at 10am, last meal at 6pm .
  2. Eat smaller portions, never eat until your full.
Now get going and get your ass into shape warrior!

Always consult your doctor or qualified health expert before starting any exercise or weight loss program.