Yes, that’s actually me and yes, I lost over 20 pounds in 8 weeks

Losing weight over 40 is not that hard!

Real weight loss over 40

Yes, I’m over 40. I’m actually 43.

Here’s the down and dirty:

  • I stopped binge drinking.
  • I started only drinking coffee for breakfast.
  • I realized that skipping lunch is actually pretty easy.
  • I try not to gorge myself at dinner (I do screw this up occasionally).

Most common questions I get:

  • “Is it hard?” No.
  • “How to you not go crazy with hunger?” Once your body adjusts, you’re less and less hungry and it actually becomes sustainable and flexible over the long term.
  • “Did you lose muscle or strength?” No.

Here’s why I haven’t done this before now:

  • Just like everyone else, I believed most of the lies in the fitness industry.
  • I thought I would go crazy, or die, if I only ate one meal a day.
  • I had a drinking problem and finally got my shit together .

Step 1 — Get your sh!t together…

I realized I was drinking to self-medicate and not because I enjoyed it.

First off, I get it, drinking is an escape and feels awesome. Besides the life implications of binge drinking the real problem is there is like 2000 calories in even a small binge drinking session.

If you’re binge drinking, even a little, the math doesn’t work out for weight loss.

Step 2 — Treat weight loss as a math problem not an existential crisis.

Weight loss is a math problem, so treat it like a math problem.

Forget everything you’ve learned. It hasn’t done you any good anyway.

Less calories in, more calories out, and drink water. (it’s not rocket science…)

Common myths:

  • You have to eat throughout the day.
  • Eating small meals throughout the day will stave off hunger. (My brother is a stomach doctor, this really is BS.)
  • You need to eat right after you workout.
  • You can treat yourself after you workout.
  • You need to workout to look good.

I believed all of the above and more.

The “ah ha!” moment for me was when I said;

“F*** it, I’m going to start skipping lunch and for dinner I’m just going to eat what I want, until I’m full… ”

Step 3 —Try this / these are crazy facts, that you won’t believe until you try for yourself.

  • If you go down to one meal a day, you get just as full as when you eat 3 meals a day.
  • Working out on an empty stomach is not as bad as it sounds and it actually quells your appetite.
  • Most of your hunger is due to your habits, not your body actually demanding food.
  • If you ease into one meal a day, it’s not hard.
  • One meal a day is sustainable because you’re not depriving yourself of your favorite foods and you can almost eat whatever you want.
  • Think about the calories you burn throughout your entire day, not during a workout. Move more, over a longer period of time.
  • My favorite: Once you actually start seeing a difference, you start getting more motivated to stick it out and make it work.

What I actually do (my daily plan):

  • I get up (6 am) and make myself a whole pot of coffee (around 8 cups).
  • I drink one big cup of coffee with cream and sugar substitute.
  • I put the rest of my coffee in a thermos.
  • I go to work.
  • At around mid morning I drink water with a scoop of pre-workout supplement. (I like it, and it’s different than coffee or plain water.)
  • For lunch, I workout for 45min. (any more than 45 min, and I start to get burnt out, especially over the course of the week) (I use an App, it helps me mix it up and keeps it interesting.)
  • After my workout, I shower real quick, and go back to work.
  • If I get hungry, I just have some coffee.
  • By the time I do start getting really hungry, it’s almost time to go home.
  • If I really start getting hungry or dragging in the afternoon, I’ll treat myself to an energy drink. (Once again, mostly because it’s just something different.)
  • This program really helps my marriage, because it doesn’t matter what my wife has made for dinner, I’m gonna love it.
  • For dinner, I do try to slow down and enjoy my meal. I also allow myself to eat until I’m full.
  • I will usually eat some type of small desert or snack before bed. (If I’m actively trying to lose weight, this is where I try to stay disciplined.)
  • That’s it. I do let myself slip every once in while and eat breakfast with the family or go to lunch with the guys. (I’ve found this doesn’t really make a difference as long as I keep it to only 2–3 times a week.)
  • I used to do a “cheat day” on Sunday and eat whatever/whenever I want. I don’t feel like I need it anymore. I just use that cheat day throughout my week and don’t freak out when I have a snack.

Why it works:

  • My plan is sustainable. I have no problem sticking to this plan because it’s actually really flexible and I’m not actually cutting anything out. I just stay inside my window.
  • I don’t binge drink anymore. I will have a beer every once in a while, but no more 12 packs on Saturday. (The trick here is to really want to change. My motivation is that I can get twice as much fun stuff done on the weekend if I’m not hung over.)
  • I love the way I look and feel. This really is an awesome motivator.

I genuinely feel bad for folks that spend a ton of money on workout equipment. It’s easy to see why people buy expensive workout stuff, only to abandon it 3 months later. They might feel better but they look the same. It’s your diet! Not your workout.

Conclusion:

By far the most important thing I’ve learned throughout this process is that you should question everything you’ve heard before. Even if it sounds legit.

If what you’re doing is not working, then try something else. (This sounds easy, but if it was, then more people would feel and “look” a lot better.)

Tony Davis, is a Requirements Officer for HQMC. His side hustles are: writer, freelance digital artist, and owner of Commando Inc.