In early 2015, I was at a turning point in my life. I was unhappy and fat. I had no sense of direction; I had no goals or aspirations. I was on the verge of dropping out of school and living at my parent’s house with no job. But, I read a revolutionary article titled “Screw motivation, what you need is discipline.” This triggered me to start and finish the best weight loss transformation I have ever thought possible. It has taught me that anything you want in life requires hard-work and discipline, but it’s totally worth it.

The question that follows is: how bad do you want it? Are you willing to set aside your desire to eat that chocolate bar or that extra serving? Or are you willing to put in the work required to change your life? Do you prefer instant gratification over long-term gratification? If you give in to petty desires, you prefer instant gratification. I'll ask again, how bad do you want it?

During my weight loss journey, I have learned a lot about the importance of proper nutrition, portion sizes, lifting weights and healthy levels of exercise. Eating less is the key to losing weight and proper nutrition is how you feel good doing it. I've learned that weight loss is also about fixing your improper relationship with food and CHANGING the way you live your life to be a healthier and more active one. Hopefully my journey inspires you to start taking a step in that direction.

Start Your Weight Loss Journey

No matter what you do, fat loss only occurs when you are in a caloric deficit. This is simple concept to understand, but very hard to put into practice. There are two main ways to enter a caloric deficit; you can eat less and/or exercise more.

There's a common saying that goes: "you can't outrun a bad diet." Changing your dietary habits should be your primary focus. It's also likely the primary reason you are overweight/obese to begin with. Dietary habits can be a hard thing to change, but it's doable; I'm living proof of that. Instead of making your goal to lose weight, I want you to focus on a better goal, which is to fix your improper relationship with food. Your improper relationship with food is the root of this entire problem.

I used to tell people to count calories to lose weight; but this may not be the best way to go about fat loss. It will lead to results, but it will be hard to continually maintain. I counted calories in my own journey, but it did little to fix my improper relationship with food. This improper relationship with food is something I struggled with far after my intial transformation. If you want to start losing weight to gain momentum, you can count calories, but it is only a temporary solution that doesn't fix the root of the problem.

The easiest thing to do is to start replacing one of your meals with something healthier or remove a bad habit (like drinking soda or mindless snacking). This can actually be quite a fun thing to do because you get to experiment with new recipes and foods. The thought of changing your diet may be scary, but just know that your tastes change over time. What might not sound good to you now might be a staple food that you love later. You don't need to worry about the future though, just worry about now. Start challenging yourself in new ways and you may be surprised by the results.

If you'd like to learn more, visit the resource section, my YouTube channel or send me an email

Diet Philosophy

The best diet for weight loss is a plant-based whole food diet. Plant-based whole food has an incredible amount of nutrients, fiber and promotes ideal health and longevity. Because of the traits of this diet, these are also the most likely foods that will help repair your poor relationship with food. Keep this in mind as you strive to incorporate healthier foods into your life.

As far as when to eat, I recommend having 2 or 3 meals a day. As an added bonus, feel free to try intermittent fasting as I've found that it can help some people avoid eating excess calories. There is nothing magical about intermittent fasting though.

Resources

Recommended Supplements / Foods

  • Creatine Monohydrate
    My Daily Dose:
    5g/day
    Why: Creatine is naturally produced in the body, but at much lower amounts. It facilitates the energy use of cells in your body; this includes your muscle cells. This translates into more intense gym sessions. This supplement is widely studied, effective and considered safe for long term use. It will be most effective if you have implemented a weight lifting routine. Don't worry about taking creatine as a beginner weightlifter; focus on the fundamentals of weight-training first.

  • Flax Seeds
    My Daily Dose: 1-2 Tbsp/day
    Why: Flax seeds are a great source of ALA Omega 3 Fatty Acids in addition to a wide range of other nutrients. It's particularly important for weight lifting because it is a good anti-inflammatory which is helpful for muscle recovery at a caloric deficit. In addition to that, it's also great for heart, joint, nail and skin health. You can put grounded flax seed in smoothies, sprinkled on top of cereal/salads, mixed in sauces, etc.

    Many argue that fish oil is a better way to get the EPA/DHA Omega 3 fatty acids, but this is not really true. Your body is able to convert the ALA Omega 3 fatty acids into longer chains of fatty acids like DHA and EPA without all the health risks that come with fish/shell-fish like PCBs, Mercury, and Dioxins. 1-2 tablespoons of flax seeds provide more than enough ALA to meet your needs. Combine that with a well-balanced healthy diet and you are golden!
    Note: you shouldn't be eating whole flax seeds. They must be grinded into a powder in order to absorb the nutrients from them.

    Mic The Vegan (YouTuber) made an excellent video explaining this. Check it out here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMA5ij-bsKc

  • Vitamin D
    My Daily Dose: 1 tablet/day
    Why: Vitamin D is important for bone strength and muscle function. If you're hitting the gym and lifting weights, it's important that you maintain maximal muscle function and bone health. A lack of vitamin D is commonly associated with muscle weakness and atrophy and is a common deficiency which is why you should seriously consider supplementing with it. Vitamin D is also known as the sunshine vitamin because your body can synthesize vitamin D during exposure from the sun.

  • B12
    My Daily Dose: 1 tablet/day
    Why: You should be supplementing with B12 if you are a vegan, or at the very least eating foods fortified in B12. Bacteria is the ONLY organism that can synthesize B12. Animal products only have B12 because we inject the animals with B12 and they eat food with some dirt (which has bacteria) on it. If we grew food in our own gardens and weren't worried about little dirt on our carrots, we'd actually get enough B12 to sustain ourselves. In other words, our obsessive sanitation standards are why B12 is hard to come by these days.

Reccommended Kitchen Tools

  • Food Processor
    Useful for finely chopping vegetables to put in your dishes or to make sauces like hummus or guacamole.
  • Blender (High-powered options: VitaMix & BlendTec)
    I personally have a Blendtec, but any of the options I linked will work too. Smoothies are a great way to consume a huge amount of healthy food which is mostly what I use mine for, but it's also useful for other things like soups, dips and sauces when the food processor just want cut it. A high-powered blender can also help you make nut butters and nut milks (homemade almond milk for instance).

Frequently Asked Questions