From Lazy Turd to Fitness Nerd - From Lazy Turd to Fitness Nerd

Ah yes, I remember how much shit I used to post on Facebook a few years ago. These posts included photos of my breakfasts, lunches, dinners... and no, these weren't culinary masterpieces I cooked myself or healthy meals as posted by teenage girls on Instagram.

You know what they say -- a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are a few photos I posted on my Facebook a long time ago:

And no, I'm not joking. I seriously used to eat crap like that as my breakfast sometimes. I don't know where you are from, but this isn't healthy behaviour. Combine that with a sedentary life style, zero exercise, non-stop gaming, and you'll end up with a pot belly and baby cheeks.

I've always been very skinny as a kid, but gained lots of weight during my first two years of college due the life style I described above.

Facing Reality

In May 2013 I visited New York City with family. We took lots of photos and had a great time. Once back in the Netherlands and looking back at the photos I realised how much my body had changed. Like I said before, I used to be slender.

What has science done?

Friends started to make playful taunts over my pot belly and man tits. It didn't really bother me, but I knew I had to take action soon before ending up as a stranded whale.

If you're curious, I'm 183 cm (6'0) and used to weigh 83 kg (183 lbs) around that time. I know that isn't much, but for people who have been skinny their entire life it's quite a lot in my opinion. Keep in mind that I never exercised nor did a sport in my life at that point. All the weight was pure fatty fat fat.

Baby Steps

After the summer of 2013 I got invited to the gym by my father and sister -- who at the time used to go pretty frequently. I decided to go, worked out a bit, and went back home. The next day I had a serious case of DOMS, and hoo boy, did it feel good. I found out an old friend went to the same gym as well, so I got myself the gym membership and we went together.

I got addicted to working out and started to do lots of research on the subject of weight loss. Many clickbait articles referenced sugar as the ultimate evil -- the main cause of fat gain. I did the ultimate sacrifice and swore myself to lay off the added sugars. No more soft drinks, no more chocolate chip cookies, no more milkshakes, etc. I also started to drink water only.

A bit of gym progress. No diet plan other than avoiding added sugars and drinking water.

And surprise surprise, it worked! I got some pretty amazing noob gains and was losing weight at a steady pace. Around the new year of 2014 I started to do "serious" workout sessions with an actual workout plan and heavy compound lifts such as squats and deadlifts. Before that I just trained on machines. I did a modified bro split for a long time and noticed small strength gains, but most importantly was the weight loss. Oh yeah, I didn't do any cardio at all by the way.

I kept losing weight until the summer of 2014 where I reached 68 kg (150 lbs) and let me tell you, losing weight and exercising seriously improves your life. I felt more upbeat, active, outgoing, and social. I reached my peak. I was full of motivation and life. Losing weight and lifting weights was the best decision I've ever made. But, I wasn't satisfied just yet. I may have lost the body fat, but didn't really develop any muscle.

My Saviour

The fact that I wasn't becoming stronger or gaining any muscle anymore was bothering me a bit. I was stuck on the same weights for weeks and lost a bit of motivation. After some research I found out that you can't really gain any strength and muscle while losing weight. That's when I discovered the use of calories.

Your body is a machine. It requires a certain amount of calories to stay alive and do activities. You can easily calculate this amount with this TDEE calculator made by Scooby. Now comes the simple concept of calories. It's really, really easy.

If you consume more calories than you burn, you'll gain weight.
If you burn more calories than you consume, you'll lose weight.

Simplified version of gaining and losing weight.

The hard part is keeping track of your calories. Luckily, there's an app called MyFitnessPal, which is my saviour. Thanks to this app I managed to bulk up to 88 kg within 6 months. All the extra calories provided some incredible strength development and I managed to pull off some crazy strong lifts. Of course there were downsides -- I got fat again! But I trusted the app. If I could gain all that weight, I could just as easily lose it again.

Body weight manipulation in action over the course of one year.

As you can tell from the graph I gained lots of weight, but lost it just as fast. Although, I admittedly made a huge mistake during my weight gain period. I didn't set a limit at all, so there were days where I burned 2,600 calories, but consumed 4,500. That's how I gained lots of unnecessary fat, but it was my first bulk and I learned lots from it.

To lose all the gained fat all I did was calculate my TDEE and subtract 500 from that number. My TDEE right now for example is around 2,200, so I eat 1,700 a day to lose weight. And no, I'm not starving myself. Just make sure to eat food that saturates you and not liquid food or other worthless meal shake products. Keeping track of your calories with MyFitnessPal ensures you're not consuming more than you burn -- it's a guaranteed weight loss.

Notably more muscle than last year's photo thanks to the bulk and heavy lifting.

My next step is to start a lean bulk upcoming November for more muscle development. This time I'll make sure not to overeat to minimise the fat gains. Losing all that extra weight had a huge impact on my strength and that's something I really miss, hence to reason to do another bulk. After that I'll cut again and the cycle repeats itself.


How to lose weight:

1. Calculate your TDEE;
2. Subtract 500 from that calculated number;
3. Download/register MyFitnessPal and start tracking everything you consume;
4. Stop eating once you hit your calories calculated at step 2;
5. ???
6. Profit!

Warning: don't underestimate your caloric intake! This is the number one mistake people make when trying to lose weight!

Thanks for reading and good luck.

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