How I lost 25 pounds in 4 months – A Guest Post by Zach Koch

“My girlfriend recently left to teach in Japan for a year. We had decided to spend the time prior to her departure in gluttony, a celebration of Austin food and drink culture.  It was a success. One that left me with a few extra pounds and some less than flattering facebook photos.

I decided that I would distract myself by devoting my extra time to self-improvement. This included trying to lose as much weight as possible. My first step was to immerse myself in weight loss culture with the power of reddit. The LoseItFitness, and ProgressPics subreddits were my go-to time-sinks.

A few patterns started to emerge from the upvotes, weight training, calorie counting, and a positive attitude. I was familiar with the first two and intended to make up the third with robot-like determination.

But, how many calories to take in? Fortunately I came across an article by Leigh Peele about Starvation Mode that became the cornerstone of my routine. It states that feeling hungry while dieting is ok, and provides simple guidelines for dieting heavily and safely which I will state here.

Find your BMR here: BMR Calculator
Multiply that number by 1.2 to get your calorie expenditure for a sedentary day.

This is your baseline. Assuming you don’t work out, if you eat more than this you will gain, if you eat less you will lose. Simple.

In order to lose weight quickly, subtract 1000 from this number to a minimum of 1200 calories and eat that 6 days a week. On the 7th day eat slightly (~100 calories) over that amount. This will give you your maximum safe level of fat loss without permanently affecting your metabolism.

That’s the whole plan. The rest is just tweaks and improvements.

Drink water, lots of water. Aim for a gallon a day. Your fat burning system needs lots of water to remove the fat.

You can include strength training to reduce muscle loss.

When incorporating a workout add the amount of calories from your workout to what you can eat. Also expect to work out with less intensity. You may have less energy for the workout, but that’s ok, you’ll lose the weight.

A ratio of higher protein will reduce muscle loss, but not so much that you should neglect your fats and carbs.

MyFitnessPal will set guidelines for you that are fairly compliant with these guidelines. And that is what I used (and still use), to count calories.

Cooking your own food and using a scale will allow you to accurately measure your calories. When you only get 1200 a day, this becomes important as a variance in either direction will stall your progress.

The biggest part of this is psychological. Knowing that it is ok to be hungry is the key. It’s easy to trick yourself into thinking you “need” to eat because you’re starving. You are starving, but that’s how you lose weight.

Also, ignore the scale. If you want to check in on your progress, do it the day before every 7th day, the day when you eat a normal amount of calories. But the weight varies quite a bit from day to day.

You may lose a lot of weight in the first week, ignore it. You will gain that back when you eat normally again. Expect your total weight loss to come to 1 to 2 lbs a week.” – Zach Koch

July 7th - Oct 7th
July 7th – Nov 7th

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This is real-life, rational, hard-work-based advice from someone who has personally experienced positive results from his routine.
He does a very good job of being informative while still reminding you that you need to go about your weight loss in a HEALTHY manner. 

Don’t expect to drop 5 pounds a week. In fact, don’t even try to. It’s not healthy.
Don’t eat too few calories. Make 1200 your minimum. 
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated both for exercise and for fat loss. 

These are all great, and very important, tips. 
He also provided some great links that I hope will go to good use with you guys.

Good luck with whatever your fitness goals may be, and if they happen to be weight loss, I hope this post has provided you with some new and useful insight.

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Pura vida and stay strong, Fit4Reviewers!

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