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How I lost weight

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This is not medical advice. As always, YMMV, consult with a health professional, and take care of yourself.

I woke up on January 1st, 2019 with a very different feeling than I had on previous New Years’ Day. While I’m normally a sucker for the “fresh slate” opportunity that a new calendar year often elicits, my year was all but clear. With our second child on the way, a signed book deal, and a signed term sheet to sell our company, I knew that my year would be focused on simply following through on what I had coming, rather than choosing what I wanted to do. In hindsight, that let me focus myself on one personal project – getting myself physically, mentally, and spiritually in a better place than I had been. The biggest component, I knew, would be losing weight. Over the years, I had grown to 250+ lbs and a BMI of 33, I was technically obese.

Fast forward to as I write this in early December, I’ve lost ~55lbs (+/- 3 lbs), and have been effective in keeping it off. I’ve gone from an XL to M shirt size, 38 to 34 waist – having to clear out my entire wardrobe has been a champagne problem.

In the hopes of helping others, here is what I did.

Measured every day
I bought a simple Bluetooth scale, which allows me to measure myself every day, and compare it to my baseline.

Changed what I eat
A friend suggested a very simple diet that worked for him (which I’ve listed below). This immediately started showing results – which gave me early confidence that I’d be able to pull this off. Having a meal plan also reduced my choices, so I didn’t have to struggle with what I could or could not eat. Just follow this.

Meal 1: 3 eggs, vegetable, fruitĀ 

Meal 2: Fruit

Meal 3: 8 oz of fish/chicken, vegetable

Meal 4: Scoop of almond butter

Meal 5: Scoop of Almond butter

Meal 6: 12-16 oz of fish/chicken, vegetable

Meal 7: Fruit sorbet (or vegan ice cream)

What this also gave me more insight into is what I should or should not be eating in general. Cutting out most processed foods, complex carbohydrates, and, most of all, dairy, made a huge impact. I’ve since deviated away from this diet, and rather just focus my eating on almost entirely lean protein and vegetables. I don’t even feel good after having cheese or bread, as much as I love them dearly.

Changed when I eat
While I saw really strong early results, I started to plateau. On a friend’s suggestion, I tried intermittent fasting, after much hesitation. I started fasting 8PM – 12PM (essentially skipping breakfast, my favorite meal of the day). Instant results – not just on the scale, but in my energy as well. As much as I love breakfast, I feel better if I don’t eat anything until lunch.

I’ve experimented with pushing it a bit further – going down to one meal a day. While that has proven effective, skipping dinners isn’t that cool when you have a family and social commitments.

Exercised daily
We bought a Peloton, which I do ~20 minutes of, almost every day. On days when I don’t use the bike, or am on the road, I often do floor exercises (side note: they’re great to do with kids).

Daily inspiration
r/progresspics. Bookmark it. Visit it daily. If they can do it, you can too.

Nutrition coaching
I joined an on-line coaching course, Precision Nutrition, which definitely helped teach me a number of good habits, like eating slowly, etc. If I hadn’t been doing all the other things above, PN also includes a full exercise routine, meal planning, and other good habits to build.

Are you looking to lose weight? My friend Kevin, based on his own extreme transformation, has started a company that rolls together much of the above and more, including 1:1 coaching (I’m a small investor). Sign up for the beta if interested!

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By Zvi
Zvi Band Relationships are our most important asset.

Zvi Band

Founder of Contactually.
I'm also passionate about growing the DC startup community, and I've founded Proudly Made in DC and the DC Tech Meetup.