Hi there! My name is Anand and today I will share with you EXACTLY how I lost over 125 pounds and kept it off for over 6 years.
This article is not just about me. It’s also about YOU. If you’re looking for some weight loss motivation, then this is for you. If I can inspire 1 person with this post, it will mean the world to me.
Did you know that over 95% of weight loss diets fail in the long term? It’s not that people cannot lose weight. The problem is that we cannot keep it off in the long-term.
What made me successful in the long term? How did I not only lose a 125 pounds but also keep it off for over 6 years?
You’re about to find out.
My name is Anand and I’m a Fat Loss and Strength Coach, Competitive Powerlifter and Writer. But I wasn’t always like this.
In fact, I was the complete opposite of someone you would call fit.
I was morbidly obese most of my life and weighed over 200 pounds even when I was 12 years old. I was also weaker than most kids my age.
As a teenager, I was morbidly obese weighing over 125KG/275lbs with almost a 50-inch waist. Needless to say that this wasn’t a good time. If having issues with mobility, and body image wasn’t bad enough, I was also made fun of and bullied all the time because of my weight.
In many ways, I was physically disabled carrying all this extra weight around. I couldn’t do a lot of the things that other normal kids could and this was extremely demotivating, to say the least.
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My Weight Loss Motivation
As a kid, I would always admire people who were strong, both, physically and mentally.
Probably my favorite movie of all time is Rocky, which is an underdog story. This movie changed my life and is the main reason why my website is called Underdog Strength. This movie is about rising to the top against all odds.
No one believed that I could do anything in life. In fact, some of my closest people in my life even made fun of me for wanting to change.
You know what? It didn’t matter what anyone else thought. I knew that if I put my mind to it and put in the work, I could achieve anything.
The results speak for themselves. I lost over 125 lbs and almost 20 inches off my waist.
But how did I do it?
To be honest, it was a lot harder than it seems and took me several years of failed diet attempts, yo-yo diets, and weight regains to figure it out. It’s not just about how much weight you lose. It’s also about how much you can keep off for a long time.
I’ve made so many mistakes in my journey to lose weight that I even wrote a Free Ebook called: Top 10 Weight Loss Mistakes.
The good news is that you don’t have to make these same mistakes that I did. You can achieve your goals in a much shorter time than did because of what I’m sharing with you.
I’m telling you, this approach works. Not only has this worked for me but it has also worked with the people I coach, as well thousands of other people around the world.
5 Steps I Took To Lose 125+ Pounds
Step 1: What Your Motivation to Lose Weight?
Why do you want to achieve this? What will you gain? What will you miss out on if you don’t achieve this?
It’s important to know your ‘Why’.
If you want to do anything just because someone else tells you to, you won’t really push through when things get tough. If you WHY is strong enough, it will give you the long-term motivation to lose weight.
We are all motivated by different reasons but fundamentally, we are all motivated by 2 things: Pain and Pleasure.
For me, I hated being fat and all the physical and mental challenges that came with it.
“Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.”
― Tony Robbins
On the other hand, I was also motivated by pleasure. I always admired athletes and strong people. I always wanted to be strong myself. I imagined how great it would be to be strong myself.
Step 2: Success Mindset
This may be surprising to you but having the right mindset for success is the most important thing. Most coaches will not teach you this.
Yes, weight loss is physical but it all starts with the mind. In my mind, weight loss is more mental than physical.
There’s a popular saying that success is 80% mindset and 20% mechanics.
As a coach, I’ve found that without the right mindset, the best strategy is useless because you will not execute on it with the amount of effort required.
If you have the right mindset, even if you don’t follow the best diet or training program, you will be successful in the long term. Your mindset will allow you to deal with failure and ultimately find what works for you because you’re willing to do whatever it takes.
If you look at any successful person, they are not necessarily the smartest people in the world but they have the success mindset. When I hear the word successful, the first person to come to mind is Arnold Schwarzenegger. He’s another example of an Underdog Story where against all odds, he reached the highest levels of success.
Even before I started, I knew that this was something harder than I had ever done before and I was willing to do whatever it took, no matter what. I said to myself- “If I can do this, I can do anything.”
Step 3: Goal Setting
I had tried to lose weight several times in the past but had failed in the long-term. One major thing that was lacking was that I didn’t have clear goals.
Clarity is power. The more clear you are about your goals, the better it is
Without goals, your plan is just a dream.
There are 2 types of goals: Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
Long-term goals are more outcome-oriented goals where you visualize what you want the outcome to look like. for example, what kind of physique do you want?
Short-term goals are process-oriented goals. It’s the day to day goals that will ultimately lead you to your long-term goals.
As a coach, I tend to favor short-term goals and mini victories over long-term goals. Long-term goals can be overwhelming but if we break it down into daily goals, it doesn’t seem so scary.
I knew I had to lose a 100 pounds, which can be a scary goal. But breaking it down to 2 lbs per week is an achievable goal.
Learn more about Goal Setting
Step #4: Create a Caloric Deficit
Weight Loss and Weight gain are a function of energy balance.
In order to lose weight, you need a sustained caloric deficit. You have to consume fewer calories than you burn regardless of the actual diet you follow.
In simple terms, body fat is stored energy. The calories that we consume are used by the body and the excess calories are stored primarily as body fat. The body also stores protein in the form of muscle and carbohydrates in the form of glycogen. We have a limited storage capacity for protein and carbohydrates but our fat storage capacity is much higher.
This is why there are some extreme cases where people weigh over 700 pounds.
Our bodies need body fat. Without body fat, we cannot survive. In the past, food was not as readily available as it is today. Having extra body fat in those times would increase your chances of survival.
If you go back even a few decades, having a higher body fat was desirable in a lot of cultures because it meant that you were ‘well fed’ and affluent.
Unfortunately, times have changed. We have unlimited access to high-calorie foods and our caloric expenditure has gone down.
Gaining weight is a result of having a caloric surplus for a long time.
Losing weight is the exact opposite. You create a caloric deficit by reducing your intake and increasing your expenditure.
There are many ways of creating a caloric deficit but this is ideally done through a combination of diet and exercise.
As a coach, all my clients focus on Strength Training.
But Why Strength Training? There are many ways to burn calories. What makes Strength Training Special?
Strength Training offers some unique benefits that other forms of training don’t.
Strength training is the only form of training that build muscle mass. Building or at least maintaining muscle mass is crucial when losing weight.
Our goal should be Fat Loss and NOT Weight Loss.
Weight loss simply means that we lose total body weight. This weight can include fat, water, muscle and Lean Body Mass.
Fat Loss, on the other hand, focuses on maintaining and building muscle while you lose primarily body fat.
The end result of focusing on fat loss will be much better. You may have known someone who has lost weight but they don’t look very lean. This is because they probably didn’t focus on getting stronger and building muscle mass.
The other major benefit of strength training is that it can boost metabolism. Your metabolic rate determines how many calories you burn in a day.
When we lose weight, our metabolism slows down. If we can build some muscle while losing weight, we can prevent our metabolism from slowing down too much.
Learn more about how many calories do I need?
Once you have training and nutrition figured out, you can use cardio as needed. Cardio is not necessary but it has benefits in terms of losing weight and general health.
Cardio will help you burn more calories on top of your training and nutrition.
It’s important not to do too much cardio. I’ve made this mistake while losing weight. There was a time I did so much cardio on top of my weight training that it started to affect my strength levels.
Our bodies have a limited recovery capacity. If your strength levels start to drop, you will end up losing muscle.
For this reason, I recommend HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) Cardio for most people. HIIT cardio is very similar to strength training.
It is performed in short but intense intervals, followed by rest. You can easily get a great workout in about 15-20 minutes with HIIT.
There are so many ways to do HIIT. In fact, you can check out my Free Book – 25 Fat Blasting HIIT Workouts to get started right away.
Nutrition plays a crucial role when it comes to your weight loss transformation. It is far more efficient to create a caloric deficit through diet than it is through exercise.
We all have different diets. The foods that we eat are based on our preferences, culture and dietary restrictions.
Regardless of the actual diet, you follow, you can lose weight if you follow the basic nutrition guidelines.
Everything we eat has calories. If we want to lose weight we have to eat fewer calories than we burn. If you want to find out how many calories you need, check the Calorie Calculator.
In order to consume fewer calories, you will have to modify your diet. You can simply reduce your portion sizes or you could replace some of the high-calorie foods in your diet with lower-calorie foods.
In general, 1 pound of fat has about 3500 calories. If you want to lose 1 pound a week, you will have to eat about 500 calories less than what your body needs (500 Calories x7 Days in a week=3500 Calories).
If you want to figure out how many calories you need, check out: How Many Calories Do I Need? (With Calorie Calculator)
Calories in food come from macronutrients, which include – Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats.
Macronutrients are important because they will have an impact on your body composition.
The most important macronutrient when it comes to weight loss is Protein. Protein has 3 unique benefits for weight loss:
- Helps build and maintain muscle while losing fat
- Reduces hunger while dieting
- Boosts metabolism slightly (Thermic Effect of Food)
2 diets with the same calories can have a different end result if the macro nutrients are different. For example, a person who loses weight on a high protein diet will preserve more muscle than a person on a low protein diet. Protein supplies the body with the essential amino acids to build muscle.
Learn more about Fat Loss Vs.Weight Loss
Dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body cannot break down completely. Foods that are rich in fiber also tend to be rich in micronutrients. Fiber-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains.
Fiber has 3 Unique benefits for fat loss:
- Helps keep you full while dieting
- Improves digestive health
- Stabilizes blood sugar
- Boosts metabolism slightly (Thermic Effect of Food)
Micronutrients are the Vitamins and Minerals. To make sure I got enough of them I ate a variety of fruits and vegetables. In addition to this, I also supplemented with a multivitamin to make sure that I didn’t have any nutritional deficiencies.
On my weight loss transformation journey, I focused on getting in a minimum of 30 grams of fiber in a day from different sources.
How I tracked my Calories, Macronutrients, Micronutrients and Fiber intake
I used an app called MyFitnessPal.
Learn more about How To Use MyFitnesspal For Weight Loss
Another great app that I recommend is called Fit Genie..
Step 5: Make Adjustments As Needed
While losing weight, it is important to measure our results over time and make adjustments if needed.
I would weigh myself frequently and take body measurements to make sure that I was progressing.
While losing weight, you will inevitably face plateaus. If you know for sure that you’re not losing weight, then we need to make an adjustment to your diet and exercise.
If I knew for sure that I wasn’t losing weight for at least 2 weeks, I would make adjustments to my diet and cardio to keep making progress.
This was the hardest step for me because I was not being objective with myself at times. If the scale didn’t go down, I would often panic and end up making drastic changes. Having a coach would have helped me in this case.
Consistency is Key
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” ~ Aristotle
You could follow the same 5 steps I took and still end up failing in the long-term. You have to be consistent with this. It’s not a diet change or a training program that gets results. It’s a lifestyle change.
Have you heard of the saying – “Motivation gets you started but habit keeps you going”?
I’ve found this to be a 100% true when it comes to weight loss transformations.
Did you know that over 95% of the weight loss diets fail in the long term? One of the reasons is that people rely too much on motivation and willpower.
Motivation and willpower are limited resources which will ultimately run out.
The long-term solution is to form good habits.
I don’t need motivation or inspiration to go to the gym or to eat healthily. It’s just something I do out of habit. The reason for my long-term suceess is that I have formed good habits with my diet, exercise and lifestyle.
At the end of the day, it’s all about consistency. It’s not about doing something a few times. It’s about doing it day after day and putting in the work.
If you put in the work consistently, the results will follow.
On the other hand, a lot of people try something for a short time and give up once they don’t see the results.
What I’ve shared works because it is based on the sound principles of training and nutrition. It’s worked for myself, the people I coach and thousands of people.
All you have to do is to trust the process and keep putting in the work until it becomes a habit.
What I Did After Losing Weight
This is a crucial step that a lot of people don’t pay attention to. This time is very sensitive and if you don’t pay attention to this, it is very easy to regain a lot of weight.
You need an exit strategy.
This is where Reverse Dieting comes in.
When you stop dieting, 3 things take place:
- Hunger Levels are very high
- Metabolic rate is slower
- Motivation is low
At the end of your diet, you don’t really know how many calories you need to maintain weight at your new body weight.
With reverse dieting, instead of starting to eating everything in sight, I slowly raised my calories over time while monitoring my weight. This process prevents excessive weight regain by allowing you to figure out how many calories you need at your new body weight.
While reverse dieting, it’s normal for your body weight to go up slightly. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve gained fat.
At the end of my diet, I was a bit underweight and I used this time to gain some muscle.
After losing weight, I set new fitness goals. I really fell in love with lifting heavy weights and getting stronger. That’s why I got into powerlifting. Just as it is really motivating to see the scale go down when you lose weight, it’s the same when you keep pushing to see your strength number go up.
As I mentioned earlier, having goals is very important. Once you’ve achieved your weight loss goal, you can set new goals to stay on track.
What I would have done differently
To be honest, I was fortunate to have access to great information and mentors along my journey. We live in an age where information is available at our fingertips.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad information, especially when it comes to fitness and weight loss. There are too many people trying to scam you and I found this out the hard way.
One thing I wished I had when I was starting out was a Coach. I grew up in India and the concept of having a ‘Guru’ has a very deep meaning in the Indian society. The western meaning of the word ‘guru’ is quite different than it’s original meaning. In the west, the term Guru refers to someone who is an expert in a field. In eastern culture, Guru refers to ‘teacher’.
The reason why I didn’t have a coach when I was starting out was that online coaching was not as popular as it is today. Today, you can learn from the best coaches in the world in almost anything you want to be good at.
For this reason, as I got into powerlifting, I almost immediately hired a coach. My first coach was Izzy Narvaez from Powerlifting To Win. You can check out the podcast I did with him.
I’m currently being coached by my friend Sean trains at the same gym as I do. If you are a powerlifter, you should check out his site – www.openpowerlifting.org
A coach is someone can show you the right way. A coach is also objective with your results and holds you accountable.
If I had a coach, it would have saved me a lot of time and energy trying to figure things out for myself.
For this reason, anytime I want to master something, I always seek coaching, whether it’s for learning guitar, riding my motorcycle and even starting my website.
Here’s exactly how I lost over 125 pounds and how you can too.
Step 1: Identify your motivation.
- We are all driven by Pain and Pleasure What drives you?
- What will you gain by losing weight? (Pleasure)
- What will you miss out on if you don’t? (Pain)
Step 2: The Success Mindset
- Are you willing to do whatever it takes?
- Your mindset will determine your results more than anything. Without the right mindset, the best training program and nutrition plan are useless.
Step 3: Goal Setting
- What are your long and short-term goals?
- My long-term goal was to lose over 100 pounds.
- My short-term goal was to lose 1-2 pounds per week.
Step 4: Create a Caloric Deficit Through Diet & Exercise
Focus on strength training while losing weight. This will allow you to build and maintain muscle while losing fat.
- Create a caloric deficit – Most important
- Make sure to eat enough protein.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables for micronutrients
- Eat foods that are rich in fiber
- Don’t overdo it
- Try HIIT Cardio
Step 5 Make Adjustments as needed
Consistency is Key. Keep doing things consistently until they become a habit
This is my underdog story. What’s you underdog story?
If you have any questions or comments, leave them down below. Also, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.