Trying to slim down is one of the my goals, for the past 10 years. But it has never been successful. I joined my first TAF (Trim & Fit) session when I’m in primary 2, and has never quit since. Because I didn’t lose enough weight to quit.
Even in secondary school, after they took my height and weight, I was automatically enrolled into the TAF club. It’s the same when I entered JC. Things got better when I’m in National Service (NS), when I did lose some weight, but I’m back to my ‘normal’ again since I left NS 4 years ago.
At the point of me writing this, I’m glad to say that I have shed my fats of past 4 years, and probably returned to the healthy and fit state during my NS training days. I can say I have slim down, to the point I can wear the pants I bought 4 years ago, and have to ‘cut’ my belt in order to shorten it.
The amazing thing is that I can slim down, without having to work out for hours everyday like my NS training days. Furthermore, I also don’t have the privilege of having so much time for workouts. But I did it with just 20 minutes of workout a day, 3 to 4 times a week.
I can say I’m feeling really happy about my achievement. I achieved my desired body size in 2 months! So I thought maybe I’ll just share what I did with you.
Why I want to slim down.
I’ve been overweight all these years. So why bother? Yes, I couldn’t care about my body size much, until I realize I have to keep buying new pants, because I couldn’t fit into older ones. And some pants are really expensive, and it’s a waste to just wear once, and that’s it.
My only motivation to slim down, is to able to wear the nice pants again. That’s all.
I’m not slimming down to get 6 packs. I’m not promoting any weight-loss powder or milk shake. I’m not trying to impress girls too [anyway, it takes more than body shape to do that :P]
My motivation is simple enough, isn’t it?
What I bought
I bought a workout program online which cost US$67 (~S$84) to learn how to workout, to burn fats, build muscle and eat healthily. That’s all the money I spent.
I didn’t take any pills, milk shake, supplement powder or whatever chemicals. I didn’t sign up for any gym memberships, or any gym classes. I didn’t buy any weights, dumbells, treadmills or any machine or equipment. I only use a towel, which is the only equipment the program requires.
I’m not saying all those equipment doesn’t work. It’s just that my goal is simple – to slim down enough to fit into my pants. Not 6 packs, not body sculpturing.
What I did
With the program I had, I make a commitment to follow through. The program requires me to do an intensive workout of 20 minutes that day, and that’s all. I don’t have to do it everyday, as I need time for my body to recover. I only have to do it at least 3 to 5 times a week. Maximum 6.
I also track my workout progress, to see if I did become stronger. Did I do more push ups than previous week?
On top of that, I watch my diet too. Cut down on oily fast food, or sweet unhealthy stuffs, but it’s okay to give yourself a break 1 day a week to enjoy them. I still go for buffets, but I’m careful what I eat too.
I watch what I eat, but didn’t reduce the amount much. I still take as much meat, vegetables, fruits…etc. And eat more frequently than before. This prevents me from starving!
I have enough sleep everyday. At least 7 hours of sleep everyday. Not too long, not too short.
That’s for my new exercise and diet regime.
Body Health Lessons Learnt
When you slim down, the first part of your body that your friends will notice a change is… your Face! Some of my friends also ask me what I did to slim down. I shared some tips with them, but there’s so much things I learn during this period. So let me jot them down here.
1. I slim down, but I didn’t lose weight.
I didn’t start the post by saying I lose X kg, because I didn’t really lose any weight. In fact, I gained weight. I weighed 75kg before the workout, and 2 months later, I nearly hit 80kg. But the funny thing is my waistline reduce from 36 to 34. Now, my 34-size pants is loosening up too.
Of course, you can slim down and lose weight at the same time too. Different kinds of workouts focus on different objectives. Find out what you want.
For me and the results I get, it’s more of converting my body fat into muscle. Muscle is heavier than fat. So that probably explains why I’m heavier after working out.
2. The weighing machine is the worst measurement of your workout results.
If I use the weighing machine to measure how effective my workout is, I would probably call the program ‘useless’, since I gained weight, and not lost weight!
Instead, the pants we’re wearing is the best measurement of our workout results. Use your pants to gauge how effective your workout is. Regardless of my weight, I slim down well enough to keep away my size 36 pants, because wearing it makes me look like a hip hop dancer now.
3. Starving doesn’t help
Starving will burn your fats, but it will also burn your muscles. Look at your friends who slim down by starving, or eating only 1 or 2 little meals a day, look at their arms. There’s not much strength there. But if skinny arms is what you want to have, then I must say starving works.
Furthermore, when you starve, you will tend to eat more when you want to eat again. This in turn increase your calories intake. So instead of cutting down calories, you gain even more.
4. Eat less, more frequently
If you work out often, you will increase your body metabolism, which means your body will continue to work and burn fats even after you stop exercising. You will go hungry fast.
That’s what I feel in the first month of workout. I easily can go hungry 2 hours after having my lunch. My stomach will start growling. As starving will burn my muscles which takes time to build, I will find something to eat. Some simple food to fill my stomach before the next meal .
This way, I keep all my meals light, so I won’t be so tired after meals, and I won’t burn my muscles through starving.
5. Sleeping burns your fats
There’s some funny theory that I heard before that human beings only need 4 hours of sleep. Sleeping more will make you more lethargic for the rest of the day. So i really did try to sleep 4 hours. But I end up feeling tired the whole day.
There are many theories about sleep out there, but I couldn’t care them anymore. Right now, I will sleep at least 7-8 hours every day. I feel refreshed everyday with sufficient sleep. That means I can continue to work out!
When we sleep, our body also continue to burn fats. This is done by our body metabolism. And while sleeping, we won’t be eating anything. No intake of calories. But when we don’t want to sleep, we will feel hungry at night, then will end up grabbing some snacks or supper to fill our stomach. Unhealthy.
5. Momentum & Consistency
This kind of workout program requires momentum and consistency to achieve your desired results. I believe you have heard enough, so I won’t nag so much on it.
When I first started, you feel really good because you’re trying something new. It’s same as buying a new iPad for yourself. You’ll keep using it day and night without fail. But after 2 weeks or so, your excitement with the iPad falls, and it might become just one of your gadgets. Same as workout programs.
Many people stops doing a while. Or buy another new program. But if you just keep on doing what it works, you will see the results you want. If I can do it, so can you!
6. High vs Low intensity workout
One reason why people don’t see results after exercising so much, is probably the kind of workout they are doing. Most are doing low intensity workout – like jogging, aerobics, running on treadmills, those that doesn’t require you to perspire much.
I used to go to gyms to run on treadmills, or go for marathons, or long jogs to try to burn fats. I can run, my stamina increases, but I didn’t burn much fats. Furthermore, all these activities take me too much time, 2 to 3 hours?
But once I learned about high intensity workout, I go for it 20 minutes a day. Just 20 minutes a day can get my whole body perspiring, and burning inside. After that I take a 30 minutes rest to cool down. And that’s all for my workout. High Impact in short period of time.
Similar high intensity exercises are Muay Thai, Kickboxing, or street soccer keeps you moving and working out your whole body. This also increase your body metabolism.
7. Don’t feel embarrassed
When I bought the program and did it at home, my parents are like why I’m working out at home, and don’t go down for a jog. But I know jogging doesn’t help, that’s why I’m at home doing the 20min workout.
And it’s really hard to workout and trying to slim down when I’m doing it at home, and when my parents are looking. And you feel really embarrassed when you know someone is looking at you, struggling with 10 push ups! Sometimes, my fit younger brother also walk past and see how I struggle.
But i didn’t really care much, and finish my workout every time, even when I’m working out and they are looking. So i did it! Thicken your skin, and just do it!
I know this is not easy, especially when you start doing. All the funny eyes will look at you, and wonder what you’re trying to do. Some will laugh at you when your whole body shakes only after 10 push ups.
I would only advise you to just do it. Close your door. Finish your workout. Then open your door. No funny eyes. Just your high intensity workout 😉
All that I have shared above are all that I have applied and works well for me. I didn’t have any scientific research or professors to back the claims like ‘You have to sleep at least 7-8 hours a day’. But all these worked for me. I don’t know if it works for you, so I have to put a disclaimer!
*Disclaimer: I may not know you, so I don’t know what you will do with what I share here. What works for me, might not work for you. So read it at your own risk!
However, as far as my advice is concerned, I think I can only help you cut the 2-inch off your pants, because that’s what I’ve achieved so far. My sharing cannot help you get 6 packs.
So What’s The Program I’m Talking About
The program that I bought is called Insane Home Fat Loss. Here’s their website. If you want to slim down, gain muscles, then I recommend you to buy it. I’m promoting it because it helps me. Don’t worry, I won’t be getting any commission from your purchase, although I could sign up for their affiliate program.
The man who is teaching is Mike Chang. You’d probably have seen his videos everywhere on YouTube. His muscles are BIG. Drool on him if you want. Haha…
So that’s all for my sharing on how i slim down with 20 minutes of workout a day. No pills, no supplements, no energy drinks, no milkshakes, no gym memberships. Just follow through a workout program, eat healthily, sleep sufficiently.