Let me tell you: from my experience, it is all about what you eat. Yes, that is right. If you want to get fit, it will be in two steps. First of all, you have to lose weight. You need to get the bad fat out of your body. Then you can start to work on getting into shape. I had been mistaken, along with all other people, when I told myself that going to the gym would make me lose weight. It doesn’t. Things don’t work that way.
As my human performance coach told me, it is about what you eat. If you eat less food and more healthy, eventually, you will lose weight – and most importantly, you need to do some kind of fasting. Like when I decided to lose weight, I didn’t eat anything after 5 pm. When I say, “I didn’t eat anything,” it means literally nothing. Not even a single snack, while drinking my Turkish tea late at night. That was the key for me: don’t eat anything after 5 pm! Eating late at night is bad for your body. I give myself the option to drink whatever I want: coffee, tea, orange juice, but nothing to eat. By the way, I’ve never had alcohol – never ever drink it, and all my friends know that. Also, I never smoke cigarettes or other stuff. So, this keeps me healthy and strong and it shows that I have control of myself.
Another thing that you need to focus on is knowing your body well. Do you easily lose weight or gain weight? Before starting to diet, you need to see your doctor, do some tests, and start your diet. And work with a doctor and human performance coach at the same time. Watch your body, and check your weight every morning. Give yourself off days sometimes, as I do. Every Saturday night, I eat whatever I want. It is like a treat for me at the end of the week.
I was expecting it to be hard in the beginning, not eating anything after 5 pm, but when I start to see the results every morning, that pushes me. Once I start on something, if I decide I’m going to do it, then I’m doing it, I don’t give up and I focus on it so much.
When I started, I was 101 kg. Now I’m 83 kg. And this happened in 5 months. In the healthiest way. In the first two months, I was losing weight very fast, but after that, especially when I dropped under 90kg, I was losing weight so slowly. And my performance coach told me at the beginning that would happen, so we were expecting it. After losing an amount of weight, your body acts like it doesn’t want to lose weight anymore. You need to push yourself in those moments.
I’m 1.91 cm, so in the U.S., I think that is 6 feet 2 inches or something. For my height, my doctor says my ideal weight should be 79 kg without bad fat. With muscle, I can go up to 88 kg. At the time I’m writing this article, I’m 83 kg, so I need to lose 4 kg in order for me to start building muscle, according to my gym program with my performance coach.
Before I studied Human Performance Science, I was doing all this wrong. I started to go to the gym before I got away from my fat. I even start to CrossFit classes and I did them for six months. It was a terrible experience. It was a big mistake. That was wrong for my body, and I was lucky I didn’t injure myself. CrossFit is trash anyway – it was just a new trend and it has about lost its popularity now. Go and try classic things like boxing and gym. This what will put you in the shape you want to have, and keep your performance on top.
Back then, my exercise consisted of running to catch a taxi or a plane, and my diet was based on hotel minibars. So that wasn’t helpful for me to lose weight and get into shape. But I had an exciting job that many dreamed of, it was challenging and fun, and I got to work with very talented people who turned out to be so cool outside work too. But I started to think I should change my work-life balance. If you want to succeed with your diet and gym, you must convert your life to make sure it fits your lifestyle. You also need to train yourself mentally and physically, so you can focus better. Biomechanics – your physical movement – will improve your performance, and reduce injuries. Lastly, after losing weight, you must stay in the same kilogram range for at least two years, so your body can adopt that weight. Otherwise, you will get back all that weight very quickly. You must, therefore, keep track of your performance and weight, and stay positive.