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How to lose weight like this guy who lost 66 kgs, got ripped and launched a fitness startup.
The only person involved in your weight loss journey is you.
You can blame everyone and everything around you for not being coercive enough, but the sooner you realise that you’re doing this for yourself, you’ll be able to champion all your weight insecurities and not only look good but also feel great. 31-year-old Shashank Singh had a similar breakthrough, and lost 66 kgs to bid adieu to obesity.
“I had hit rock bottom and you know what they say about rock bottom – the only way out is up! I channeled this positivity to champion my depression. I would isolate myself from everyone as I had zero self-confidence growing up. My weight was my biggest insecurity. In fact, body shaming, getting bullied and physical harassment was such a natural part of my day,” Singh says.
“However, after years and years of letting these same feelings get to me, I decided to take charge of my body and mind. I remember this one morning, I woke up and thought that this day is not going to be like every other day. I will not suck it up and go to class (I was in college). I decided to take charge of my weight loss journey.”
In a span of 24 months, Singh was able to lose 66 kgs, and trim down from 142 kgs to 76 kgs. He exclaims that post the weight loss, the best phase of his life began – the one where he breathed new life into his muscles.
Weight loss plan to lose 66 kgs:
“My weight loss journey hasn’t been an easy one. There were a lot of breaks and pauses in between due to other priorities taking over and also injuries, but when I decided to lose weight, I had only one vision – I wanted to see myself ripped and muscular.”
“When I kickstarted this journey, I was not staying with parents. It was post school, so though I was living my independent life, it was very difficult for me to arrange for proper meals. But despite these hurdles, I knew I’d able to achieve goals. Better yet, let me break down my weight loss journey for you in 2 parts.”
Weight Loss plan: Part 1
“Technically I lost most of my body’s fat in the first 18-24 months by doing excess cardio exercises (mostly running) and following an extreme calorie deficit diet. But in NO way was this healthy and I would not recommend this method to anyone because post this for a very long time, I’ve had to live with the repercussions of it and spend years fixing the damage I’d done.”
“What happened? When you lose a massive chunk of weight in such a short span, you end up with a bad case of loose skin – wherever you had fat is now just loose skin: arms, belly, chest – because there is no muscle that has replaced it or made it firm.”
Weight loss plan: Part 2
“Post this, it took me around 4 years to firm up 90% of my body’s skin with strength training - 6 days a week and a strict protein rich diet. By this time, I had a lean, muscular physique and this was my goal body!“
Is it healthy to lose a lot of weight by following a very extreme diet?
“I will stress on this again - building muscle is HARDER than losing fat. Say if I’d used a combination of cardio + strength training + a protein rich, low carb diet (but still remained in the calorie deficit mode), everything I achieved in 6-7 years (the body you see in the picture below) could have been achieved in a span of 2-3 years. And that is the healthy way to lose weight while simultaneously building lean muscle mass and increasing your body’s metabolism.”
“I took a keen interest in powerlifting post this, my focus was on my weight then, it was on building strength up until 3 years ago when I decided to start professionally competing in bodybuilding competitions.”
What is a healthy weight loss diet to follow to get ripped?
“The only way to lose weight in a healthy manner is by making lifestyle changes and the key is to understand nutrition and how your body responds to food.”
“Your body needs a certain number of calories to maintain itself and function. When your calorie input through food is lower than calorie output for bodily functions + exercise is when fat starts getting used up for energy and you start losing weight.”
“It is also essential to make changes to the amount of calories you consume and keep changing your macros (protein, carbs and fat) consumption regularly.”
How to ensure you’re eating right to lose weight?
“The first step is to calculate your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure). TDEE calculates your maintenance calories. This will help you make changes according to your goals. But I would still recommend asking a fitness/nutrition expert before starting any diet or workout plan especially if you have any medical problem or any physical injury.”
“I used to and still eat 6 times a day. I’m 6’0 and my calorie intake was and is higher than most — calorie intake varies from body to body and from goal to goal. But 5-6 meals a day is ideal, when you eat frequently, you will be able to provide your body with adequate nutrients. This will improve your metabolism and also help in developing lean muscles with loss of body fat.“
How important is it to workout if you want to lose weight?
Very. It helps tone the muscles. “Our body is very intelligent, and it reaches plateau when it gets used to workout and diet that we follow. It is important to break this plateau to see consistent results – this is also why you need to change/alter your diet and workout at least one every 4 weeks. Shocking the body by these changes ensures that we get consistent and better results.”
How do you maintain your current weight?
“I currently weigh 92 kgs with under 8% body fat. I’m in a gaining phase right now, as I plan to gain a few pounds of muscle over the course of one year. But the key to maintaining your current body weight is to follow a diet that’s based on your maintenance calories and exercise regularly 5-6 days a week.“
Any tips for someone who’s trying to lose weight?
“Try to understand nutrition and fitness on a deeper level by doing researching the basics. When you understand why you’re doing, what you’re doing, your journey will become easier. Don’t follow diets or workout routines you see celebrities following blindly. Their bodies and goals are different from yours; your plan should be customised according to your body and your goals.“
Fitness impacted Singh’s life in such a positive manner that he quit his job to co-found a Bangalore based fitness startup named XtremePerformance.