Changing His Office and Creating a Ritual Helped This Guy Lose 28 Pounds – Men's Health
Rearranging space and creating a ritual set him up to lose 28 pounds of body fat.
When his son was born, Alexander Rebeiz-Nielsen decided to lose weight and get in shape to be strong for the future for both of their sakes. Along the way, he discovered some power tips for helping your workday support your get-in-shape efforts. Here, he reveals how he did it:
I used to be “skinny fat.” You know, slender but without much muscle, and a little bit of a paunch. I’d done some weight training and boxing before, but when I became a dad I decided I really needed to get in shape—not just for myself, but for my son, too. I figured that I couldn’t do it alone; I needed help. So I signed up with
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Ultimate Performance Kensington.
Starting with my diet seemed like a good idea. Before I got started, a typical day’s eating would be whatever I could get my hands on. I ate more out of convenience than making intentional choices about my diet. So I’d be scarfing down sandwiches on the go, or a pastry, or a cereal bar with some fruit. For dinner, I’d get something delivered. It was pretty rare that I actually cooked for myself.
I learned a lot about food and how to establish a sustainable diet. I used food scales and basic hand measurements (fist, palm, handful) to see just how much protein, carbs, and fats my body actually needed. I began cooking in batches on the weekend, which was cheaper than eating delivery every night and saved me time. I stopped snacking and having shakes, sticking to my meals. And I really got to understand how protein helped me build muscle, while carbs fueled my workout.
One piece of advice I’ll share: If you’re working from home, set up your desk as far away from the kitchen as possible. It might sound silly, but like the saying goes, out of sight, out of mind! Not having a refrigerator nearby means fewer temptations for snacking, and you won’t be daydreaming about your next meal. I also found that herbal teas (especially fennel or mint) helped me curb cravings for something extra after a meal. Drinking tea became something of a ritual for me, and helped me stay on track.
With my diet in check, I was working out four or five times a week. I focused on resistance training; I’d also do one cardio session a week, rotating through jogging, swimming, using a StairMaster, or doing an incline power walk. Alongside all of that, I kept my daily step count between 10,000 and 15,000.
This is also where having a trainer really made a difference. I learned correct form, how to brace properly, and how to isolate the muscle I was working. I learned basics like how to grip and push to technical failure, and also how to focus, be patient, and push through the pain barrier. I also learned to appreciate the importance of rest, sleep, recovery and the correct nutrition when building muscle.
In three months, I lost 13 kg (28 pounds) of body fat, dropping from 21 percent body fat to 9.7 percent. I put on a lot of muscle, too. That’s improved my confidence and my mental focus. I have noticed a massive positive effect on my mood; I haven’t felt so full of energy since I was a teenager. All in all, my overall health has dramatically improved.
My friends and family were blown away by my transformation. It’s really great to see how proud they all were, and have them tell me that I had inspired them to get fit and healthy, too.
For me, the next goal is to conquer calisthenics and keep getting stronger. Keeping fit is part of my lifestyle now, and I feel so much better for it, mentally and physically.
For anyone starting out, I’d say start slow and set achievable goals. Don’t be afraid of change. It’s not always easy, and no one can do it for you, but with discipline, determination, and consistency, you’ll see lasting results. And you’ll thank yourself for it later.
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