Diet Changes Helped This Guy Lose 24 Lbs. in Under 6 Months – Men's Health
Kush Kapoor slimmed down while still building muscle—and he did it in under 6 months.
For a long time, I thought of myself as someone who ate healthily. I’ve struggled with weight and body-image issues all my life and had been overweight as a younger teenager. One summer, I lost 17 kg (37 pounds) in eight weeks, only to return to school and realize that I hadn’t just dropped fat, but a lot of my muscle mass, too. I saw myself as “skinny fat”—no longer struggling to fit into my clothes, yes, but still holding a considerable amount of excess fat around my abdomen and chest.
I tried to build mass by working out, but never really got into a consistent routine. I had my “healthy” diet, but I didn’t realize at the time how much I was overeating. I gained back most of the weight, and by the time my 18th birthday rolled around, I found myself right back where I started: reading a number on my scale and feeling my heart sink.
After seeing all of my progress undone, I decided I needed some help. I signed up with
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Ultimate Performance Singapore, working with a personal trainer on both my diet and exercise.
The big revelation for me was actually pretty simple: calories matter. I thought I could eat as much as I want, as long as I could call it “healthy.” If you’d seen my meals before I started at UP, you’d think I was already on a weight loss plan. I didn’t eat refined sugar, each meal consisted of a considerable portion of protein and vegetables, and I snacked on nuts and fruit. The problem was, I ate much more than I needed.
I started actually paying attention to how much I ate. I tracked my calories and macronutrients, eliminating a lot of calorie-dense foods and stocking up on berries, veggies, and lean meats like chicken breast and white fish. I’d often start the day with a scrambled egg with spinach, then a kale salad with grilled chicken in the afternoons. Dinner was typically a fattier protein with some starchy vegetables, and one of my snacks was carb-heavy (usually some fruit), while the other was protein-heavy (I’m a huge fan of dried meats like biltong). The big change wasn’t what I ate, but how much: I probably cut my calorie intake almost in half.
I also committed to training five days a week. For four days I’d hit the gym, with two push days and two pull days. Then I’d do an arm-focused day on my own. I began with cardio on one of my rest days (usually a 30-minute run or a swim) but phased those out pretty quickly.
One of my biggest lifestyle changes was pushing my step count to 10,000 a day, and later 15,000. Some days I’d find myself circling the house before midnight to hit my goals, but by doing that, I burned the same number of calories as running for 30 minutes.
In just over five months, I lost 11 kg (24 pounds) and cut down to 17.3 percent body fat; I put on more than 5kg (11 pounds) of lean body mass. I really learned the golden rule, that calories in versus calories out is what matters most. And I challenged my own limits, pushing myself beyond what I thought was possible in the gym.
I’m most proud of the lifestyle change I’ve made. Weight training has become part of my life, and there are few places where I feel more comfortable than at the gym during a workout. Diet and exercise and some of my biggest priorities; going to the gym has not only made me more confident in my appearance but also in my self-control and my ability to follow through on difficult commitments.
The pursuit of a stronger, better version of myself keeps me motivated and makes cheating on my diet or skipping a day in the gym near impossible (though I’m still human and have the occasional slump); I’ll keep pushing myself in the gym for as long as I’m capable. As more of my friends take their fitness into their own hands, I hope to keep inspiring people to make positive life changes and serve as an example of what to do, what to avoid, and how to be proud of who you are.
For anyone just starting out, I’d encourage you to just focus on your journey. Don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself to other people. Track your lifts, monitor your progress, and be proud of yourself. You’ll always encounter someone who can lift more than you, or has a more aesthetic physique than you, or can somehow eat way worse than you yet maintain their progress; it shouldn’t matter. When you focus on your own journey, you’ll be your happiest.
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