If I had one single secret to share, this would be it. Hiring a coach has been the single most critical component to success in my endeavor to lose weight.
I started at 260 lbs and managed to lose about 60 lbs all by myself, but I still had a long way to go when I hit that number. Then I spent 4 months trying to break through that plateau. I tried everything. It was a very painful 4 months because I was making the sacrifices, I was putting in the work, I was doing the things I thought I needed to do, but I still couldn’t get the scale to move. Every single day I’d step on the scale and want to just give up.
I was in a mental state where I was literally willing to do anything. And I do mean anything. I had already built the discipline needed to lose weight. I was already over the cravings and I was already motivated. This was it. I was just completely out of ideas, and I knew that if I was going to make any progress I needed to find someone smarter than me who could tell me what to do.
But in a world where every fat person on the planet has got advice for you on how to lose weight, and the rest of the world just wants to sell you their weight loss snake oil, how in the world do you find someone who can LEGITIMATELY teach you what to do?
My Change of Heart
I thought about other areas of professional expertise and what I would do if I was stuck. If I wanted to learn to fix a car, I’d probably hire someone who was good at fixing cars to teach me what to do. If I wanted to learn to cook, I’d probably read books, or take classes, from people who cooked for a living. And if I wanted to learn to skydive, I’d probably hire someone who was a skydiving instructor to teach me. In all of these cases, I would never, EVER think of taking advice from someone who wasn’t a professional.
This is a fancy way of saying two things: 1) If you take weight-loss advice from fat people, you will be fat, and 2) Don’t pay ANYONE for advice unless they lose weight for a living. They should be a PROFESSIONAL, or at the very least, a hobbyist.
So how do you find someone who loses weight for a living, or as their primary hobby?
Answer: Bodybuilders. These guys know every trick in the book for expelling fat and building muscle. No, I didn’t want to look like a bodybuilder, but I also know that these guys understand the science behind nutrition, fitness, weight loss, and muscle building better than most doctors. Why? Because it’s their livelihood. While I had previously viewed these guys as meatheads, the more I researched their field, the more I realized they were smart. Really smart. And if I wanted to lose weight and break a serious plateau, these were the people who could teach me how it’s done.
That’s how I found Nick.
Nick is a bodybuilder in Florida. I chatted with him extensively about my history, my current situation, my fitness levels, and my goals. I explained that not only was I dealing with a serious plateau that I couldn’t break, but I also felt like crap, despite exercising a ton. He took one look at what I was eating and, just like a car mechanic looking at an OBVIOUS problem, said: “there’s your problem… your ratios are completely out of balance for what you’re trying to do.”
Nick explained that the physical activity I was doing was starving my body of energy. I wasn’t feeding it enough carbs to sustain my workouts. (I had been taught all carbs were bad). He also explained the purpose of protein and walked me through how to balance my nutrients. In essence, he taught me about the IIFYM approach to eating and weight loss. (I’ve got a whole different post on IIFYM, which you should read here). He looked at my goals and objectives and helped me decide on a 40/40/20 ratio between carbs, protein, and fat. Then he taught me how to plan my meals around those ratios.
Nick’s advice instantly transformed the way I was eating, and the results were instant. Within days, I had broken my plateau. I felt great, my workouts were better, I was more alert, and I felt like I was back on track. After 4 months of torturing myself and beating my head against a wall, a 2-hour conversation with Nick solved my problems and the weight started coming off again. I was so happy I almost started crying. (But I was also frustrated because I had spent 4 months spinning my wheels on a problem with such a simple solution).
At first, I thought “Great, my problem is solved… I no longer need to keep paying for a coach,” except I found that I was constantly dealing with questions or small things that needed adjustment. I wanted to understand how to optimize what I was doing, I wanted to become GOOD at this. And every day since I hired him, Nick has taught me something new or helped me understand something better.
I still hit plateaus every 5 or 10 pounds, and Nick and I talk through them. Like two engineers trying to solve a problem with a piece of mechanical gear, we troubleshoot the issue, diagnose it, and coming up with a plan to resolve it. My coach is very, very good at what he does.
I can honestly say that I owe 100% of my last 35 to 40 lbs of success to Nick. More important than the weight loss itself, is the time. Rather than spending days or weeks trying to solve problems on my own, we solve the problems immediately.
Hire a Coach
The concept of having a “coach” is a universal tool of almost all highly-successful athletes. It makes sense in weight loss, too. You want someone who has walked your path before to guide you through it.
I’m in a very fortunate position of being able to afford to work one-on-one with a coach. If you’re in a position to do it, I can’t recommend it enough. I try to take the things I’ve learned from Nick and incorporate them into this blog. These concepts aren’t secret. There are zillions of books out there that explain all of this. But there’s a major luxury in having someone who knows you, your situation, and your goals at your side to help you and teach you.
I want to reiterate that I’m not trying to sell anything through this blog. I get nothing in return if you decide to hire a coach or not. But I’m forever grateful to Nick and what he’s done to help me out. I can’t help but endorse him. Please contact me directly if you’d like an introduction to Nick, and I will set that up. (He’s roughly $150/mo to work with, in case you’re wondering).
Whether or not you proceed on your own, or with a coach, I strongly recommend that you study up on the science behind bodybuilding. If you’re sick and tired of fad-dieting, taking weight loss advice from fat people, and weight-loss snake oil, this is where the rubber meets the road in the real world. The science behind how bodybuilders cut fat is the real deal.