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The Crushing Truth on How to Lose Weight and Get Healthy

02/20/2013 02:14 pm ET | Updated Apr 22, 2013

Losing weight isn't easy. It requires dedication and effort for a long period of time until you're satisfied with the results. All of that crap you see on television about miracle weight loss pills, liquid cleanses, and pretty much anything on Dr. Oz, is all crap. When I tell you the secret to weight loss, you'll probably just get annoyed because you know I'm right.

A few years ago, I got braces put on, because that's what adults do when they're 24 years old. What really hit me were the pictures they had to take of me before the procedure. I looked huge, terrible and unhappy. This was before I got the self-esteem killing chain-link fence put on my teeth. From that point on I went on to lose 85 pounds (an amount I even lessened to my friends because the fact that I had to lose that much was embarrassing) by only changing a few things. These few things were difficult, but worth it.

Don't Procrastinate With Excuses

"I'll start it Monday."

"I'll do it right after my birthday."

"Well, we do have that wedding, so right at that."

This is all wrong. Start your new plan before all of that. Use those upcoming events as extreme exercises in control and resistance. If you turn down all of the special fancy food at the beginning, it should be a bit easier the next day when you're just looking through the fridge for breakfast. If you turned down wedding cake and fried chicken covered with sauce, I'm positive you'll pass on the slice of cold pizza in the fridge.

Quit Drinking Alcohol

Alcohol is detrimental to any weight-loss attempt. And depending on your tolerance to it, it's even more detrimental. The only time I ever wanted to eat junk food is after I drank alcohol. Take the empty alcohol calories plus whatever crap you find in the fridge and you can easily rack up an unhealthy balance. Before your body can go back to burning fat for energy, it has to start with all of that alcohol you drank before it can start again.

I'm not saying quit altogether, and maybe you can have a glass of wine here or there, but the more you go without it, the more you realize your weight-loss progress is working and you're more full of energy, getting better sleep, and waking up at the crack of dawn ready to start your day.

High-Protein/Low-Carb

I know there are the haters of this, and people on both sides that are for and against, but it's hands down the best diet to help you lose weight. It's not just piles of bacon and cheese that you live on. That's insane. Think lean chicken, broccoli, turkey meat, shrimp, etc. I would cut all of this up, stir-fry it, and it would be what I mostly ate for months. Eating will turn from something you feel bad about doing, to something that is just a necessity of your day. It's just like putting gas in your car. When shopping, here is some key advice: Don't go down the aisles at the grocery store (with obvious exceptions for paper products and whatnot). For this way of eating, everything you need is on the outskirts of the grocery store. It has the meats and veggies that you need. Maybe head down a spice aisle for stuff to add to so you don't get bored. I will tell you that pan-cooked chicken breast and mustard is the first time I had to chug water just to swallow food because of how uneventful it was.

What I really noticed after being on this type of diet is how it rewires your body's reaction to the food you are more accustomed to (processed foods, chips, white breads, sugar). If you go from this diet, and then cheat for a day and order pizza, or eat high-carb food, your body will almost immediately react to it. Think of walking to a street corner in a brand-new suit or dress, and then a car driving past and splashing mud and gutter water all over you. That is how you will feel. Your heart will beat fast, your skin will feel grimy, and you'll feel depressed and tired.

This change in your way of eating changes you. I told a friend of mine who went on this diet, not because she wanted to lose weight, but wanted to compete in a pageant, what was going to happen when she had a cheat day after the pageant. She was shocked at how bad she felt after eating pasta. This diet instills in you the feeling to stay the course. If you mess up, it will further kick your butt back to stay on track.

Water

Drink a lot of it. Do you ever see those guys walking around with an entire milk gallon full of water? It cleanses your system of toxins through your kidneys, liver, pancreas, lymph nodes, and so on. Some people may be different from me, but when I do cardio for two hours, nothing is better than a big glass of water. Nothing compares to it, and I mean nothing. Think about being the thirstiest you have ever been. I mean, to the point that swallowing is painful. You slowly walk to a table with two pitchers on it. In one pitcher is ice-cold water with condensation dripping down the side, and the other is ice-cold lemon sports drink. What do you choose? Your body and mind will choose the water. That is what it needs above all else. No drink is better than water, and none ever will be.

Don't Check Your Scale Daily

Some people have the tendency to weigh themselves every single day of their diet, and end up being distracted by the numbers (my weighing myself in the early example was a reaction to see how bad that cheating worked against me). You feel like you lost a pound, but then you jump on and you gained one. These things happen. It all matters -- the time of the day you weigh yourself, and the fluctuations that your body goes through. Weigh yourself every other week or so, but also notice how you feel. After a few weeks you'll notice your clothes getting looser, you face getting thinner, and the way your body is changing. This realization, this feeling, is better than any high you can experience. It's that feeling of accomplishment.

Set Goals and Write a Food Journal

A beginning rock climber doesn't list Mount Everest as the first mountain they're going to start rock climbing. It has to come in steps. If you have to lose 20 pounds, make your first goal five pounds, then the next goal five pounds, and so on. Writing a food journal helps you keep track of what you ate, and most importantly, will let you diagnose changes that must be made to overcome the eventual weight-loss plateau that will hit everyone at some point. Also, write down what your workout routine is. Try not to keep doing the same exercises. Change it up! Cardio is important, but a variety of free weights and machine exercises are equally important. And the best part of working out is when you finish, the last thing you want to do is stop by and get a cheeseburger from the local fast-food place.

It's hard to do all this, and failure and setbacks happen. I put 40 back on in the past six months, and I'm right back in the mindset of where I was those few years ago. One musn't let distractions get in the way because it becomes a domino effect. When you mess up, and a few months go by, you'll think, "I would have been healthier and in better shape if I stuck with it." Well, pretend you just went back in time to where you shouldn't have stopped, and start anew.

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