Stu: I recently received an email from an enthusiastic guy who wanted to share his weight loss journey to help our community drop some pounds and skyrocket their health. After reading more about his methods and progress I thought his honesty and approach would definitely give inspiration to others, over to Danyon…
Danyon: In this article, I’m going to show you everything I did to lose 30 kgs in under 6 months and keep the weight off for more than 4 years.
Funnily enough, I accomplished while going against most “traditional weight loss advice”.
First off, I did it without any restrictive dieting.
In fact, while dropping the weight, I ate junk food like pizza, ice-cream, and chips everyday.
I also didn’t use any expensive weight loss supplements.
Unless you call a copious amount of black coffee a supplement.
Lastly, I didn’t do any traditional weight loss exercises such as jogging or weight lifting.
Instead, I did a form of exercise that you’d least expect a former 125-kg Samoan male to do.
So – if you wanna learn how to lose weight and keep the weight off in a way that’s natural, enjoyable, and sustainable, then read on.
Who Am I, And Why Should You Trust Me?
My name’s Danyon Togia.
Back in 2013, I discovered a video game called League of Legends (a.k.a “LoL”) that was extremely fun and addicting.
If I was awake and not working, I was playing LoL.
I used to wake up at 5am to get in a few hours of game time before work started.
After I finished work, I’d come home and play until I went to sleep.
Fortunately enough, at some point I got good enough at LoL to be able to get paid to play it.
But unfortunately enough, as you may or may not know, video games can come with a barrage of unhealthy activities.
I’d play LoL for at least 12 hours a day.
I’d snack a ton on things like chips and chocolate.
I’d drink a bucket-load of high-calorie soft drinks. And I’d do this… Every. Single. Day.
Back then, one thing I was known for was my “Friday pizza nights.
Every Friday, I’d order 3 pizzas, a serving of garlic bread, and a 1.5L bottle of soft drink (no sugar, of course. Gotta’ watch my figure).
This feeding frenzy went on for years. Until one day, something happened that changed my whole entire life.
One Saturday morning, I woke up after my usual Friday pizza night.
I slowly stumbled my way upstairs to the bathroom, still feeling sluggish as hell from the carb overload I indulged in the night before.
I looked in the mirror, and that’s when “it” happened.
I absolutely hated what I looked like.
And when I say hated, I really mean it.
I was absolutely disgusted and disappointed at not just how much weight I had gained, but what I looked like.
The rolls. The stretch marks. The fat face. The sluggish eyes.
Not to mention the heavy breathing from the 12 or so steps that I had to walk up to get to the bathroom.
If you think that was bad, you should see what happened next.
Because what happened next was one of the most defining moments of my life.
I stepped on the scales, and saw the big “125 kgs.”
To you, that might not be a big deal.
But to me, it was.
To put that into perspective, just a few years before hitting 125 kgs, I had a kickboxing fight where I weighed 86 kgs.
I had gained almost 40 kgs in the space of just a few years.
I remember looking at myself in the mirror and thinking, “where the heck is the old Danyon?”
“Where’s the old Danyon that loved exercise and eating healthy more than a kid loves opening up presents at Christmas?”
And the cold, harsh truth is that at that moment, I had let myself go.
So, from that point onwards, I decided to jump back on the “health train” and drop some weight.
But it wasn’t all up from there.
It took a year or two of failed weight loss attempts before I “found my groove.”
I tried almost everything.
The latest fad weight loss diets that promise you results that are too good to be true in an under realistic time frame.
Weight loss pills that make you lose the thing you wanna keep (money) and keep the thing you wanna lose (weight).
Intense exercise sessions where you’re drippin’ with sweat enough to fill up a water tank.
I tried it all.
The whole 9 yards.
But once I found this method, losing weight was a piece of cake.
This method is what allowed me to lose 30 kgs and keep the weight off for 4 years in an enjoyable, sustainable fashion.
The #1 “Weight Loss Secret” You Need To Know If You Wanna Lose Weight And Keep It Off
Do you wanna know the only thing you gotta do if you wanna lose weight and keep it off?
It’s deceivably simple, yet so many “weight loss gurus” in the industry drown this philosophy with stupid gimmicks such as “fat-burning teas” and weight loss pills.
Here’s all you gotta do:
Be in a calorie deficit in a way that’s sustainable and enjoyable for you.
That’s it. That’s the “secret.”
All diets that help you lose weight work for one reason only:
There’s nothing magic about any fad diet.
Be it Keto, Paleo, Atkins, Intermittent Fasting, etc.
If you lose weight with them, it’s not because the diet caused you to lose weight.
It’s cause you were in a calorie deficit while you were dieting.
So the key to permanent, enjoyable weight loss is to find a way to be in a caloric deficit that works for you.
(Emphasis on the “that works for you” part).
Here are the 5 things I did that made losing weight and keeping it off easy as pie:
#1: Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting is where you have a time window for eating, and a time window for fasting.
For example, when I began intermittent fasting, I started with a 16-hour fast followed by an 8-hour feeding window.
Between 1pm and 9pm, I would eat 2-3 big meals that I enjoyed.
Then I’d fast between 9pm and 1pm.
During this fast, I’d be asleep for 8 hours, so it wasn’t too difficult to begin with.
I did this because I’m the type of person who prefers to be in a calorie deficit by eating 2-3 huge meals a day.
Not 5-6 small meals spread across the day.
Plus, I also like the feeling of being in a fasted state. I’m a hell of a lot more focused. My thinking is SUPER clear. And I’m a lot more productive and efficient when my brain isn’t in a foggy state caused by certain foods.
As time went on, I’ve adjusted my fasting periods.
Nowadays, I fast from roughly 9pm to 5pm the next day (a 20-hour fast).
Then, I eat two huge meals between 5pm and 9pm.
This way, I get the best of both worlds.
During my fasting phase, I get a LOAD of work done.
I’m productive, efficient, and my brain feels extremely clear and focused.
Then, towards night time, I have two huge meals that not only taste great AND help me lose weight (because I’m in a calorie deficit)…
But allows my body and brain to slow down and prepare for a great night of rest.
During my fasted state, the two drinks that I drink are water and black coffee.
The black coffee has no calories, I love the taste, and it gives me a caffeine boost which helps tremendously while I’m working.
The water just tastes great in general. It also keeps my hydrated and helps keep my brain clear.
Pro Tip: If you’re completely new to fasting and you wanna give it a crack, start with something easy such as a 12-hour fast. That’s a 4-hour fast after an 8-hour sleep.
Also, if you’re a female wanting to try out fasting, consult your doctor first. And do your own research. Apparently women’s bodies react differently to fasting compared to us fellas.
2. Drink A Ton Of Water
Water isn’t just insanely good for you, but it can help you lose weight in the easiest way possible.
This is how I was able to lose weight easily with drinking water:
While I was fasting, if I ever felt hungry, I would drink a glass of water and the hunger pangs would go away.
I’d also drink a glass of water before eating my meals.
This not only kept me hydrated, but it made me feel a tad more full, so I wouldn’t eat as much food.
Less food equals less calories, which contributes to the calorie deficit that’s necessary for weight loss.
To this day, I drink at least a gallon of water per day.
Everytime I’m thirsty, I just take a drink of water.
Pro Tip: Remember, just like your diet and exercise regimen, you can customise this to your liking. If you wanna add lemon or some fruits to your water, feel free to do so.
#3: Find An Exercise Style That You Like
Just so you’re aware, exercise isn’t required for weight loss. You can lose weight without exercising if your diet is on point.
But, because exercise burns calories, it directly helps you be in a calorie deficit.
Plus, exercise is proven to be insanely healthy for you. Not just physiologically, but especially mentally.
In fact, 25 studies in the past 26 years have confirmed that moderate exercise can help fight depression.
As it relates to weight loss, the key to losing weight with exercise is to make it enjoyable and sustainable.
Nowadays, I’ve got a good balance of weight lifting, running, and yoga in my exercise regimen.
And I love it all.
But back when I was losing the weight, I didn’t do any of the recommended exercise options such as high-intensity interval training or resistance training.
Instead, all I did was this:
3 to 4 times per week, I would go into my garage with my iPod and speaker, turn on some music, and dance away for 30 minutes.
My chosen exercise for weight loss was dancing.
Once again, there isn’t anything “magical” about dancing and weight loss.
It’s just that I like dancing.
That’s it. At the time, I liked dancing enough to do it a few times per week, every single week.
Not only did I enjoy myself while I was dancing, but I was burning calories, too!
Pro Tip: Take some time to sit down and think about your favourite forms of exercise. Swimming, weight lifting, dancing, jogging, hill sprints, there are a of exercise options to choose from. Find out what you like and stick with it.
#4: Find Your Favourite Healthy Meals
Back when I was losing the 30kgs, I wouldn’t have considered myself to be on a “diet.”
Because, to me (and lots of others), a diet can have very negative ideas linked to it.
Ideas such as restrictive eating, not being able to eat junk food, or eating a truck-ton of plain ol’ chicken and broccoli.
While I was losing the 30kgs, I ate a ton of meals that I enjoyed. I wasn’t, and still don’t “diet” in the traditional sense.
Instead, I find simple, healthy meals that I love that help me achieve my fat loss goals. Then, I eat those meals everyday.
(It’s not really a “diet” if you’re eating healthy meals that you enjoy).
Here’s why you wanna eat healthy meals:
You could lose weight by eating a crap-ton of pizza everyday while maintaining a caloric deficit…
But your diet would be filled with processed garbage with no micronutrients whatsoever which help keep your body running at peak performance.
That’s why roughly 80% of your diet should include healthy, micronutrient dense foods that not only help you lose weight (because you’re in a calorie deficit)…
But also allows you to have a ton of natural, sustained energy while feeling nourished (coming from the micronutrients).
Here are a few meals that I have on a daily basis that help me lose weight:
- Burgers. Plain ol’ simple burgers. On my burgers, I usually have two chicken/beef patties, lettuce, a slice of cheese, tomato slices, pickles, cucumber, beetroot, sauces, and the burger buns.
- Chicken, white rice, and a salad. On the chicken, I like to use the pre-made Mexican spice packets (because I love Mexican food).
- Tuna and rice. Super easy and delicious. I mix it together with a bit of butter and soy sauce and I’m good to go.
Keep in mind, there’s one more thing I did with my “diet:”
Until this day, whenever I’m eating, I make sure that I play super close attention to my body. When my body says I’m done, then I’m done.I put away the meal, and I save it for later.
Pro Tip: Just like your exercise regimen, you should customise your fat loss diet to your liking. Figure out a few healthy meals you enjoy, and eat lots of that!
#5: Incorporate Strategic “Cheat Meals” Into Your Diet
A cheat meal is where you indulge in your favourite “junk food” for just one meal.
Pizza. Fish and chips. Ice-cream and cake.
Whatever tickles ya pickle.
If you really wanna lose weight and keep it off in a way that’s enjoyable, you’re going to want to incorporate cheat meals into your diet.
(This is where the other roughly 20% of foods in your diet can come from).
When coupled with a healthy diet (of meals that you enjoy), cheat meals can help you lose weight, stay motivated, reduce cravings, and more.
They key to incorporating cheat meals into your diet is to make sure that you maintain your calorie deficit (most of the time).
As long as you’re in a calorie deficit, you’ll lose weight.
Personally, I have one or two cheat meals a week.
My go-to cheat meal was either pizza or burgers.
Here’s a photo from one of my cheat meals a few years ago while I was dropping the 30kgs.
(The photo above is definitely on the extreme end of the spectrum.
But, I’m assuming that I already did a workout that day, and that that was the only meal I ate that day).
That’s how you’re able to have your cake and eat it too.
Even if you go overboard with your cheat meal and you eat in a caloric surplus, that’s fine.
Don’t become one of those people who believe that just because you ate a “bad meal” means that you have to go overboard and eat everything in the whole damn world.
What matters most is not what you do just once. It’s what you do consistently that counts.
If you’re consistently eating in a caloric deficit (even with one or two days a week where you go into a slight caloric surplus), you’re still gonna lose weight.
Pro Tip: Remember, the majority of the foods in your diet should be healthy, micronutrient dense foods.
Healthy foods should be the “cake.” And cheat meals should be the “whipped cream on top.”
The number of cheat meals per week you have is up to you. Start with whatever number is comfortable for you. Then adjust as time goes on.
The Last Thing You MUST Remember
If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this article that will help you not only lose weight but keep it off too, it’s this:
Be in a calorie deficit in a way that’s sustainable and enjoyable for you.
Everything I do that’s related to my diet and exercise regimen, I enjoy.
The foods that I eat. The weights that I lift. My daily walks that I go on. The cheat meals that I indulge in on a weekly basis.
I enjoy ALL of it.
And that’s why it works.
If I didn’t enjoy it, there’s no way in hell that I’d be able to do it for the rest of my life.
So, remember this:
Atkins. Keto. Paleo. Intermittent Fasting. If It Fits Your Macros.
They all work. Not because they’re “magical.” They work because you’re in a calorie deficit.
The key to permanent, enjoyable weight loss is to find a way of eating that puts you in a caloric deficit and works for you, and then stick with it.