How One Man Lost 40 Pounds With Meal Prep And Strength Training
About to turn 30, Peter Do felt dissatisfied with his body. He set out to get lean and toned, losing 40 pounds in the process. He said men’s health How did he do :
I was on a family trip to Vietnam, queuing for a roller coaster. Just as my brother and I were about to get on the front cart, an attendant told me I couldn’t get on – I was “too big”. I was so angry, upset and embarrassed. It was humiliating. And that made me decide to change.
The decision had been made for a while. I knew I had been carrying extra weight; physically I felt so great. I didn’t feel comfortable in my clothes; sometimes I stretched my T-shirts just to make them looser. Wearing bigger clothes was a trick I played on myself to feel smaller in my head. I was embarrassed and unhappy with my appearance; I didn’t want to take my top off at the beach, even when surrounded by my friends and family.
After the roller coaster incident, I decided to get back into shape that would help me be happier. I have decided to register for a transformation at Manchester Ultimate Performances. My trainer, Kylie, believed when I signed up that I could lose over 13 pounds and go from 179 pounds to 165 pounds, while perfecting my muscles. She believed I could achieve more than my goal and I was excited to start.
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First, determine the food
Controlling my diet was a priority. Before I started this transformation, I started each day by eating lots of sugary cereals for breakfast and then continued snacking throughout the day because I didn’t feel “full”. I had fast food for lunch, then most nights I had takeout for dinner. I rarely cooked because it’s just too easy to order food online while I’m driving home.
So I started with a meal prep setup from Ultimate Performance, which I did for a few weeks to understand the basics of healthy eating and my portion sizes. Later, I moved on to making my own meal preps at home. It was a real eye-opener just thinking about how and what I ate. I’ve learned that good, healthy, nutritious food doesn’t have to be complicated to be enjoyable, and it keeps me full longer. Adapting my diet allowed me to stay in a caloric deficit without feeling like I was starving. Even when I ate more than I should have, it was easy to get back on track.
Before that, I hadn’t done much strength training. I had tried fitness classes and done a bit of strength training, but other than that I didn’t really know what I was doing at the gym. I was just jogging on the treadmill and running outside.
I went from that to strength training three times a week. With each session, I learned what muscle group I was working on and how that fit into my overall progress. On holidays, I would walk for 30 minutes in the morning to get my heart rate up and usually try to move more during the day. I wanted to target my stomach, and even though I hadn’t done any abs-specific exercises, in the end I could really see my core. I also got good results on my back and thighs.
Let your mind change, too
My biggest challenge was staying focused and determined. There were times when I hadn’t planned, and Kylie reminded me to ask myself “why?” Like in “Why am I doing this? Why did I sign up? And I would just have a conversation to myself to pull myself together. Another coach gave me great advice: “The body can change faster, but it’s your mind that takes time to change.”
After six months of training, I went from 29.4% body fat to 11.7%. My muscle mass stayed about the same, but I lost 42 pounds. My friends and family have been really supportive; my twin brother now says, “We don’t look like twins anymore!” Customers pretended not to recognize me, saying, “Where’s Peter? They’re amazed at how much I’ve changed, and when they ask me my secret, I just say, “Good food and a great personal trainer.”
It was a really positive trip. I came away happier and more energetic. My clothes are better. I am much more confident and comfortable in my own skin. I also had more appointments, which is always a plus!
I remember sitting at work and thinking, “OK. I’m going to have the body I want when I’m 30. I can’t believe all that hard work has paid off. It’s a great achievement in my life, and I did it myself! No surgery. No fad diets. Just follow a plan and make it a daily habit and that’s what my trainer Kylie taught me: make better choices about the foods I ate, choosing foods that would keep me full longer and would be nutritionally better off, and also be driven, disciplined, responsible, positive (even at times when I wasn’t), and most importantly, patient.
From there, I want to get bigger and stronger. I want to improve my strength and focus on my current weak points. I continue to work and learn about the different muscle groups so I can really understand how they all work together.
People ask me how to start, and I say, honestly, if you really want this change, then go ahead and make it! Even if you can’t get a personal trainer, there are plenty of tools that can help you on your fitness journey. Don’t compare yourself to others. Your fitness journey is different. Find a way you love, recognize the journey is yours, and don’t compare yourself to others. Be patient and believe in yourself.