How I Lost 50 Pounds in 6 Months Without Fad Diets

weight loss Sep 25, 2019
Diet Doctor Loses Weight

Diet Doctor Loses 50 Pounds in 6 Months After Years of Unsuccessful Fad Dieting

Yes, I lost 50 pounds of fat and built muscle in about 6 months. It was the easiest (and hardest) thing I have ever done. After years of fad dieting, I finally figured it out! It's sad, because I'm a "diet doctor" and travel the world lecturing on weight loss.


Diet Doctor Finally Figures Out the Secret to Permanent Weight Loss

I'm a cardiologist and a certified personal trainer. Like many people I've been on multiple fitness journeys. I grew up in Ohio. Played football my entire life. And now coach football and other youth sports: soccer, golf, baseball, softball, weight lifting, strength and conditioning, and basketball. It's a fun way to volunteer and give back.

Yes, the picture on the left is real. It's probably the worst picture of myself at my heaviest weight. That picture is from January 2018. I remember not liking what I saw and deciding to make a change. I started doing 100 body weight squats per day and 100 push-ups per day. After 30 days, I was stronger, but still looked the same. Don't get me wrong, I knew exercise was not an efficient way to lose weight, I just wanted to get fit, strong, and active.


The Fad Diet Phase: Success and Failure

Growing up in the late 80s and early 90s, I had tried every fad diet you can imagine. I tried low carb, high protein, Sugarbusters, Weight Watches, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, and more recently the keto diet. I wanted to lose weight and adopt a healthy lifestyle, but that ultimate goal was so elusive.

When I was in medical school, I decided to go back to what I knew and decided to go back to the Atkins diet, a low-carb diet that was developed by a physician, Dr. Atkins. That worked for a while, but I gained all the weigh back, because it wasn't sustainable. The dietary changes that I made were not sustainable long term.

So I abandoned that strategy, and decided to try the South Beach Diet, by renowned cardiologist Dr. Agaston. It was similar to the Atkins diet, but you ate healthier fats and proteins. I also lost a bit of weight only to gain it all back. I figured it was based on the latest science since it was designed by a cardiologist.

In 2017, I started another fad diet, the ketogenic diet. I figured why not at this point. I had tried nearly everything else and I didn't want to end up with metabolic syndrome, like most of my patients. I lost 17-18 pounds, but my weight wouldn't go any lower. I was still overweight. I was skinny fat. I did not like how I looked at all. I was just a lighter version of the fat me.

When I decide to do something, I go all in. I was carb counting, making shopping lists, downloading keto recipes and grocery lists, and doing everything I could to hit my weight loss goals. I was a cardiologist and I knew what a healthy diet looked like, and I was so baffled by these super high fat and low-carb meal plans. Is this even real? Can this really be good for you?


The Diet Doctor's Diet: Research Review

Research has shown that if you actually lose weight, you will reap the health benefits if weight loss regardless of how you achieved that weight loss.

The research has also shown that Mediterranean style diets are the only diets to improve cardiovascular mortality. This is a diet of mainly fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, beans, legumes, and olive oil. Similar diets have similar outcomes. This is why public health policy always focuses Mediterranean style diets; they reduce overall mortality, risk of heart attacks and stroke, are well balanced, improve metabolic health, reduce insulin resistance, lower the risk of heart disease, and have a variety of delicious recipes.


So Why Do Fad Diets Work?

With fad diets, you lose weight by creating a gimmicky calorie deficit until your caloric needs meet your caloric intake, then you stall or your weight starts going back up because you eat more. The big fat surprise was that I would always end up heavier than I started. The best way to lose weight is to select a plan that is sustainable long term for you. Despite all of the success stories you read online, rarely do fad diets lead to long term success. More on that later.


Strength Training Didn't Save Me

Not knowing any better, in the summer of 2018 I joined my wife and her friends training with a football player. He was our trainer, and he worked us very hard. I thought that this would be my final health journey. Little did I know that health journeys rarely begin and end with physical training.

He would ultimately move back to North Carolina to go back to school and play football. I was on the hunt again. I even looked at digital programs and diet doctor review websites, but just wasn't buying the hype and marketing fluff.

In October 2018 I joined a gym and hired a personal trainer again. This time it was very consistent for months. I got stronger and was more fit, but I looked the same. I was a strong fat guy. My trainer eventually moved away (again).

Obviously, this was costing thousands of dollars at this point and I still had nothing to show for it. It was very frustrating.


The Real Weight Loss Journey Begins

So then I went on a real journey. I bought a bunch of books on weight loss, weightlifting, and body building. I figured that if those guys can do it and crack the code, then certainly a cardiologist could too. How hard could it be? I read 10+ books on bodybuilding and watched hundreds of YouTube videos. I even did a consultation with two different coaches that prepare bodybuilders for shows. I learned a ton from these two coaches, but it also cost a ton of money.

I learned a lot. I was still lifting weights like crazy and I modified my programs to match my needs. I got stronger and bigger but was still basically a strong fat guy. What's the point of being able to bench 300 pounds if you also weigh 300 pounds? I didn't like where I was going. I did more research and more searching. I read more books and watched tons more videos. (I didn't weigh 300 pounds)


Becoming a "Cardiologist Personal Trainer"

My personal trainer moved away in December 2018, so I decided to become a personal trainer myself. Mainly for the education and to help me train and coach the kids that I coach better and in a more useful way. By May of 2019, I was an NASM certified personal trainer.

In February of 2019, I took all of my knowledge and decided to go into a very precise calorie deficit. A true calorie deficit. I experimented with various calorie counts until I finally figured it out. Weight started coming off like crazy (probably because it was way too low).


Incredible Weight Loss Transformation

By July 2019 I had lost an additional 28 pounds, which was incredible! I hadn't weighed this low since high school. It was remarkable really. Every week I would be at a new low. I eventually ended up at 147.5 pounds. Down from 195. Lost 47 pounds on a frame and body that I never thought was really that overweight. But obviously I was.

This was definitely a battle and a struggle. It wasn't easy, but at the same time it was the easiest thing I ever did. I ate whatever I wanted, as long as it was below my calorie count! It was very liberating. I could eat whatever I wanted and still lose weight. No restrictions.


Becoming The Shredded Cardiologist

I got down to 7% body fat and was super shredded and very lean. I had finally accomplished what I had never been able to do before. I had always been an athlete and played sports even into my 40s. But now I'm lighter, faster, and stronger. It felt awesome! And I keep learning more and more every day.

I've always given lectures on weight loss (YouTube: I've traveled the country speaking on weight loss, but this was very eye opening. I learned so much and could offer my patients, and the physicians that I taught, so much more now. Many of them didn't recognize me at 6 month visits.

Here I was, America's weight loss physician, lecturing on weight loss, helping others lose weight, and not being able to help myself lose the weight. But I finally did! And I did it much differently and better. And without fad diets! I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. And yes, plenty of jelly donuts!


If I Could Do It All Over Again

If I could go back and do anything differently, I would definitely not have gone into such a severe calorie deficit and would have eaten more protein. I didn't know that you should eat 1g per pound of lean body mass per day of protein. I was eating random amounts that sometimes would add up only to 70 or 80 grams a day, which is still more than most people consume. I was using whey protein shakes daily. The calorie count that seemed to work for me was about 1400 to 1500.

If I were to do it now I would have used a calorie count of 1800, which is not as severe of a deficit but would still cause weight loss for me. But I would have retained more muscle mass. Because when I got down to 147lbs I was literally skin and bones, very defined skin and bones, but didn't have very much muscle mass left. Sure when I took close up pictures in the right lighting it looked good, but I looked like a small 14-year-old boy.


Bulking Back Up and Eating Right

I eventually went on a 2 year cycle on bulking and cutting. I had gotten as high as 187 at one point, but much more muscular and defined. I got so big that I wasn't fitting in my dress shirts very well, so I eventually cut back down into the 165-171 range, and I cut and bulk in that range for now. My body fat percentage isn't 7% any more, it between 12-14%, but it's more sustainable, and I can build muscle and later lose weight without changing clothing sizes too much.


How Can You Do This?

The very first thing I would recommend is being in the right state of mind for weight loss. I recommend taking my free weight loss mindset course and starting there. Once, you are in the right state of mind, hop over to my university level weight loss course and start learning how to actually lose weight properly, so you don't make the same mistakes that I did! You get full access to me in both classes! Can't wait to see you on the other side!


If the Diet Doctor Can, So Can You!

So for everyone struggling with fitness, you can do it. If a 44 year cardiologist can do it, so can you!

All of my weight loss videos are on YouTube and I have published all of my lectures and talks on YouTube. I have long lectures on:

2021 Diet Research Update

2021 Exercise Research Update

2021 Weight Loss Scientific Updates

2020 Weight Loss Scientific Updates

And Much more.

Check Out my online Weight Loss Masterclass as well! You won't be disappointed!

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