‘I Did Whole30 And Got Hooked On Plant-Based Eating—And Now I’ve Lost 105 Pounds’

Alex Kaminsky, as told to Emily Shiffer
·6 mins read
Photo credit: Alex Kaminsky
Photo credit: Alex Kaminsky

From Women's Health

My name is Alex Kaminsky (@alexkaminsky22), and I’m 24 years old. I live in Colorado, and I’m in real estate marketing. After years of not feeling physically well, I started working out with a personal trainer and doing HIIT and strength training and transitioned from Whole30 to plant-based eating. I've lost 105 pounds.

Growing up, I was very active and played sports. I was not overweight. But after I stopped playing competitive basketball, went to college, and got into the workforce, I kept eating the same amount of food and didn’t work out as much.

In 2017, I started my first desk job—and the office life got to me. I sat all day and ate out for every single meal. I gained over 150 pounds in less than two years. At 22, I hit my heaviest weight of 330 pounds.

I just felt so horrible all the time. I slept poorly, had no energy, was always lethargic, and just felt sluggish. As a 22-year-old, I would think to myself, This is not how it should be. This is not the life I want to live.

My turning point came on November 21, 2018, while I was reading a book about being successful in business.

The author kept coming back to how they started the day off by hitting the gym, and how you had to make taking care of yourself your number-one priority.

I set myself up for a workout with a personal trainer the very next morning (more on my workout routine to come!). I had been wanting to change for a while prior to that, but I kept giving it only half of my effort. Nothing ever stuck for more than a couple days, but this time I was determined. I also decided to embark on a new nutrition journey after first getting back into gear with my exercise routine.

I started exercising right away because I knew from experience that getting back into working out would also make me want to start eating better.

Eating poorly makes workouts so much harder, so I started with the exercise element. I had worked with a personal trainer before, so I went back to working out with him three times per week to get back into the swing of things.

Now I exercise daily. Monday through Saturday I do a HIIT/strength workout class at my amazing gym (Chuze Fitness). I also do an indoor cycling class once a week, and I'll typically do an outdoor bike ride a couple times per week and golf as well. I have always loved weightlifting, biking, running, tennis, you name it.

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Just out here flexin’ 💪🏻

A post shared by Alex Kaminsky (@alexkaminsky22) on Sep 28, 2020 at 6:54pm PDT

I have also incorporated recovery and mobility work into my day. I have always loved doing all these types of exercises, so I found awesome group classes at my gym and found amazing trails around me to go to.

I also started and completed the Whole30 program and learned more about eating whole foods, and what fuels my body best.

A friend recommended taking my nutrition one step further after doing Whole30 by going plant-based, and I haven’t looked back since. I eat a mostly plant-based diet about 90 percent of the time.

Eating primarily plant-based makes me feel amazing—I have so much energy, I sleep great, and my athletic endurance has skyrocketed. I also never feel bogged down or overly full. I don't track calories or macros. I just fuel my body as much as it needs with amazing whole foods.

Here’s what I eat in a day:

  • Breakfast: Crispy potatoes, an egg, and some avocado.

  • Lunch: A homemade smoothie bowl.

  • Snacks: Fresh fruit, chips and salsa, nuts, or a protein shake.

  • Dinner: Homemade cauliflower fried rice.

  • Dessert: I’ve been loving Nada-Moo ice cream.

These three changes have also made a huge impact on my overall weight loss.

  • I stuck to the motto, “Consistency is key.” You can't expect to overhaul your entire lifestyle overnight. It's just not realistic. You have to understand that you will fail and struggle, and know that it is part of the process—and don't throw in the towel. I make a point to start changing my habits one at a time. Over time, you begin to see your small habits stick and add up, and for your life to change.

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#transformationtuesday because you’ve got to remember how far you have come! Working through this injury is incredibly frustrating for me! Recently while working out I am finding myself focusing on the things that I can’t do right now. I worked so hard to get to the point where I can run and jump again, only to be greeted with pain and injury when I do. I keep thinking things like: “I wonder if I will ever be fully recovered or will this be something that never goes away? How long should I rest before trying high impact? This is the dumbest “injury” I’ve ever had. How hard can I push before it gets worse?” I want to be running on the treadmill and doing full burpees instead of step-burpees and the assault bike. I feel like I’m leaving effort on the table when I have to modify my exercises. There’s so much frustration and disappointment going on so I have to just stop for a minute and thank my body for what it is capable of. I’m crushing 6-9 intense workouts a week, I’ve lost a lot of weight, I wake up every morning with energy, I make good choices with food (mostly 🤪) without even thinking about it, and every day I become stronger physically and mentally. I always look at the positive in every situation but I think it is important to acknowledge that we all have to overcome struggles. I’ve just got to keep doing my best, and I encourage you to do the same 💪🏻

A post shared by Alex Kaminsky (@alexkaminsky22) on Jun 30, 2020 at 6:48pm PDT

  • I didn’t put stock into the scale. The scale is just one measurement, and it's pointless to tie all of your happiness and success to whatever that number is. You have to find a why for what losing weight and getting healthier is going to give you: more energy, better sleep, more endurance to play with your kids, etc.

  • I didn’t exercise just to lose weight, or use it as a punishment. Exercise is supposed to make me feel good mentally and physically. Yes, I like it to be challenging, but I enjoy what I am doing! I suggest finding a great gym, a personal trainer, group classes, or a good bike trail, tennis club, or Zumba group. Just get active and celebrate what your body can do.

I have lost 105 pounds in the last 22 months.

I lost about 75 of those pounds in the last nine months. It was slow rolling at the beginning—and that's okay. It is hard to change your lifestyle and your habits. It is hard to start working out and eating healthy after years of non-activity and poor eating.

But it's also hard to be diagnosed with preventable health problems. It's hard to not be able to move around and miss out on this amazing life. So I chose the other hard.

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