Wellness Wins is an original Yahoo series that shares the inspiring stories of people who have shed pounds healthfully.
Jonas Joshua is 5’10” tall and currently weighs 175 pounds. In 2017, he was able to cultivate a healthier lifestyle through a keto diet and exercise. This is his weight-loss story, as told to Yahoo Lifestyle.
The Turning Point
I was a normal weight until my early 20s. At that point, I was playing poker full time for income, and it's a pretty sedentary lifestyle. Combine that with bad nutritional choices, and you start to add weight. Over the years, it added up. My sister is a bariatrician and helped motivate me to start losing weight. I remember her looking at the label on the can of Coke I was drinking and remarking, "If you stopped drinking two cans of this a day you'd lose about 28 pounds in a year." That was a turning point.
I began losing weight by making small alterations to my diet, looking for the worst things I ate and replacing them with healthier alternatives. I also ate less. Later, I transitioned to a keto diet (low carb, high fat, moderate protein) diet.
I ate protein powder and an Atkins bar for breakfast. I’d have two Premier Protein shakes throughout the day and a bunch of low-carb snacks. Dinner was something like steak and asparagus. I was eating between 1,300-1,800 calories a day during this period. I exercised using an in-home gym with a Precor elliptical and a Bowflex.
After the weight loss, I felt great. My knees didn't hurt as much from all the extra weight. I found out there were all sorts of ancillary benefits to weight loss. People treated me better in relationships, professionally, and in salary negotiations. I was more comfortable participating in activities. I could take my shirt off at the beach without feeling awkward. Today, I feel awesome.
I track my calories pretty closely now using MyFitnessPal. I try to get one gram of protein per pound of body weight and aim to consume around 2,500 calories per day. I track my weight and body fat using a smart scale, my activity using a Fitbit, and my weight lifting using Strong. I'm regimented and data-driven, and I evaluate my food choices on a regular basis.
With exercise, I've shifted from focusing on cardio (two 30-minute sessions per week) to strength training (1 hour of resistance training six days a week) over the past four months. And I try to lift heavy weights, using compound movements. My results keep me motivated.
Changing goals from losing weight to building muscle requires being mindful that the latter often means weight gain (the good kind), but old habits die hard. Another struggle is getting enough protein each day.
I think the best advice is to divorce yourself from body image issues and regard weight loss as purely as a math problem. There are two ways to lose weight: Reduce your intake or move more. And don't try to lose more than 1 percent of body weight per week.
Need more inspiration? Read about our other wellness winners!
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