Like most people, I have been trying to solve the weight loss puzzle for years. But it seemed like no matter what I tried, it would never work. My weight would go down a little then go right back to “normal.” Other people were getting results from these workouts or diets, so I wasn't sure what I was doing wrong.
That being said, I believe that different things are going to work for different people. Some people swear by CrossFit, The Slow Carb Diet or some crazy juice diet. It's all about finding what works for you.
Just to be clear, I'm not talking about stamina, strength or becoming more flexible in this post…just losing weight. I think you will probably agree that losing weight is the hardest to do out of all of these, but also one of the most rewarding.
In this post, I'll go through what I have tried in the past, my weight loss numbers, why you need to be in shape as a trader and what worked for me. If you want to lose a few extra pounds and feel healthier, you may want to give this a try.
Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor and I don't play one on the internet. Check with your physician before doing anything health related.
How Health Affects Your Trading
Almost all of the successful traders that I have known have some sort of exercise routine and diet program. Here is a post from Raghee Horner that I saw awhile back when she was doing P90X and 10 Minute Trainer. Adam Jowett mentioned to me once that he cut gluten out of his diet and it made a huge difference in helping him think clearer.
I don't know about you, but when I've been overweight, I have had what people call “brain fog.” I wasn't thinking clearly and I would always forget things. This leads to sloppy trading.
If nothing else, I hope that this post makes you more aware of how you can improve your health, even if you think it is impossible.
Where I Started
At the beginning of this year, I weighed myself at a friend's house and I was 201 pounds, with 22% body fat. For my height (6′ 2″), that is pushing obese, if you just look at the body fat percentage. I had to do something about it.
For the longest time, I was always at around 200 pounds. At most, I was 215, but I could never get under 195. Here is a picture of me when I went deep sea fishing last year. As you can see, my face is rounder than a bowling ball.
I was really frustrated at not being able to lose the weight. It seemed like no matter what I did, it never made that big of an impact.
What I've Tried Before (and didn't work)
Oh man, where do I start?!
Here is some of the stuff that I have tried in the past:
- Exercise bike in my room
- Getting a heart rate monitor watch to hit my ideal heart rate
- 10 Minute Trainer in the morning
- The lemon juice diet…yeah you know the one
- Running 5 days a week
- Only eating salads
- Doing a hardcore workout like P90X
- And probably more that I want to forget…
I have also tried some of the tips from The 4 Hour Body. As much as I like Tim's writing and his stuff has worked for others, it didn't work for me.
Another thing that I have blogged about before is Colonix. It did help me lose some weight and I still think that it is a fantastic product, but it is more for periodically cleaning you out…not solely for weight loss.
As it turns out, the solution that worked for me came in the form of a $10 Kindle book. Who would have thought?
The book is The Upgraded Chef by Joni Sare and Dave Asprey. You may remember Dave from the post I wrote about my favorite coffee for trading. In fact, that particular coffee is part of what helped me lose the weight.
So from January, when I first weighed myself, to the end of March 2013, I managed to go from 201 pounds to 169 pounds…a total loss of 30 pounds. The best part was that I didn't really stick to a strict diet plan. I loosely followed what they outlined in the book and I lost the weight.
They have some really easy to follow charts on what you should and shouldn't be eating. What I like most about their approach is that they tell you to use as much of the book as you want. Many times a diet is way too strenuous and we give up before we see any results. So if you start slowly and not get too intense about it, you might actually see some results.
This is the approach that I took.
I only made one of the recipes from the book, but I did follow the charts on what I should be eating. Thankfully what I should be eating also includes healthy fats such as bacon. As you might imagine, it is a certain type of bacon, but it also includes other delicious things such as grass fed beef and butter. There is also a chart for what types of fruit, vegetables and starches you should be eating (and avoiding).
Here is the proof…it's the first time that I can see my abs in at least 10 years.
If there is anything that I learned from this, it is that weight loss is not necessarily about more exercise, like we are conditioned to believe. For me, at least, weight loss was more about diet.
The kicker is that most of what I did was counter-intuitive. I ate more (healthy) fat, cut down on most fruit and didn't exercise more than normal. In fact, during this period, I probably exercised less. Don't get me wrong, I firmly believe in exercise to maintain a healthy body, but just not as a way to lose weight.
To take this thought one step further, what commonly accepted trading “rules” are holding you back from being the best trader you can be? I'm not giving you an excuse to go crazy, but maybe you should question some of the things that you are doing in your trading and examine them a little closer.
Question why you are doing something and how doing something totally different might be the answer you have been looking for. Then go experiment with it in a demo account. You might be surprised at what you find.
(even more) disclaimers: The links in this post may be affiliate links in which I make a commission if you purchase from those links. But the links are all natural and do not contain any lead content. Commissions also go towards my dream of going on an African Safari (#68) and a portion will be donated to my charity partner.