Brian Horn is a Texas based entrepreneur.
Brian wanted to reach a goal weight of 175 pounds, but found himself stuck at around 205-210 pounds.
He exercised regularly and even went on special diets, but he couldn’t make any progress.
That’s when Brian knew he needed to make a change.
With the changes he made, it took Brian three months to reach 185 and another nine months to finally reach his goal of 175.
See how Brian reached his goals and kept the weight off.
Brian had been doing CrossFit for three months while also following a strict cardio diet.
“I was sure I was going to do really good,” said Brian about what he expected after three months of intense workouts.
“But, I actually went up a little bit in body fat.”
“Once I did that I said, man, this is just ridiculous.
I was just killing myself in the last three months and get up at 4:45 so I can work out there and what I thought was eating right during the day.
Finally, when that happened I just said, all right, this is it.
I’m going to figure this out.
So that’s when I went and hired a personal trainer and hired a nutritionist.”
Brian wanted results.
He had already spent three months of wasted effort figuring it out on his own.
He knew it wasn’t working, so he turned to coaches and nutritionists.
“What I was doing with the Paleo stuff is if you just follow a real general thing so how many Paleo?
Then I’d start to twist and would say, okay, I can have all the almonds I want to eat and I can have all the fruit I want to eat.
Then you say, okay, I can make a pie crust out of crushed pecans and then I can do some apples or berries to top that.
I can use coconut milk. Ice cream on top of that with just raw honey in it.”
He was bending the rules, following a twisted version of Paleo and ignoring the proper balance of nutrients, so he hired someone to keep him honest with what he ate.
For Brian, who was already exercising extensively, losing weight was about nutrition.
“It’s really almost all nutrition,” said Brian about how he lost weight.
“So the workouts weren’t helping me lose that much weight.
It was the nutrition.
I ate healthy food.
The first thing is I did was intermittent fasting.
And the second thing I did was carb cycling.”
Brian explained intermittent fasting.
“With the intermittent fasting, I would only eat between 12:00pm and 8:00 p.m. each day and that just gives your body a chance to reset and it creates a surge in human growth hormones and testosterone.”
“The other thing I did was doing carb cycling.
Sunday, Monday and Tuesday I would really just eat meat and green vegetables, but no fruits, breads, carbs or anything like that,” said Brian.
“Then on Wednesday and Thursday, at lunch, I would have a serving of carbs.
I would eat either a sweet potato or a half cup of brown rice.
Then I would go back to no carbs on Friday.
Saturday was the treat day really, with two meals, usually lunch and dinner and I’d be able to have pretty much whatever I wanted within moderation.”
The idea behind intermittent fasting and carb cycling is to train the body in how to burn fat.
“I did it or probably about a year till got down to the 7% body fat range.
And doing that it was getting to be almost too low for the type of workout that I was doing so I changed it back.
So pure fat burning that one year worked really well, those two things.”
Brian drew support from many places, but he gives a lot of credit to his coaches.
“It was really the coaches,” he said.
“Because in my house I was more of the support system for my wife.
She’s not as nearly into this stuff as I am and tends to be a little more lenient so I was more support for her.
But, yes, it’s mainly the coaches that was really a good support system for me.
When describing how he had to change his mindset, Brian returned to talking about food and nutrition.
“One of the big ones is just completely changing how you think about food,” he said of his mindset.
“Get it out of your head that food is meant to be enjoyed.
You’re supposed to sit there and have a lovely and enjoyable meal every time you eat, that’s when you run into problems.”
Looking at food as an energy source, rather than primarily as something to enjoy changed everything for him.
“I enjoy the food I eat,” he said, acknowledging that aspect.
“But I look at it as specific ways to nourish my body.
Just give it exactly what it needs and give it the best ingredients and stuff possible to make my body as healthy as possible.
That was one of the big things.”
Exercise is well and good, but for many people going to the gym isn’t enough.
“One of the things is having something besides just the need to exercise.
For me, I started doing Mao Tai and having that has completely changed me,” he said.
“It doesn’t have to be something like that, it can be anything at all.
If you have something that you’re challenging yourself on or if you’re running or biking or doing anything like that, playing soccer, just having something outside of just going to the gym and lifting weights for me has made a big difference.”
Keeping temptation at bay for Brian is about keeping it under control, rather than completely eliminating it.
“Having that treat day on Saturday’s really works well,” said Brian.
“Literally outside of that I don’t get that many anymore.
The other night they had rolls at the dinner table and I usually don’t have a roll but I did that night.
On my phone I have a notes app and if I see something that I want to eat I make a note of it.
Then I can go back on Saturday, my treat day, and look at my notes and if I still want it I can have it then.”
It may sound trivial, but Brian explained that jotting down these temptations really helped him keep it under control.
“The other day I was at the store and I saw these garlic bread flavored potato chips.
I said, ‘Oh, man, I love garlic bread, I love potato chips that sounds awesome.
’ I actually took a picture of those and typed it into my little note section so I’d have it there so when I go in on Saturday’s I have that stuff.
Most of the time when you get to Saturday you don’t even want that stuff anymore.”
“Monday through Friday I’ll do some type of weight training in the mornings,” said Brian.
“Over my weight loss journey I have done more weight lifting and I did some Olympic lifting for a while.”
“Then I was just doing pure heavy stuff,” he said of his regimen while losing weight.
“And now I’ve gone to more muscle fiber stuff.
I’m doing clapping pull-ups and pile push-ups and basically jumping around a lot with a weight vest on just to make myself faster and it’s a way to make muscles a little harder.”
“Then I also do the Mao Tai also so a few nights a week I’ll go and do that.
Some of that exercise is for doing sparring or doing actual fighting things.
It’s a really good cardio workout; sometimes it’s more skill training things where it’s not really as hard of a workout.
Most of it is just gym things, just getting into the gym and moving.”
“I don’t do long distance running or swimming or biking, anything like that.
On Saturday mornings I’ll do wind sprints, but that only takes about 20 minutes and you go and kill yourself with that, but that’s about it.”
Brian no longer does intermittent fasting and carb cycling.
Those programs were for burning fat and losing weight.
Brian’s current needs are a little different.
“Almost every morning I make like an egg white pancake,” he said.
“I use six egg whites and half a cup of oatmeal, put that in the blender and make little pancakes with that and just eat that.”
“Then at 9:00 a.m. after I get home from a workout I’ll have a protein shake with kale or spinach to just have some greens in there, a little bit of plain yogurt and a little almond butter or half an avocado.”
Lunch includes some lean protein.
“I mostly do chicken and seafood,” Brian said about his typical lunch.
“I’ll have some brown rice with it and some vegetables.
I’ll do a lot of stir fry because I’m not a huge vegetable person so that’s a way I can get all the vegetables.
Around 3:00 I have another green food just like the one I had in the morning.”
“For dinner, I’ll just have a protein and vegetables.
The nights that I go and fight I will have a shake, just the protein only in it.
That’s generally Sunday through Friday I have that and Saturday’s I just kind of do whatever.
I generally just have a smoothie in the morning on Saturday’s and that’s it for breakfast and I have my lunch and dinner treat meals.”
Brian also added supplements to his diet.
It’s mainly a shake with a multivitamin packet, Creatine Whey, Glutamine and Amino Acids.
Brian’s plan has him eat every three hours.
The most important thing for his family was to schedule his meals so that they could eat dinner together.
“The only thing that I had to really switch around was making sure that every night at 6:00 when one of my feedings is scheduled I have dinner with my family,” he said.
“The kids, they’re not eating the salmon and asparagus for dinner like my wife and I are.
Sometimes we’ll pass the deli also but we’ll do something different for them.
Yes, that’s the only thing.
I just had to change and make sure that my dinner was at the same time as theirs.”
Most weight loss journeys involve ups and downs.
Brian explained his and what he’d do differently.
“Just doing it earlier probably and starting off many years sooner, but other than that not really.
I guess the one thing is getting into some type of sport or activity that makes you want to be healthy.
Like I said, the martial arts, the Mao Tai, the Jujitsu kind of things, it changes your life and how you look at it and why you’re doing it.
I would have worked out harder.
I have no problem saying no to things and really just following my plan religiously because of that.”