How to Lose, Gain, or Maintain Weight

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Here’s a short and simple write-up of how to lose, gain, or maintain weight.

Calorie Intake

First off, you have to figure out how many calories your body needs to maintain your weight. You can use this calorie intake calculator from bodybuilding.com: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/macronutcal.htm

Let’s call your calorie intake the base rate. For example, mines is about 2,250 calories. So in other words, I have to eat about 2,250 calories everyday in order keep my body weight the same. After figuring out your base rate, you can decide to lose weight, gain weight, or stay the same weight.

If you want to lose weight, obviously you have to eat less. However, note that if you eat too little all of  a sudden, your body may think that you’re starving and will go into starvation mode. This is bad because in starvation mode, your body’s metabolism will slow down which is the opposite of what we want. Your body will also try to conserve energy and store fat. A good amount to eat less is probably around 250-500 less calories. So if my base rate is about 2,250 calories and I want to lose weight, a good amount to drop it too is: 1,750 calories. Do this for about a week or two, then drop another 250-500 calories for the next week or two. Keep doing this until you’re at your desired weight.

For example, if I want to lose weight and I have a base rate of 2,250 calories. I’d have to eat about 1,750 calories per day. I’d continue doing this for about 1-2 weeks. If I’m happy with my weight, then I’ll just stay at this amount. However, if I want to keep losing weight, then I’d have to drop my calories even lower because by then my body has already adjusted to 1,750 calories. In other words, my base rate has now become 1,750 calories. Everyone’s body and lifestyle is different, so you might even have to do it for 2-3 weeks before making a change in your calorie count.

On the other hand, if you want to gain weight then eat more. If my base rate is about 2,250 calories, then I should eat about 250-500 calories more. So about 2,750 calories per day.

Obviously if you want to stay the same weight, then just eat the same amount of calories as your base rate.

Keep in mind that not all calories are created equal. Eating fat foods and healthy foods that have the same amount of calories will not give you the same results. What this means is that eating 1,750 calories of McDonald’s is not the same as eating 1,750 calories of clean eating. Obviously, we want to eat clean. So whether you’re losing weight, gaining weight, or trying to stay the same weight, do try to eat healthy.

There’s a lot more I can talk about but this is probably enough to get you started. Hopefully now you have a better idea on how to lose, gain, or maintain weight. To start, I recommend you actually count the calories you’re eating tomorrow. You don’t have to be 100% accurate (pro bodybuilders do because it’s their profession), just estimate using a calorie counter app or something. For example, if I estimated that I actually ate about 3,000 calories today. However, I calculated that my base rate is actually 2,000 calories so I’m eating an extra 1,000 calories. Which means I’m gaining weight! So I should make a change in my calorie intake But that doesn’t mean I should be eating 2,000 calories tomorrow. That’s a 1,000 calorie difference from yesterday. Again, this will make your body think you’re starving which is not good since your body will start storing food as fat. Instead we have to gradually decrease our calorie intake. So maybe tomorrow I will eat about 2,750 calories. Then slowly and gradually work my way down towards my base rate.

Types of Food

For protein, you should eat fish, skinless chicken, turkey, tuna, lean beef, eggs, whey protein, milk, yogurt, etc. For good fats, you should eat avocados, olive oil, nuts, etc. Good fats actually help you burn fat. And for carbohydrates, you should eat vegetables and complex carbs or slow digesting carbs such as brown rice, oats, whole wheat bread, etc. However, you can also eat fast digesting carbs such as white rice, noodles, potatoes, etc. but only immediately after you wake up or after your workout. Why? Because when you’re sleeping (you can’t eat while you’re sleeping so you need food as soon as possible upon waking) and after you’ve worked out (used up energy from an intense workout), you need to replenish your energy. If you don’t, the body will go into starvation mode and first target your muscles for energy which is not good. Unfortunately, the body doesn’t target our fat first.

Tips

Here are some simple tips:

  • Drink a lot of water (this also helps you feel full)
  • Eat a lot of meals, every 3 hours (what I do is eat 3 main meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but in between those meals I’ll have a snack such as yogurt, nuts, protein bar, protein shake, etc.)
  • Eat a lot of fiber to help digest food (fiber bars, cereal, etc)
  • Never give up. If you’re feeling lazy to go to the gym, go watch a motivation video on YouTube.

Supplements

If you’re in Japan, I recommend buying supplements online from iHerb.com. The prices are much cheaper than supplement products in Japan (honestly, I don’t think they’re that good either) and there’s free shipping (arrives within a week). Below are some links for your convenience. I’ve also attached a referral code so you can get a discount if you’re a first-time user. I buy all my pre-workout, creatine, whey protein, and other supplements from here and I’m definitely spending a lot less money if I were to buy Japanese supplements.

Please see this post and scroll down to the bottom for my tips on how to get a steal on buying whey protein. You can also use it for buying other supplements as well.

Supplements

Supplements

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Gold’s Gym Japan

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A little over a month ago, I decided to make the big jump from Joyfit 24 to the famous Gold’s Gym Japan. Known throughout the world, Gold’s Gym is known for the place where hardcore lifters go and oh boy did it not disappoint. The change from Joyfit 24 to Gold’s Gym was like middle school to a university. The gym was bigger, better, and badder (in a good way). The selection in equipment was mind-blowing. More than half the equipment there were equipment I’d only see on TV or on the computer. With the wide variety of equipment, it’s almost impossible to hit a plateau! On the walls were pictures of actual bodybuilders and athletes. There were even TV screens with videos of professional bodybuilders. Not only was the atmosphere intense, but so were the people. The crowd was much noticeably bigger and serious, both male and females. Almost everyone would take a protein shake and/or pre-workout shakeout. Not to mention, there is also a protein shake bar which you can purchase a shake from the vending machine. If you’ve been seriously lifting for at least 2 years, then I think you’re ready to move onto signing up for Gold’s Gym. Another interesting thing is that there’s a women’s training zone, where only women are allowed to enter. No idea why they have this. Maybe girls don’t like to use machines that were used by sweaty men? Also, they have studios where there are classes almost everyday. There are other things like saunas, jacuzzi, and stuff, but it varies location by location. Like most other gyms in Japan, you’re required to bring your gym shoes and change when you get there. There are also showers there, but it’s not as private. You get your own stall, but it’s not really that private. I think you’re supposed to go in butt naked, but I just go in with my boxers on and bring a towel and my new pair inside with me.

The main reason that took me so long to switch over to Gold’s Gym Japan was definitely the price factor. When signing up, I had to pay around 24,000 JPY upfront (includes the 1st month’s pay). Then every month after that, I have to pay 12,000 JPY (excluding tax). This is roughly $120 USD per month! The average back in the states is about $30 USD per month! Japan is expensive, but this is super expensive! It was a plus that I can go to any Gold’s Gym with this membership, but this is a standard already. Almost all gyms allow that! But this change was definitely needed for me. Going to my previous gym, I felt my motivation dropping day by day. Not only was the equipment limited, which limited the variation of my workouts, but the atmosphere was boring there. There was no competition and motivation. It’s like I was riding my bicycle I had when I was a child, I’ve outgrown it.

Golds Gym Japan

Golds Gym Japan

Gold’s Gym Japan is definitely on another level when compared to other gyms. If you’re a seriously lifter, the location is convenient, and membership price isn’t a problem, then definitely make the change. If not, I recommend just sticking with the regular 24 hour fitness gyms like Anytime Fitness and Joyfit 24. Although Gold’s Gym is pretty good, it’s not 24 hours and some of the interior and equipment can be old. I’ve been to the Otsuka, Omotesando, Harajuku, and Shibuya location so far and hands down, Harajuku’s one is the best. The Harajuku location is open 24 hours, but the others aren’t. Also, I think they were recently renovated so the interior is new and the equipment is new (most of it). Also, they have a jacuzzi in the shower room which also was new! Almost forgot, Gold’s Gym is not open everyday. Depending on the location, the gym closes every 2nd or 3rd Monday of the month for maintenance purpsoes. Of all days, why do they choose Monday? Does Japan not know that Mondays is International Chest Day?

After working out, you could just get a protein shake from the protein shake bar but it does get pricey if you go 5 days per week. A shake costs roughly 400 JPY depending on how much protein you get, so you’ll roughly spend about 14,000 JPY on just post-workout protein shakes per month. If you’re on a budget, I recommend buying online from iHerb.com. I’ve listed some links for your convenience. I’ve also attached a referral code so you can get a discount. I buy all my pre-workout, creatine, whey protein, and other supplements from there and I definitely spend way less than 14,000 JPY per month (and that’s for everything, not just whey protein).

Please see this post and scroll down to the bottom for my tips on how to get a steal on buying whey protein. You can also use it for buying other supplements as well.

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Anytime Fitness VS Joyfit 24 Gym

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Before I get on with Anytime Fitness VS Joyfit 24 Gym, I would like to first apologize for the super long time it took to update the site. A lot of things happened and I just kind of got away from blogging.

I’ve actually moved away from Ikebukuro. I’m currently living in between Otsuka and Sugamo (although closer to Otsuka), which is just one stop away. Ikebukuro is a good place to live to have fun and go out and drink, but sleeping well at night is an entirely different issue. Although there’s not much to do in Otsuka, it is a much more quiet neighborhood. Since Anytime Fitness wasn’t convenient for me anymore, I decided to switch to a closer gym: Joyfit 24. Joyfit 24 is another fitness chain and is also opened 24 hours a day. I think only the ones with 24 in the name are opened 24 hours.

Anytime Fitness VS Joyfit 24 Gym

Anytime Fitness VS Joyfit 24 Gym

There wasn’t much difference between Joyfit 24 and Anytime Fitness, but I do feel that Anytime Fitness has better equipment. The price between the two gyms was around the same, roughly 8000 JPY (including tax). Both gyms are opened 24 hours, 7 days a week. Both gyms also have free lockers and private changing and shower rooms. Equipment for both gyms were fairly taken care of, if not new. The gyms don’t get too busy even during peak hours, but it may vary based on the locations. Obviously, the crowd for these gyms aren’t the hardcore gym rats. Not to be conceited, but I’m usually the most muscular (not strongest) person there. But then again, this is Japan and they’re not particular too concerned about muscles.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Joyfit 24 requires customers to bring separate shoes for the gym. So you’re supposed to bring shoes specifically for the gym and you change into them once you get there. This is very common in Japan, so I wasn’t surprised. Anytime Fitness, didn’t have this policy which was great. Another difference was that Joyfit 24 actually had a free water fountain! Anytime Fitness didn’t. I don’t know if this was just the one location that I went to though.

Hopefully my post about Anytime Fitness VS Joyfit 24 Gym was helpful to you. The differences between the two weren’t big enough to have an affect in the deciding factor of which gym I’d choose. In the end, I was just happy with the more convenient location. Again, I recommend these gyms for the beginner to mid-intermediate level gym goers. Immediately after my workout, I would take my protein shake. I was one of the very few who ever did that at Joyfit 24 and Anytime Fitness in Japan. My point is that I felt I was like a college student attending a middle school in terms of the gym.

Speaking of protein, I recommend buying your protein (other any other supplement) from the following site: www.iHerb.com. I provided a referral code (DPJ857) in the link which will give you a discount of $5 (last time I checked it was).

TIP: What I usually do when ordering protein is I set the filter for price to $10 to $50 via the left menu. This narrows down the whey protein by price. Then I sort the results by “Heaviest” which can be found on the top left area of the results box. What this does is that is shows only whey protein priced from $10 to $50 with the heaviest ones first. The heavier ones are usually the 5LB proteins. When you buy more protein, it usually is cheaper. Then with the price filter I had set above, I know I won’t be spending all my salary on just protein. I also recommend buying more of the same product, rather than buying 4 different products. Some products will give you a discount if you buy a bulk amount starting from 4. Also from time to time, there will be sales where there are massive discounts so be on the lookout for those.

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