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How to lose 40 lbs & 20% fat |

We live in a society where we are constantly exposed to advertisements that promise us that we can lose 2, 3, or even more pounds in a few weeks, all without dieting or having to exercise. The problem is, if you believe this, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Why? Because, while it is possible to lose a few pounds quickly, it’s impossible to keep them off.

I’ve spent the last few months researching ways to lose 40 lbs and 20% body fat in my mid-twenties. I hope this guide will be helpful to people who are looking to do the same. The motivation for this guide was to find a way to lose weight in a safe, healthy manner, that wouldn’t involve taking unnecessary risks to lose a significant amount of weight quickly, and that would also be sustainable.

Losing weight can be a difficult task. If you’re having trouble losing weight, there are several things you can do to help you. First, drink less. If you try drinking less soda, it will be easier to lose weight. Next, you can try eating less. If you eat less, you will lose weight. Lastly, do some exercise. If you exercise, you will lose weight.

At the end of 2009’s Lean Eating contest, PN member “Cynergy” was the clear winner, demonstrating that she knew how to fill a crazy bikini and walk away with our top prize of $10,000.

Check out her before/after photos if you missed them:

cynthia-before-after-back cynthia-before-after-front cynthia-before-after-side

In today’s piece, she shares how she used the method to lose 40 pounds and 20 percent body fat while also improving her behaviors and her life. There are some fantastic words of wisdom here if you’re interested in a bodily change of your own.

Bottomless pit

Before a rare “metabolic event” at the age of 36, I had never had a weight problem. As a result, I had no idea what healthy eating was or that I couldn’t get everything I needed from TV meals. I know it’s sad, but it’s true.

I had a failed pregnancy at the age of 36. Unfortunately, one of the hormones associated with pregnancy, luteinizing hormone (LH), continued to grow in the months following my miscarriage.

What’s the end result? In three months, I gained 30 pounds. Unfortunately, as my hormones returned to normal, I was already in the throes of metabolic syndrome, which helped me gain another 40 pounds over the next year.

Needless to say, I was completely taken aback. My entire existence came to a halt. Suddenly, and quite unexpectedly, I found myself incapable of any kind of success. You name it: professionally, in relationships, or otherwise. I was depressed and in pain all of the time.

For a while, I felt that maybe this is what everyone goes through, and that I should just accept it, give up my aspirations and expectations, and learn to live on anti-depressants and without much joy. It seemed hopeless, to be honest. I couldn’t even discover a sliver of my true self. There was no trace of who I was! And there was no way I was going to believe Jenny Craig could solve what was so wrong with me at the time.

Some hope

I started using the PN System at some time. I tried to improve my habits with the PN binder by my side. I had some success, though it was quite limited.

I’d worked my way up to over 220 pounds by this point (from about 140lbs). And I was in such a perilous state of ‘starvation.’ As a result, the improvements I was able to make were gradual.

Now there was proof that the concepts would work for me (bringing me down to the mid 190s). However, they didn’t appear to be operating in the great, amazing way I had hoped. My trek to 220 pounds was fantastic and quick. As a result, I believe I expected my journey back to my ideal weight to be similar.

It wasn’t the case. And, as is the case with everybody who suffers from great hopes, reality disappointed me. But I didn’t give up.

The message from

I spent an entire weekend in May of 2009 plotting out my strategy for getting serious about my ambitions. I made the decision to approach my transformation as if it were a job, fully committed to the steps I would need to do to succeed.

And it was a period of acceptance for me, in which I realized that ‘seeking comfort’ had no place in my plan, that pain and effort would be a daily occurrence, but most importantly, that the end result would be worth every penny I paid along the way.

It was a series of events that solidified my determination to live a life worthy of me and to quit pretending to be someone I was never intended to be.

The next day, I got an email from PN promoting the new Lean Eating class. It was a matter of fate.

And this time, LE offered a substantial compensation – $10K – so it became the ‘job’ I had constructed for myself. I gave myself a six-month project to experiment with my body and see what it was genuinely capable of. John Berardi was my boss. Awesome!

Baby steps are necessary.

From the start, it was excruciatingly difficult.

After finishing the first workout, I wrote a personal message to my coach, asking if it was normal to cry on the ground during the dynamic warm-up. To be honest, I’m not sure if I was crying because the exercises were so difficult or because I was staring at myself in the mirror, seeing myself, a former US Marine, doing and failing a basic set of rear lunges.

I couldn’t believe I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror, and that terrified me to death. I felt like a con artist who had defrauded myself of a great life, and I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to reclaim it.

The moment of decision has arrived.

Then I became enraged. It’s similar to what Dr. Berardi states in this video (about 3 minutes in). You’ve reached the point when there’s no turning back. Finally, you make the decision to take decisive action. To take a single, focused, and significant action.

For my part, I was irritated that I had made so many sacrifices while living my life as an imposter. So I started rejecting anything that wasn’t going to help me succeed. I would ask myself (at least 100 times a day):

“Does what I’m doing/thinking/feeling right now contribute to my success or failure?”

I’d start to feel that rage again if the answer wasn’t positive. Instead of feeling defeated, I’d take some kind of powerful action or make a decision to reject the bad thinking or sensation and choose something else.

It was exhausting on some days, not to mention extremely distracting. But I soon discovered that making success-oriented decisions from the start made it much simpler to get through the day.

Cynthias 1 and 2

I discovered that improvement came remarkably swiftly and regularly as a result of my newfound mindset — one that squashed the negative or backwards and championed the positive of forwards. Personally, I believe this is due to the emergence of two personas in me during the training.

My first impression of myself was that of a tiny child — defiant, dependent, and a little dense. I started throwing tantrums and acting immaturely. In fact, I gave them permission.

The second personality, on the other hand, would correct the ship. This one acted more like a parent. And Cynthia, who resembled a parent, would figuratively wipe my tears, pat my buttocks, and yank me back into the game.

It seemed like I was growing up all over again. The caretaker would appear at certain periods of the day and try to make the student’s life a little easier. Whether it was cooking, packing gym bags, purchasing vitamins ahead of time, writing lists, downloading workout music, or asking questions in the forum, there was always something to do.

I could be that mistaken student for the rest of the day, following the directions and doing what I was told – but feeling backed by that other, protective part of myself that I knew had my best interests at heart.

Then my motivation began to dwindle.

Motivation ebbs and flows, as Dr. Berardi stated in the video I shared above. And the best part is that it’s OK. It is always the case. That’s exactly what it did for me. I came to a point in the midst of the program where I needed to find a “motivation” to exercise. It wasn’t enough for me to go to the gym if I wanted to lose weight.

I needed my training to be more than that – I needed to feel like I was working toward something bigger — competitive skills, mastery, and fun. Something significant.

So there was a point when being inspired to go to the gym was quite difficult, and it required some introspection to figure out what my distinct inner drive would be, and what my new training identity would be.

But I needed some assistance before I could figure it out. And it was my amazing coach, Erin Weiss-Trainor, who kept me going, who kept me going. Oh, and the possibility of winning the contest also helped!

My new source of inspiration

Everyone, at some time, needs to discover a new source of motivation other than weight loss. And there will be a plethora of justifications. My ambition was to be a badass.

Truth be told, I’ve realized that I care more about accomplishment than I do about comfort. So I asked myself throughout the training, “Do you want to be badass or do you want to be comfortable?” The answer is the same every time, and it informs all of my decisions.

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One significant takeaway:

Surprisingly, and this was crucial for me, as my body fat percentage decreased, my carb needs climbed! It’s hard to believe, I know. Especially given the majority of women’s carb fear.

However, I couldn’t keep my starchy carb intake low enough without compromising the energy I needed to get through my workouts and recover.

As a result, I had to break from the conventional diet and reintroduce grains and fruit into my “Anytime” meals. Surprisingly, I became much happier, and my development continued. I’m pleased I found this when I did, because otherwise I might have given up.

You don’t have enough carbs if you feel like your brain is melting in the first ten minutes of a workout. This is the new rule in my house. However, make sure you choose the appropriate ones, in the proper amounts, and at the right times. (Another important takeaway from the Lean Eating coaching program.)

A handy guide to my experience before and after

Before and after, I had a different mindset.
My days of youth and beauty, I thought, were behind me. I had gained weight and developed hundreds of weight-related ailments for a “unknown” (note the denial) reason, and I was now one of the victims of middle age. I assumed that because I had never been athletic previously, I had missed out on the opportunity to play sports or even endure an aerobics class – that it was too late to be anything other than what I had become. I am fully aware of the reasons for my weight gain and accept full responsibility for them. I’ve also realized that this was only a temporary affliction, not something I’d have to deal with indefinitely. I recognize myself, my face, in the mirror now that I’m thinner. I picture myself as the young, lovely woman I’ve always been. Several folks have recently estimated my age to be in my early thirties (I’m approaching 42). I reflect on my life and recognize that I have always been a very athletic person, and that athleticism is a birthright for every human being (including myself).

I now use my natural abilities to play tennis, row with a sweep-rowing team, participate in yoga and dance classes, and work weights on a regular basis. I cried when my tennis season finished. I’m crying because of sports. Weird. Wonderful.

Before and after, I had a lot of fun with food.
I used to think that I couldn’t eat nutritious meals. I used to believe that each meal had to be a type of entertainment, a display of excitement, grandeur, or celebration – and that this meant large amounts, explosions of sweet and salty flavors, intricate recipe formulations, or simply a calming impact (ie. movie theatre popcorn). I couldn’t imagine a manner of life that was even remotely gratifying and sustainable without this type of eating — a phenomenon similar to drinking or smoking cigarettes. I couldn’t think of another option, therefore these destructive practices would continue. Fresh, whole meals are the only foods I truly appreciate. It is not necessary for meals to be a “circus” to be fun and rewarding. I can feel the instant impacts of fresh produce on my energy levels and attitude following a significant detox from processed meals, salt, and sugar. Lean meats, legumes, and nuts have a satiating impact on me. I now eat to feel better, not worse. I eagerly anticipate each opportunity to provide my body with the nutrients it requires to continue me through my new existence.
Before and after pictures of my cooking and shopping
I considered myself to be a poor cook. I used to believe that I lacked the ability to prepare anything edible in the kitchen. Cooking, in my opinion, is complex and time-consuming, and should be avoided if at all feasible. I had rows of canned soup on hand, as well as boxes of frozen dinners. I never bought fresh fruits or vegetables because they would spoil before I could eat or cook them. Shopping for groceries was a chore. Before I went to the store, I never knew what I was going to buy. I’d meander aimlessly through the aisles, frustrated that I couldn’t find anything tasty to eat that didn’t need preparation. I frequently returned home with two types of bread, a candy bag, a frozen pizza, a bottle of premium soda, cheese, and crackers. Because I never planned my meals, I had to go to the grocery three to four times a week. Cooking is simple. I’m always surprised at how simple and quick meals may be to prepare. Many of the ingredients for my dishes are prepped on Sundays, so dinner prep on Wednesday is as simple as pulling a couple of things from the fridge and freezer, defrosting in the microwave, putting on a tray or in a sauté pan, and dinner is ready in 10 minutes. There are only a few cans in my cabinet, and my garage chest freezer is empty and for sale on Craigslist. In the last ten days, I’ve prepped and placed everything in my kitchen freezer. Once a week, I go to a bargain grocery and once a week, I go to a natural food store. My shopping list includes everything I would need (for example, my top four favorite proteins, vegetables, and acceptable carbs) and I only circle the items I might run out of — but the list template never changes. My travels to the market are only 20 minutes long, and I simply go down one aisle to buy coffee, spices, and household things.

I plan every meal for the week and rely on what I cook on Sundays to feed me for the rest of the week. Each morning before work, I prepare a cooler and consider the hassle of lugging three meals around with me a little price to pay for feeling cared for all day.

When I become bored with my regular meals, I bring up Gourmet Nutrition or search the PN member forums for a couple of new recipes to try. I try them out for a week to see how well they work for me. And, if everything else fails, I can make a pizza out of almost anything (it’s my new superpower).

Before and after eating habits
I used to think that the best way to lose weight was to eat less calories. I would persuade myself to miss meals – sometimes every meal – every time I acknowledged the desire to lose weight. My credo was, “Only eat when hungry.” As a result, I would wait until I was hungry and then eat myself into a coma — and because I was never prepared for that hungry moment, I relied on restaurants and fast food to help me replenish my supplies. Every day, I eat 4-5 times. Meals aren’t as intimidating as they formerly were. When prepared ahead of time, a regular meal will only take 10 minutes to eat. The macros are significant, despite the little servings. I’ve abandoned hunger as a guideline for eating and replaced it with fullness as a signal to stop. So, whether I’m hungry or not, I always eat my allocated meals. But I keep track of how full I am and how quickly I feel full. When I get hungry quickly, I’ve learned to accept the fact that I’ll have to leave a piece of my food behind. I never feel compelled to binge eat since I am never in a desperate or limited situation. This has significantly reduced the passive stress I experience in my daily life — the kind of tension that exists despite the absence of evident sources of stress (aka, insanity).
My understanding of my body, both before and after
To me, the survival of a human body in the world was a complete mystery. I was completely unaware of the requirements for human cells to continue to thrive. I didn’t know anything about macronutrients or body chemistry. Except for the gluteus maximus, I couldn’t name a single muscle in the human body (thanks to middle school days when those were naughty words). My mother’s insistence on my taking a vitamin every morning irritated me, and I carried that bitterness into adulthood (among other resentments related to wearing a hat in the winter, forbidding me to shave my legs or wear gobs of makeup, making me clean house and other essential life skills). Such activities were clearly a waste of time and money. I’m well aware that there are certain conditions that must be met in order for this body to continue moving around in the world. I discovered that amino acids are precursors of a wide range of helpful neurotransmitters and hormone precursors (aka, the anti-insanity). Probiotics and a variety of fresh veggies, I realize now, can supply a wide range of vitamins and minerals to support a healthy immune response (so I am rarely sick).

Carbohydrates are critical in powering varying degrees of physical and mental activity, as I’ve discovered.

I understand how to better meet my body’s needs for water, oxygen, and sleep.

When I perform a specific activity in the gym, I am aware of which muscles I am working. I also know how to spell gluteus maximus. I believe I’ve evolved into a human physiology nerd.

Before and after my identity
I had a nagging feeling that I wouldn’t be able to be the person I really wanted to be. I worked hard to identify the type of person I wanted to be with, never realizing that the list of attributes I came up with was actually characterizing the person I wanted to be. “This man, if he exists, will not want to be with someone like me,” I’d think as I looked over the list. I felt unattractive and doomed to remain alone — I was uncomfortable in my own company and not the type of person I wanted to be around. Your text will be rewritten by QuillBot. Start by typing or pasting something into this box, then hit the enter key.

I may also anticipate wonderful things from others if I am willing to accept whatever they have to offer as the best they can accomplish at the time. “Your best is good enough,” I might convey a silent message to myself or another person.

Before and after pictures of my workouts and fitness
My workout attempts left me feeling untrained and inept. I would often quit up after months of personal training to learn how to lift free weights because I was suffering so much to achieve a mastery of movement. I lacked the stamina to complete a 45-minute fitness plan. I had a lot of strains and a lot of DOMS. I could never progress to heavier weights or higher intensities since my training was so inconsistent. As a result, I felt annoyed and tired with repeating the same training classes over and over. I was too large and inexperienced to find an exercise partner, so I spent most of my time alone and undirected. To power intensive workout, I’ve learned the need of eating enough carbohydrates. I began to experience the joy of advancement after gradually increasing my carb intake around workout time. As a result, I began to build greater strength and endurance. My connective tissues have strengthened, and I experience very minimal joint pain as a result of my activities. My training has gotten more constant, and I’ve committed to team sporting activities that keep me interested and motivated to keep improving. Participating in sports has been lot easier and more enjoyable for me as my body composition has changed dramatically. I have a sense of belonging at the gym, and I am less reluctant to call out to others for motivation or help with advancing to the next level on a particular action. This is the area in which I lacked the most confidence, and it’s the one aspect of my fitness that may easily be jeopardized if my confidence wanes. The foundation is being well-fed; the labor is being bold and ferociously persistent in order to develop a body that goes beyond the desire that inspired it.

My new schedule

I take a dose of amino acid supplements first thing in the morning and then go right for the coffee. Half Italian roast, half Teeccino, and a teaspoon of cinnamon go into my coffee. In a shaker bottle, I chill it down and add a scoop of chocolate protein powder.

I eat a light breakfast, usually a hard-boiled egg and a veggie shake (tomato, spinach, onion, greens+, and carrot juice) after my blood pressure starts to rise. I also consume a piece of Ezekiel bread with nut butter if I have a morning workout (there’s that carb timing problem again!)

For lunch, I make a salad with a variety of veggies from the farmers market (spinach, cabbage, broccoli, sprouts, onions, tomatoes, and so on) and some farm fresh feta. My homemade salad dressing is made using balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a variety of herbs and spices.

Almonds, raisins, cottage cheese (sometimes blended with dill to form a dip for bell pepper strips), yogurt with blueberries and flax, and jerky are among my favorite snacks. This is something I strive to keep on hand at all times.

Dinner is when I get my meat, so bison burgers, tuna burgers, pork chops, ground turkey pizza toppings, and other vegetables like broccoli, green beans, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and the like.

Here are a few more details:

  • Coffee/tea, water, and lemonade made with organic lemon juice and stevia are the only beverages I consume.
  • My meals and snacks are carried in a cooler with me wherever I go… it’s become part of my heroic image.
  • Lifting, tennis, and rowing provide me with my workouts.

I’ve become so fascinated by the human body that I’ve decided to enroll in the Certification Program. Indeed, I’m learning the art of coaching as well as nutrition science! My goal is to assist others in transforming their life in the same way that I did through PN.

Other people’s advice

There are numerous programs available to assist you in losing weight. And, regardless of the one you choose, you’ll have to put money into it. There is no way to get around reality. You’ll have to make a commitment to learning new behaviors and putting them into practice.

So, if you’re ready to finally obtain what you want, all you have to do now is choose the program that will give you the best results and get started. For what it’s worth, I went with Lean Eating. The program was quite beneficial to me. It constantly produces incredible results. As a result, I am a believer and supporter.

I profited in the following ways:

  • I learnt how to work out.
  • I discovered ways to supplement my income.
  • I figured out how to deal with my disabilities and restrictions.
  • I made contact with a peer group.
  • I figured out how to track my accomplishments and outcomes.
  • I eventually started establishing habits and routines that I could stick to.
  • I cultivated a spirit of openness.
  • I sparked interest in your health and lifespan.

Other than the Lean Eating Program, there is probably no other program that offers such a comprehensive approach to body composition improvement.

Bonus pointers

Here are a few more things I learnt along the way:

Keep your expectations in the present and near future, because worrying too much about the eventual result can drive you insane.

Celebrate each baby step as you take it (they grow up so quickly, don’t they?).

At the very least, give everything a shot. After then, if you feel the need to personalize, go ahead. Allow yourself the opportunity to try any task, exercise, routine, and habit you can think of. Don’t be scared of the things you believe you can’t accomplish; go ahead and try them anyhow.

Every question should be asked. I’m sure someone else has the same question.

Don’t become irritated by technology. Be content with what works, report what doesn’t, and then take some fish oil to help you forget about it.

Don’t try to eat fewer carbs than recommended — you won’t be able to complete the workouts without crying (believe me, I know all about this one). In this case, less is absolutely not more.

Six months slips past in an instant, so don’t squander any time. Maintain your involvement and progress.

If you’re thinking about dropping out, send an email to your coach and discuss your options. Please don’t vanish. You deserve (and have paid for) the extra help you need to stay in the game, and all you have to do now is ask for it.

Right at the start of the program, open a savings account. Make a weekly contribution to the account, no matter what. You’ll need new underwear, jeans, gym clothes, a swimsuit, and, most likely, a new hairstyle. Also, if you’re a lady, you’ll undoubtedly need new bras and possibly a new lover (all of which are inexpensive).


Do you want to be the healthiest, fittest, and strongest version of yourself?

Most people are aware that getting enough exercise, eating well, sleeping well, and managing stress are all vital for looking and feeling better. However, they require assistance in putting that information into practice in the context of their hectic, sometimes stressful lives.

Over the last 15 years, we’ve used the Coaching technique to assist over 100,000 people lose weight, gain strength, and improve their health… for the long haul… no matter what obstacles they face.

It’s also why, through our Level 1 and Level 2 Certification programs, we teach health, fitness, and wellness professionals how to coach their own clients through similar issues.

Interested in becoming a coach? Join the presale list to save up to 54% and get a spot 24 hours before the general public.

On Wednesday, July 14th, 2024, we will be accepting applications for our upcoming Coaching.

If you’re interested in learning more about coaching, I recommend signing up for our presale list below. Being on the list provides you with two distinct benefits.

  • You’ll get a better deal than everyone else. We like to reward the folks that are the most enthusiastic and motivated since they always make the best customers. If you join the presale list, you’ll save up to 54% off the general public pricing, the lowest we’ve ever offered.
  • You’ll have a better chance of getting a spot. We only open the program twice a year to ensure that clients receive the special care and attention they need. We sold out in minutes the last time we started registration. By signing up for the presale list, you’ll be able to register 24 hours before the general public, enhancing your chances of getting in.

This is your chance to transform your body and your life with the guidance of the world’s greatest instructors.

[Note: If you currently have your health and fitness under control but want to help others, look into our Level 1 Certification program.]

My name is Matt and I am a 35-year-old man living in New York City. It’s been four years since I’ve had a belly fat. In fact, since I’ve met my partner, Kim, my body has been getting better and better with each passing year. But, let’s be realistic, as one age group calls it, mid-life crisis is on the way.. Read more about how to lose 40 pounds in 2 months and let us know what you think.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to lose 40 pounds in 40 days?

It is possible to lose 40 pounds in 40 days, but it will be very difficult and you should not expect to do so.

Will losing 40 pounds cause loose skin?

I am not a doctor, but I do not think that losing 40 pounds will cause loose skin.

How long does it take to lose 50 pounds?

It takes approximately 2.5 weeks to lose 50 pounds, but it varies depending on your diet and exercise routine.

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