Zach Bohannon lost 115 pounds (over 8 stone) in 15 months through juicing, hard work, consistency and learning the rights and wrongs of good health. He has been able to keep all of the weight off and has recently published a book “I Once Was Fat But Now I See: A Basic Guide to Weight Loss Through Holistic Living”.
The blurb on the back of the book says “The health and fitness industry is broken. Losing weight, keeping it off for good, and becoming truly healthy is not about shortcuts and dieting. It is about education, discipline, and the willingness to change habits.” I couldn’t agree more and hence I was delighted when Zach agreed to do an interview with me.
Neil Martin: When did you first start juicing and how did you first learn about the idea?
Zach Bohannon: I first heard about juicing when I came across the movie “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” on Netflix in the fall of 2011. I received a juicer for Christmas that year and I started juicing in January of 2012.
“I threw my soda in the trash one night and quit cold turkey”
Neil Martin: What made you decide to start juicing?
Zach Bohannon: In October of 2010, I finally decided to quit drinking soda. At that point, I was drinking 5-7 a day. I threw my soda in the trash one night and quit cold turkey. In May of 2011, I decided to start going to the gym and trying to eat better. I lost 30 pounds in the first 3 months and was very excited. Then, I went on vacation and got our of my routine when I got back. I gained 15 lbs back. I realized that while I was exercising, my nutrition was still horrific. I decided I would juice in order to change my views on food and to reset my taste buds.
Neil Martin: Did you follow a specific program, if so which one?
Zach Bohannon: I did a 10/10/10 fast. The first 10 days, I ate only raw, whole fruits and vegetables while juicing for one meal a day. The next 10 days, I did a straight juice fast. No solid foods. Then the next 10 days I mirrored the first 10 days. I liked doing this because it helped me ease into the juicing and to ease out of it. I lose 38 lbs. in that 30 days and changed the way I view food forever.
Neil Martin: What have you found to be the biggest changes / benefits you’ve experienced since you started juicing?
Zach Bohannon: It shifted the way I looked at food and gave me a holistic approach to nutrition. It has made me appreciate what I put in my body and I don’t even sniff at eating fast food or highly processed foods. This is just my life now. The biggest benefit is the fact that I have no fear of getting sick. While people around me keep getting the flu, I have not even had the sniffles in 2 years.
“In 2012 when I started juicing, I lost 95 pounds in that calendar year”
Neil Martin: How has juicing changed your life?
Zach Bohannon: Almost nothing has changed my life more. In 2012 when I started juicing, I lost 95 pounds in that calendar year. That lead to me becoming a personal trainer at the start of this year and then recently releasing my first book. I don’t have to worry about getting sick which is a liberating feeling. Getting healthy has lead me to become better with money, more productive, more focused in my career path and none of that would have been possible without juicing.
“What you do AFTER the fast is MUCH more important than getting through the fast”
Neil Martin: What has been your biggest juicing mistake and why?
Zach Bohannon: I spent a lot of time researching this and reading before I did it, so I honestly do not feel like I have made any mistakes. But I will address a mistake I think a lot of people make with the decision to juice fast. I think far too many people look at juice fasting as a quick fix or simply as a way to lose a lot of weight real quick. That is a very quick way to end up gaining back more weight than you lost. Treat it as a time to retrain your taste buds and change your outlook on food. What you do AFTER the fast is MUCH more important than getting through the fast.
Neil Martin: Which do you think is more essential to health and wellbeing, exercise or diet and nutrition?
Zach Bohannon: I have a holistic approach to wellness so I think that exercise, diet/nutrition, and your mind are all essential. All three things are crucial. In saying that, I do think that people need to focus more on nutrition. The old cliche that you can’t workout a bad diet is very true. I see a lot of people who regularly exercise but still eat very poorly. If you want overall health and wellness, what you put in your body is crucial.
Neil Martin: How much and what kinds of exercise do you regularly do?
Zach Bohannon: I work out 5 days a week and I’m a personal trainer. I do a lot of HIIT and circuit training as well as weight lifting. I do not do a lot of steady state cardio. I do hill sprints instead and as I mentioned before, HIIT and circuit training. I work cardio into my workouts throwing in things like plyometrics, jump roping, lateral training, etc. in between weight training. I also play hockey and enjoy cycling.
“I try to juice at least once a day or have a raw food smoothie”
Neil Martin: What do you eat / drink on a typical day?
Zach Bohannon: I try to juice at least once a day or have a raw food smoothie. Other than that, lots more greens and lean, free range and grass fed meats. I don’t do a ton of restricting. I just stay away from heavily processed foods, GMO foods, and I count nutrition and not calories.
Neil Martin: Is your diet completely vegetarian / vegan?
Zach Bohannon: No. While I have started doing things to work more raw produce and super foods into my diet, I am an advocate of eating locally farmed meats from farmers I trust and I am an advocate of raw dairy.
Neil Martin: What are your thoughts on caffeine and alcohol?
Zach Bohannon: I am ok with caffeine from organic coffees or teas. I drink 2 cups of organic coffee a day. I like to drink some before my workouts. I do not drink alcohol a lot. When I was in the stage where I was losing the bulk of my weight, I quit drinking that whole year. Now I have a beer once every couple of months. My favorite beer is Samuel Smith Organic Chocolate Stout and it is not cheap so that helps keep me under control haha.
“How do you get enough protein?”
Neil Martin: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about adding juicing to their life?
Zach Bohannon: Make sure you are adding plenty of greens into your juices and not overloading on fruits. Use a lot of different colors to get a wide range of vitamins and nutrients.
Don’t over think it. I am often asked “how do you get enough protein?”. The amount of protein the fitness industry having you think you need is a myth to sell supplements. We get plenty of protein and there is protein in plants. What we don’t get enough of are the vitamins and nutrients that juicing offers.
Neil Martin: If you were stuck on a desert island with a working juicer and blender and an unlimited supply of just 6 ingredients, what would those ingredients be?
Zach Bohannon: This is a fun one since I have a blender as an option. I suppose since this is a juicing interview, I will stick to that. Kale, Carrots, Apples, Oranges, Cucumbers, Celery
Zach’s book “I Once Was Fat But Now I See: A Basic Guide to Weight Loss Through Holistic Living” is available on Kindle and in paperback
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