Name: Arda Ocal
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Occupation: Sports TV Host
Weight Before: 215 pounds
Weight After: 180 pounds
Duration: 2 years
“People are always watching you. People are always going to make comments,” explains Arda Ocal, the personable Canadian national sports television host whose global presence continues to grow thanks to Twitter and various exclusive Internet interviews. However, in spite of his high profile career, Ocal never forgets his humble beginnings and frequently hearing his father say, “Eat! Eat! Eat!”
“I always grew up in a culture of eating,” says Ocal who indicates the lifestyle followed him to university. Ocal explains his university days featured “no drugs, no alcohol, but my life became food.” Looking back he realizes he and his six friends fostered what he calls “a ridiculous food culture” where he says “one drive-thru became two, became four, became six, and then it became this challenge of who could eat more.” Their ‘can you top this’ mentality eventually led to a contest they dubbed “The Obesity Challenge” where Ocal’s friends challenged him to eat 60 McNuggets in one hour. He was initially thrilled to have won the challenge, but soon thereafter concluded “I probably took years off of my life.” “At that point I was like, okay, this is not cool anymore,” says Ocal who promptly decided to make a change.
But, change wouldn’t be easy. His first instinct was to increase physical activities such as swimming, running, and playing hockey, while decreasing portion sizes. Unfortunately, a year later, his weight remained unchanged. Looking back Ocal confesses, “I wasn’t doing the right things,” explaining he’d go to the gym and afterwards eat a plate of nachos. “I had put all this effort in and I was just upset at myself,” which he says made him self-conscious and looking for ways to camouflage his weight. He also decided to seek out expert opinions, as part of a process he now calls “information, investigation, and execution.”
Prior to speaking to experts, Ocal admits he “didn’t really know much about shocking muscles” or proper eating. However, knowledge is power and this time results would be much different. “Six days a week I would do something active,” says Ocal. While never a fan of the gym, he suddenly found himself lifting weights up to four days a week for as much as an hour each time, performing biceps curls, triceps pulldowns, hammer curls, and various core exercises, something he’s adapted as an ongoing part of his life as he jokes, “more weights, more dates.” Each week, he also makes sure to perform up to four, one-hour long cardio sessions, and regularly plays floor hockey. However, the biggest change was to his diet. “I adopted healthy sandwiches, salads, [and] picked my condiments wisely,” explains Ocal who says he’s eating chicken and broccoli “all the time.”
After a year of living this new lifestyle, Ocal successfully shed 25 pounds, and then lost another 10 pounds in the subsequent year. He says diet made up about 40% of his transformation, while cardio was 30%, weight training about 25%, and he attributes another 5% to multivitamins and protein supplementation. Ocal admits, “I know I don’t have the most muscular body, nor do I want one,” but says he’s thrilled to have “lost weight, kept it off, and feels great about it.”
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