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I Lost Over 50 Pounds Doing the 75 Hard Method

“Think of this as an IRONMAN for your brain.”
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

Andy Frisella, the inventor of the 75 Hard method, describes it as an IRONMAN for your brain. Why? Because the rules of the method are as much a mental challenge as a physical one. While straightforward, the method is certainly not easy, and if there are any slip upsβ€”it's back to day one of 75 again. "This is a program that can change your life … starting from the inside," Frisella says. "Are there physical changes? Yes! But trust me when I say the physical changes you see on the outside are a FRACTION of the results you can earn by completing 75 HARD." Frisella lost weight by going from 310 pounds in 2016 to 260 in 2018. And he kept going! Here's what you need to know about the program.

What Exactly Is 75 Hard?

75 Hard is a fitness challenge/method that requires following very strict rules. If any of the rules are broken, it's back to square one. The challenge must be followed for 75 days and is meant to positively impact both your body and your mind. TikToker MamaKarls lost 19 pounds in 75 days and shared a very impressive before and after. "Same outfit. 75 days later. 19 pounds down. I feel better mentally, physically & emotionally. I can't believe I did it," she captioned her post.

Step 1: Follow a Diet

Ketogenic low carbs diet concept. Healthy eating and dieting with salmon fish, avocado, eggs and nuts. Top view

You have to follow a diet for 75 days. It can be any dietβ€”keto, low-carb, Mediterranean, whatever works for you. If you fall off the wagon in terms of your diet, you have to start the entire process over again.

Two 45-Minute Workouts

Fit young woman working out outdoors in park on summer day, doing crescent lunge pose (anjaneyasana), Horse posture (ashva sanchalasana), stretching hip flexors and quadriceps

The method requires two 45-minute workouts every single day without exception. One of those workouts must be outside. This can be a balcony or a porch or just outside your front door, just so long as you are not in your home.

Drink One Gallon of Water

Hand holding 1 gallon plastic bottle of drinking water; silhouette on white.

You have to drink one gallon of water every single day on the 75 Hard challenge. "The water counted toward your gallon cannot include any mixers or additives," Frisella says. "This includes protein powders, electrolytes, crystal light, pre-workouts, greens powders, etc. The water must be plain, unflavored and non-carbonated. You're welcome to drink those separately as long as they are in line with your diet, but they would not count towards your daily water intake."

Read a Non-Fiction Book

Woman with cup of beverage reading book at table, closeup

You have to read ten pages of a non-fiction book every day. "Your reading required for 75 HARD should only be from a self-development or entrepreneurship/business book," Frisella says. "You must finish each book before you move on to the next one."

No Alcohol

Multiracial group of happy friends having fun while toasting with beer in a bar.

No alcohol is allowed for the full 75 days of the method. No, not even a small glass of wine with dinner! If you do end up drinking, it will probably negatively impact your workouts and undermine the whole program.

No Cheat Meals


Many fitness plans allow for cheat meals or cheat daysβ€”not the 75 hard. Absolutely no cheat meals are allowed for the entire period. If you do end up eating unhealthy food, yes, you guessed it, it's back to the beginning again.

RELATED: 15 Low-Fat, High-Protein Snacks to Shed Pounds

Take a Progress Picture

Woman photographer with dslr camera taking pictures outdoor. Mixed race girl with photo camera outdoor. Home hobby, lifestyle, travel, people concept

Part of the 75 Hard program is taking regular progress pictures to keep track of how you're doing. Seeing the difference from beginning to end can be inspiring. Even if the program seems touch, the progress pictures will help keep you motivated.

Benefits and Cons of the Workouts

Female runner knee injury and pain.

"Psychologically, it does reinforce your commitment to physical health when you exercise twice a day," health and sports/performance psychologist Matthew Sacco, PhD, tells the Cleveland Clinic. "But the mentality of pushing through, and that exercise is supposed to be hard, and it's supposed to hurt further increases that risk for somebody to push beyond just being sore and risk injuring themselves."

Benefits of Reading

Side view of pleased brunette woman in eyeglasses sitting on bench and reading book in park

Dr. Sacco approves of the reading part of the program. "Reading, in general, is incredibly intellectually stimulating," he tells the Cleveland Clinic. "It gets your brain going. It slows us down and keeps our minds from racing. And it activates different parts of your brain and your imagination. Sometimes, you need something to keep you grounded when you've got so much else going on or some of these other new challenges you're trying to tackle."

RELATED: 10 Gut Health Red Flags Sabotaging Your Weight Loss

A Gallon of Water Is Doable


Drinking a gallon of water a day is a lot, but it's doable. "Drinking a gallon of water a day is not really necessary, but it's not going to hurt you either," dietitian Beth Czerwony, RD, tells the Cleveland Clinic. "Everybody's hydration levels are different, but most people don't need a daily gallon."

Benefits of Not Drinking

Stop Drinking Alcohol. Refuse Glass Of Whisky. Say No

Not drinking any alcohol for 75 days is probably the most positive aspect of the program, simply in terms of fitness and weight control. Drinking may derail your diet and impact your sleep, which makes working out even more difficult. It can also lead to snacking!

Lack of Rest Days

Tired young man runner taking a rest after running hard at the park

The lack of rest days in the program could be an issue. "You always need to have some rest days built in," clinical exercise physiologist and human resource technologist at Penn State College of Medicine Brei Hummer-Bair tells Penn State Health News. "It's imperative to our bodies. If you're someone who works out a lot and you're looking for something extra, I would say go ahead and increase to a sixth day. But I would never recommend more than six days a week for anyone."

Lifestyle, Not Diet

Smiling woman in sportswear is sitting on the floor with bottle of water and is using a laptop at home in the living room.

Anyone trying the challenge should pick a way of eating that's healthy long-term. "I don't even like the word diet," Hummer-Bair says. "Fad diets might work in the short term, but before long the participant falls back into old habits and whatever goals they'd achieved go away."

RELATED: 10 Mindfulness Practices That Curb Cravings and Aid Weight Loss, According to a Nutritionist

Common Sense

Young woman sitting on a box at gym after her workout and looking down. Female athlete taking rest after fitness training at gym.

If the method is causing you physical or mental harm, don't do it! There are so many workout programs to choose from that might suit you better. However, if you are craving a challenge, 75 Hard might work for you.

πŸ’ͺπŸ”₯Body Booster: Talk to a medical professional before making drastic diet or fitness changes.

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more