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I Lost 54 Pounds in 47 Days By Following These 10 Rules

Mark James reveals the things he did to lose weight fast. 
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

Mark James (@vanishingmagician) is a magician and weight loss influencer on TikTok and Instagram, who has built a following by sharing content about everything from magic tricks to weight loss hacks. In one of his viral videos, which has amassed 1.7 million views, he reveals the 10 simple rules he followed to lose 54 pounds in 47 days. 


Rule 1: Hydrate

@vanishingmagician Reply to @nodogg_official ♬ original sound – Mark James

Mark's first rule is to drink 2.5 liters of water every day. "No excuses, no missing out, 2.5 liters of water every day," he says. "You can also drink other stuff, low calorie drinks, diet drinks, diet soda, et cetera, et cetera. But don't skip the water too. That is important." According to the Mayo Clinic, hydration is important for a variety of reasons. Water helps get rid of waste through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements, keeps your temperature normal, lubricates and cushions joints, and helps protect sensitive tissues.


Rule 2: Get 8 Hours of Sleep

Top View Home: Handsome Young Man Sleeps in His Bed in a Stylish Bedroom, Sun Shines on Him. Morning Concept. Peaceful Sleeping and Relaxation, Important for Wellness . Top Down Above Shot

Rule two, "get eight hours of sleep every night," he says. "I know this is not easy for everybody, but go to bed early if you need to. Our bodies convert fat to carbon dioxide and water, and we actually breathe it out during the night. So the longer you are asleep, the more chance you've got of getting rid of that fat." Another study found that those who sleep 8 hours a day are more likely to consume less calories than they do if they only sleep 6.5. Other benefits of sleep, according to the Sleep Foundation? It is a mood booster, promotes heart health, regulates blood sugar, improves mental function, restores your immune system, helps relieve stress, and aids in weight loss. 

Related: Man Shows Off Abs After 130-Pound Loss Thanks to 6 Essential Tips


Rule 3: Exercise

READING, UK - DECEMBER 25, 2021: Feet pedalling on a Peloton Bike in Reading, Berkshire, UK.

Rule three, "exercise," says Mark. "I cycle 30 minutes on a Peloton. I do 10 miles, sometimes 11 if I'm feeling pretty good and I also walk at least 90 minutes every single day." Each week adults need a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and 2 days of muscle-strengthening activity, according to the current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. If your goal is losing weight, you should aim for more. 


Rule 4: Moisturize

Man pouring water on face to cool off

Rule four, moisturize. "Drinking lots of water is good for the skin. So is moisturizer," says Mark. 


Rule 5: Read

Woman with cup of beverage reading book at table, closeup

"Number five, read for one hour," says Mark. "Honestly, it changes your mindset. It calms you down. I read for an hour before bed. It massively helps me get to sleep much quicker." One Harvard study published in Social Science & Medicine found that people who read books regularly had a 20% lower risk of dying over the next 12 years compared with people who weren't readers or who read periodicals. 

Related: I'm a Dietitian and These Are 6 Snacks I Eat Daily


Rule 6: Meditate

Man Meditating Doing Yoga By Lake And Mountains At Sunset

 Number six, "Meditate," says Mark. "I know this sounds like bullshit, but find some crazy five minute meditation online. Lie there completely still, listen to the meditation. Breathe in and out. I honestly think it's helped me a little bit," he says. "When you meditate, you may clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress," says the Mayo Clinic. Benefits include:

  • Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
  • Building skills to manage your stress
  • Increasing self-awareness
  • Focusing on the present
  • Reducing negative emotions
  • Increasing imagination and creativity
  • Increasing patience and tolerance
  • Lowering resting heart rate
  • Lowering resting blood pressure
  • Improving sleep quality


Rule 7: Drink Coffee or Tea

a man person making latte art in a cup of coffee.

Mark also suggests "drinking black coffee" or tea, which "helps your digestive system keep moving often, helps you have a poo in the morning," he says. According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are several benefits of drinking coffee in moderation. "It acts on your brain to improve memory, mood, reaction times, and mental function," they say, citing a study finding that caffeine can improve endurance and performance during exercise. It is also antioxidant-rich, can ward off diabetes, prevent neurologic disease, lower cancer risk, and ward off depression, they point out.


Rule 8: Alternate Day Fasting

Skip breakfast concept with no symbol and clock on plate

Rule eight is alternate day fasting. "There's the 5/2 diet, the 16/8 fasting. Literally so much different information and they're all at different levels of difficulty or intensity," he says. "Find the one that works for you. Give it a try. Alternate day fasting will help get you in a calorie deficit. And calorie deficit is the name of the mechanism by which we lose weight. If ever you've lost weight no matter what else you did. Low carb, loads of exercise. If you lost weight, you were in a calorie deficit, literally not even arguable, that is science." Intermittent fasting works by "prolonging the period when your body has burned through the calories consumed during your last meal and begins burning fat," explains Johns Hopkins Medicine.


Rule 9: No Sugar


Number nine, "no sugar," says Mark. "I used to eat a lot of chocolate." He suggests completely curing out sugar for the first 30 days, which includes obvious sugars, full fat drinks, and chocolate. "Since 30 days, I'm going to be honest, I have been eating peanut M&Ms again on food days. What can I say? I'm human. I love them."

Related: I Lost Weight Without Trying by Stopping These 7 Things


Rule 10: Learn Something New Every Day

Origami birds in boy hands

And finally, rule 10, "learn or make something every day," he says. "It's good for the soul. Origami, whatever. I've been learning German."

💪🔥Body Booster: Sleeping more may help you lose weight. Multiple studies have found that people who sleep the recommended amount of sleep consume less calories than those who sleep less.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more