"It's pretty embarrassing, but it's the truth," Sklar said. "I just opened the door and I was just like, 'What are we doing here? ""
At 129 pounds, he wanted to sit on the couch and watch TV, with no energy left after conquering the work day. Late night snacks included popcorn and ice cream. The 27-year-old, who works with Sales for Corporate Strategies in Woodland Hills, California, knew something had to change.
And gradually his clothes felt like they were getting smaller every time he was doing laundry.
"It gets to the point where you realize you're getting bigger; your clothes aren't getting any smaller," he said. "That was the a-ha moment."
There were other epiphanies, too. Sklar missed the feeling he got when he used to play sports as a teenager. And it was a story of heart disease in the family.
Together he and his girlfriend Samathan MacDonald decided to make a lifestyle change. They had talked about doing it before, but this time it stuck. They did not want to look back 20 years from now and realize that they could have made changes to become healthier then.
First they started going to the gym. But they would not put in the hours of fitness without having the proper diet to fuel it and raise the energy level.
Other diets sounded too fast for what Sklar would do. He researched periodic fasting and decided to try it as a sustainable long-term alternative.
Sklar and MacDonald would eat their meals between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. every day, creating a 16-hour break before eating again. This helped them kick off the late night snacking habit.
"I like time-limited feeding because it lets you naturally reduce your food intake without counting calories," said Lisa Drayer, CNN contributor and registered dietitian. "You eliminate mindless nibbling in the evening, and you also eat in sync with your circadian rhythm, so you stay ahead of calories, which is more beneficial for weight loss."
They immediately noticed that their energy levels began to pick up when they replaced pizza for proteins like turkey with vegetables, spaghetti squash instead of spaghetti and Greek yogurt bars instead of ice cream.
"When you only eat during an eight hour period, you will follow good nutritional guidelines including protein, fiber, enough fluid in your diet as well," Drayer said.
Sklar loved to eat healthier alternatives, but sometimes found it difficult to get to the gym. For MacDonald, food was a weakness, but she was excited to get up and exercise.
"We pushed everybody in our weak areas," MacDonald said. "We were on different sides to begin with, but pushed each other to be on the same page, and that was a big help."
Sklar also had to deal with a chronic hoarding problem, discovered by his doctor after playing flag football and repeatedly hoarded before dieting. His doctor recommended low impact exercise, which led to Sklar trying indoor cycling. He went to the gym six days a week and walked for 45 minutes every day.
The couple tried to train together, but found that they were slowing each other down. While Sklar stepped into the gym, MacDonald found that working on a high intensity interval workout worked better for her.
Sklar and MacDonald also cut carbohydrates and replaced much of the red meat in diets with leaner proteins such as fish, chicken or ground turkey. They became more aware of what they were eating overall, and made healthier decisions during the eight-hour window each day.
"If you & # 39; just eat during these eight hours, it is powerful to choose what you put into your body," MacDonald said.
During the first month he had lost 6.8 pounds while cycling and starting periodically fasting. It continued for the next six months. Sklar fell in love with cycling. The combination of music and calories burned during each session kept him going.
Sklar also found motivation when a close family member had to undergo a triple bypass operation in October.
"When you see that person in the hospital going through it, you just think to yourself that you never want it to happen to you, and you want to prevent it from happening to anyone else you know," Sklar said. "That's why I was. It was a light bulb moment where I knew I not only had to keep this going, lose weight for me, but I also needed to keep it going for the future myself and everyone else around me."  During a period of six to seven months, Sklar lost 43 kg. Eventually, one of the instructors Sklar stepped aside and told him to start teaching an indoor cycling class. He has been teaching for about six months now.
For MacDonald, the changes have been more mental than physical. She lost 12.4 pounds and loves to feel stronger.
"On a busy day, the hour I go to the gym is something I give myself," she said.
When you realize that you gain more muscle and feel better every day, you can feel that you are getting stronger. That was a big deal. I had never stayed in a workout long enough to feel those changes after months. It makes me feel better every day to slowly see these changes in my body. "
In the morning, Sklar usually has a glass of water after getting up. Lunch is at dinner, followed by snacks throughout the day. Before a workout, Sklar likes peanut butter and jelly on a rice cake.
"I teach a spin class at 5:30 at night, then I'll have a protein shake and dinner right after, and then maybe I'll take a small snack at 8pm I fast the rest of the night until the next day. "
After the first weight loss, Sklar and MacDonald allow a little more flexibility if they have a special event. But they are keen to be as healthy and fit as possible in the long term. Intermittent fasting helped them to form healthy habits
Sklar is also training for a triathlon now.
"There is always something ahead of me that keeps me motivated, to make sure I don't fall back into my old habits, "said Sklar.
Sklar continues to fast and maintain an active lifestyle. He is more confident, energetic and positive. old friends and colleagues again him. As the story spreads, Sklar has been able to reconnect with friends or acquaintances and share weight loss advice and Sklar did not realize he owed much it would mean to him.
"I found out that I in the long run running did it for my friends as well because they found inspiration from it, "said Sklar.
Being able to make this lifestyle change with the girlfriend has made all the difference, Sklar said.
"It was very beneficial to have a support device with me," said Sklar. "There are always going to be those days when you want to cheat and have a pizza, and just having a support device to keep you in check and being responsible for keeping someone else in check was really important to me."