I’ve never been particularly lean because I’ve never been bothered by it.
I’ve just spent six months eating relatively clean, but also not paying attention to portion sizes, and trying to not go hungry to put on some muscle mass. I have put on about 10 kg of mass over the past six months, some of it is muscle, but I have also put on more fat that expected. So I decided to go lean again, and to try and have fun with it. The plan is to get lean, and to keep as much muscle mass as possible, therefore taking it slow over a 12 week period, from may 1st to july 31st.
I know the theory, I’ve done it before, so I am going to apply it. You can find everything I talk about here in my book : Get Good At Losing Fat in the store or by subscribing the the newsletter from the homepage box.
You can follow all of this on Instagram, where I will be posting every meal in my story, a weekly photo of progress, and the follow up of my calorie intake and expenditure from the My fitness Pal append the results from My Garmin Connect Watch and app linked to My Vivosmart HR watch.
Here are the rules I am going to follow :
A) WHAT GETS MEASURED GETS IMPROVED :
How much do you want to lose in how much time? 1 kg of fat equals 7000 kcal. So if you want to lose 1kg of fat, you need to be 7000kcal deficient. Therefore to shed 1kg in 7 days, you need to NOT EAT (or Spend an extra) 1000 kcal a day.
Know what you spend
Know how many calories you burn in a day. Find out what your BMR, ( Basal Resting Metabolic Rate) is, which is how many calories your body burns at rest. There are several ways to determine this, you can use this formula :
- 66 + (6.2 x weight) + (12.7 x height) – (6.76 x age) = BMR for men
- 655.1 + (4.35 x weight) + (4.7 x height) – (4.7 x age) = BMR for women
Then you need to know how much you burn with your activities. Your smartphone can count your number of steps and floors you climbed during the day. If you workout regularly, I suggest a heart rate monitor that will cost you around 20-30€ these days that tells you how many calories you burned during the session. I just let my watch do the work, and it has been quite accurate up to now. I never said this would be easy.
Do this every week and readjust your calories. You need to keep a gap between what you eat and what you expend (between 200 and 500kcal per day depending on how fat your are. Notice I said fat, not heavy).
Take a picture
Stay motivated. Progress is hard to see on a day to day basis, but weekly is much easier. Same room, same lighting, same angle, and try not to flex, it’s hard to flex the exact same way every time.
B) YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT (OR DON’T EAT)
Eat as little processed food as possible
If you don’t know what’s in your plate, you’ll have trouble understanding what you’re eating. Eat unpackaged things. What you eat shouldn’t have ingredients. It should be the ingredient.
Less carbs, more fat
Insulin is nasty little hormone when you mistreat it. It’s the hormone that make you store fat. When it’s around, you store and you can’t lose fat. It’s around when you eat any type of carbs, legumes, starches, sugar and if you eat extreme amounts of protein without vegetables or fats to slow their ingestion. So here are the fat you should eat : butter and coconut oil for cooking, extra virgin cold presses olive oil for dressing (never cook it). That’s it.
Reload on carbs
Stopping carbohydrates is quite a mission. Your body is going to fight you. Actually your gut microbe is going to whisper that you need donuts.
Slowly reduce carbohydrates as weeks go by. Decrease the carbohydrate portion, while increasing fats and protein.
BEWARE! You mustn’t go for too long without ANY carbohydrates. And this is especially if you are training very hard, cardio, and often. Refuel with at least one meal during the week at the very hardest of the diet. Have a good 100 to 200g of rice, and let your body take a breath. Quite surprisingly it will help you LOSE more weight because it will decrease the amount of stress the body is under during the diet.
Eat more protein
You should eat between 1g and 2g of protein per kg of bodyweight per day, increasing it gradually from 1 to 2 as you exercise more. So I train 4 to 5 times a week, I weigh 92,5kg, so I need 185g/day which is about 925g of protein source / day (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, whey protein).
|Number of workouts||
Eat lots of vegetables
They are an unlimited source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Potatoes and rice don’t count as vegetables.
Don’t over do it. Just drink enough. If you are peeing brown, drink more, If you are peeing water, drink less.
Reduce alcohol drastically
If you have night out, please have fun. But apart from that, don’t drink alcohol if possible. Ands as time goes by, try not to drink. If you wonder why you have a belly, alcohol is probably the culprit. And yes, they are calories too. So as weeks go by, take as much alcohol out as possible.
Only eat things you digest correctly
Gut inflammation can get you to put on fat and become insuline resistant. And unfortunately we are al different on this matter. Eat simple things you like, and don’t make you bloated, have reflux, burp or fart more than usual.
The culprits are usually gluten (think wheat products), lactose (think mils products), some vegetables (usually onions, garlic, peppers, cucumber, lettuce), and most vegetable oils.
Eat about ten different products that you know are easy to digest. here’re mine :
- Protein : steak, porc, chicken, salmon, eggs
- Fruit and vegetables : carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, oranges, pistacchio, cashew nuts
- Fats : butter, extra virgin olive oil
- Carbohydrates : White Rice, cranberry juice (100% organic), Tricarb
- Other : Cider vinegar, Whey Protein, Collagen Protein,
And that’s about it. Boring but I know these are my power foods.
Take a multivitamin
If you’re lacking in something, you’ll binge eat until you find it. Take a vitamin to ease your cravings.
Sleep more to control your hormones. Sleep is the great equaliser. It will rebalance everything, make your insulin and glucose levels come down, reduce inflammation, make you produce more growth hormone, have more self control, crave less, and help with gut heath, and stress levels. If you can’t sleep more at night, nap during the day. If you can’t nap, close your eyes, put headphones on, turn your phone off, and listen to a chill song, and relax for 3 minutes.
Take cold showers
Make it daily, but progressive. Try to get to that 2min cold shower at the end of your regular shower. The good news is that its getting hot here in Paris so it should make things much much easier. This will help reduce inflammation, increase your core body temperature, increase blood flow, and increase your brown fat which will help you get leaner.
Build up the difficulty as the weeks go by.
I have already started to count the calories, weigh the food I eat on a regular basis to know how much is in there. During the first month I am going to have two cheat days. Second month only one. And the final month I will be having none. As the weight will bet harder to lose, I will have to get more and more strict, but I will have also built the habit over 60 days. Make it easy on the first week, and little by little, you add new rules to keep progress and momentum going.
Here are a few examples of things you can add / retract during the coming weeks :
- Walk more
- Go up more steps
- Add an extra workout
- Reduce calories
- Longer cold showers
- More sleep
- Take carbs out of an extra meal
- Alcohol free days / Alcohol free weeks
- No dessert – just eat a plate of food.
- No starters
THE 12 WEEK PLAN
This may all seem like a lot, but here is the plan I have set for myself over the twelve weeks. Use it of you want adjusting the initial level of calories. This plan is for an average of 500g to 1kg loss / week, going from 92,5 kg to around 85kg for a very active, 20% body fat, 4 workouts a week, walking 10 000 steps a day and 10 floors up person.
Kcal are Basal levels, and adjustments are dependant on my activity level for the day.
|WEEK 1 – 2520kcal
|WEEK 2 – 2520Kcal
|WEEK 3 – 2350Kcal
|WEEK 4- 2350Kcal
|30s Cold Shower Daily||45s Cold Shower Daily||1 min Cold Shower Daily||1 min Cold Shower Daily|
|5 days no alcohol||5 days No alcohol||5 Days No Alcohol||5 days No alcohol|
|4 workouts – Olympic Weightlifting||4 workouts – Olympic Weightlifting||4 workout – Olympic Weightliftings||4 workouts – Olympic Weightlifting|
|1 meal with carbs evening 100g||1 meal with carbs evening 100g||1 meal with carbs evening 75g||1 meal with carbs evening 75g|
|Post workout protein shake with 50g of carbs||Post workout shake with 50g of carbs||Post workout shake with 50g of carbs||Post workout shake with 50g of carbs|
|WEEK 5- 2200Kcal
|WEEK 6- 2200Kcal
|WEEK 7- 2100Kcal
|WEEK 8- 2100Kcal
|1 min 15s Cold Shower Daily||1 min 15s Cold Shower Daily||1 min 30 Cold Shower Daily||1 min 30 Cold Shower Daily|
|6 days no alcohol||6 days No alcohol||6 Days No Alcohol||6 days No alcohol|
|4 workouts – Olympic Weightlifting||4 workouts – Olympic Weightlifting||5 workout – Bodybuilding||45workouts – Body building|
|1 meal with carbs on workout days||1 meal with carbs on workout days||1 meal with carbs on workout days||1 meal with carbs on workout days|
|Post workout protein shake with carbs||Post workout shake with carbs||Post workout shake with carbs||Post workout shake with carbs|
|WEEK 9 – 2000Kcal
|WEEK 10 – 2000Kcal
|WEEK 11 – 1900Kcal
|WEEK 12- 1900Kcal
|1 min 45s Cold Shower Daily||1 min 45s Cold Shower Daily||2 min Cold Shower Daily||2 min Cold Shower Daily|
|No Alcohol||No Alcohol||No Alcohol||No Alcohol|
|5 workouts – Bodybuilding||5 workouts – Body Building||5 workout – Bodybuilding||5 workouts – bodybuilding|
|2 Carb Reload / Week||2 carb Reloads / week||1 Carb Reload / Week||1 Carb Reload / week|
|Post workout protein no carbs||Post workout shake no carbs||Post workout shake no carbs||Post workout shake no carbs|
Now remember, this is just a plan. I will follow it until it doesn’t work for me anymore. Try it and let me know how it went. I will announce changes on my Instagram account if ever any are made.
Take it easy,