I never thought that I would be writing about weight loss again, especially on this site, but after the holidays we needed to have a heart to heart. We both ate way too much and drank too much (like you are supposed to) and needed to refocus on some goals. I was sick and tired of being out of breath from tying my shoes and feeling like garbage in general. While the increases in strength for both of us were great they came at a price, we were looking sloppy and less like people that trained hard and more like a fat person. That might be fine for some people but for me personally, I needed to change gears. I needed my pants to fit better in the waist and I wanted to feel good.
Our goal: Lose 10 pounds in a month
I’m pretty sure that we started the 2nd week in January going hard on the diet. The first week, if I remember correctly we just focused on eating cleaner foods than normal. This was coming off a week of three days in a row of pizza and beer. Not exactly the best choices.
The best diet to lose weight quickly?
I have done numerous weight cuts/ diets and I can honestly say this the actual diet part isn’t hard, it’s the mental game that you need to bring to the table. If you are interested at all in strength training at home then your numbers will be important to you. Unfortunately this causes a problem because once the weight falls off the strength tends to drop as well (unless you are really good at this….I am NOT) and herein lies the problem.
Do you like being strong more than you like feeling/looking good?
I can honestly say that I like making strength progress. I like feeling strong. Some of us probably are ashamed when their clothes don’t fit quite right but I have managed to push past that feeling and not really care. What I don’t like is when I feel like my overall health is deteriorating. To combat these thoughts, I completely changed my training plan to that of the conjugate method. The reasoning behind this was that I wanted to work hard, but I didn’t want to get concerned with numbers and freak out. If you are losing weight you can attempt to maintain strength but I definitely wouldn’t plan on gaining any, especially if the weight comes off faster than planned.
My training was based off two lower and two upper body days, one for speed and one for max effort work. I rotated exercise variations so frequently with bands and chains and bars that I never did the same movement twice. I used the push band to work up to a daily max and then went about my assistance work. I couldn’t focus on numbers here because I had no clue what I “should” be able to lift in each movement. I was just putting work in.
Our diet overview
We used the typical IIFYM idea and tracked macros with the help of myfitnesspal and had specific caloric requirements for our training days and off days. We weren’t limited to any food choices because if it fit into your daily requirements then you could eat it. The breakdown of the diet was actually a higher fat intake than we were used to combined with a bit lower protein and moderate carbs. We struggled to consume our fats without ending up eating spoons of peanut butter and shots of various oils before bed.
I made no attempt to work with nutrient timing because it was honestly just way too much work. The workout window I did have a shake of whey and powered gatorade that gave some protein and carbs to fuel the session. That was about it for workout nutrition.
After we set a baseline maintenance caloric intake we subtracted 3500 calories for the WEEK. This created the deficit that would allow for roughly one pound per week of weight loss. This was a valuable learning tool as I will explain below. When weight loss stalled we subtracted another 250 calories a week.
As I mentioned before, I have had success with a lot of diet protocols. Low carb works, carb cycling works, intermittent fasting works, it all works. This was by far the easiest to stick to as I was getting to eat cinnamon toast crunch every night. The hardest part of IIFYM was the tedious calorie tracking. We didn’t eat any food that we didn’t prepare for three or four weeks straight. This taught me a valuable lesson….what normal people eat and the amount of food that is appropriate. I am always concerned with “eating enough” and tend to overeat whenever possible because
- I like to
- I want enough calories to recover
- I like to
The weight came off much faster than intended. In retrospect, my maintenance calories were probably under quite a bit and the deficit was much more than I thought it was. In week three I started to get fatigued and didn’t want to train anymore. That is when the grind should’ve started but my goal was to simply drop down to 205lbs. I was basically there. I didn’t need to cut any additional calories from my baseline to keep the weight off. Jillian stalled a bit and made additional calorie cuts to reach her goal as seen below.
You can see the plateau and then the additional drop in weight. I’d say that the diet was a success for more than one reason. Jillian was actually able to hit some all time bench PRs at a lower bodyweight during the process. Her training was set up with moderate intensity and higher volume. No focus on numbers, just putting in work.
I am experimenting with doing a bit of bulking following the same protocol but adding in calories and tracking results. I know that my baseline was low because my weight is still hovering close to the same as the cut. Jillian is maintaining her current weight and we are also becoming a bit less lenient on the macros tracking and the clean foods. We have the occasional treat and just make good choices. Overall this was a great weight loss experience and definitely a plan that I would go back to again.