Rapid Yet Sustained Weight Loss
- 1 month, 1 stone, 1 concerted effort
Lets figure out what’s necessary to achieve this. If we assume 30 days for a month, then we need to lose about 5lbs every 10 days (about 2kg, or 15lb in 3o days, or 0.5lb/day, or over 3lbs per week).
I’m going to take an imaginary man and woman and put some figures down for them, showing you how to do it for yourself if you’re different from my examples.
If we assume that there are about 3500 calories in a pound of fat, then you need to create a deficit of at least 11500 calories each week, if you want to get those 3lbs off (3500 x 14lbs = 49000cals).
If we then break that down into each day, that’s a daily deficit of about 1600 calories.
Now, let’s find out how much energy it costs to stay living:
I’ll take 3 men and 3 women.
- 70kg -11st 0.3lb – 154.3lbs
- Energy cals (range) 1,918 – 3,036
- 80kg – 12st 8.4lb – 176.4lbs
- Energy cals (range) 2,038 – 3,226
- 90kg – 14st 2.4lb – 198.4lbs
- Energy cals (range) 2,158 – 3,416
- 60kg – 9st 6.3lb – 132.3lbs
- Energy cals (range) 1,598 – 2,531
- 70kg -11st 0.3lb – 154.3lbs
- Energy cals (range) – 1,718 – 2,721
- 80kg – 12st 8.4lb – 176.4lbs
- Energy cals (range) – 1,838 – 2,911
Notes: The ranges shown for daily calorie expenditure are dependent on activity level, from sedentary (think office worker that drives to work and takes no or very limited exercise) to highly active (someone who has an job that involves several hours of manual labour per day, or exercises for more than 90 mins at a high intensity/consistently high heart rate each day).
These imaginary figures are based upon someone being about 170cm tall, in their mid 30’s, and are used for illustration purposes only, the principles behind the practices here are valid, you just need to personalise the practices to your situation. These are estimations only and will vary person to person, to find out more accurately you need to get your own starting figures. You can do this using the calculators found at caloriesperhour.com. Use the BMR and RMR calcs for a rough starting point, then use the practices here to modify the figures based on real world results.
So you can see that for a woman of 60kg, who is only lightly active or sedentary, this would basically mean not eating at all, for about a month!
Who is this for? Thing is though, a 60kg woman doesn’t really need to lose 14lbs (about 6kg) or over 10% of her bodyweight, so we’re not really catering for this person. What we should be looking at is the higher end of the scale. That’s where big weight loss numbers are really practical.
If, for example you look at the 90kg man, even a sedentary individual could cut over 1000 cals from their daily intake, as long as they do it with the right foods. I’ll come on to that in a moment.
First, let’s take a brief look at the 3 factors that will make this massive calorie reduction possible.
- Intermittent Fasting
- Eating high protein, low fat, low carb.
- Doing only high intensity weights and very low intensity cardio.
Now let’s expand each of those so you can create your own plan.
1: Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting (the Leangains version) is a simple approach to feeding the body. You split the day into two phases, an eating phase and a non-eating phase. The eating phase lasts around 8 hours, therefore the fasting phase lasts about 16 hours. This doesn’t mean that you eat for the whole of the 8 hour block!
There are two key aspects to IF that make it work in your favour when it comes to massive weight loss.
1: Each day is split, physiologically, into two distinct phases, each of which help your fat loss goal. These two phases are an anabolic, or tissue building phase, and a fat burning, or energy breakdown phase.
2: Using IF makes it much easier to reduce your calories than traditional dieting.
I don’t need to go into more detail about the IF lifestyle, because you can read the two posts on my website (address at bottom, search the Intermittent Fasting Category for ‘Intermittent Fasting Results and Guide’ and ‘Training For Fat Loss’) that tell the full story, suffice to say, if you want to make your weight loss as painless and effective as possible, you should probably be doing some form of IF.
2: Eating High Protein, Low Fat, Low Carb
In his superb set of articles about designing a fat loss diet, Lyle MacDonald talks about setting things up from the ground, rather than the top. Say what? Well, what we’ve done here is start with a weight loss goal, that being the top or end point, and the worked backward to figure out what we need to do. In those articles Lyle takes a slightly different approach and figures out what you need physiologically, and then puts those figures into a diet, to see what comes out at the end. Here, we are going to use part of that approach (setting protein intake) to give you a starting point for figuring out your foods.
How much food do you need?
Or more specifically, how much protein should you be aiming for at each meal? Well, we can give two answers to that question, the answer that’s best is the one that makes you feel most reassured. The quick answer is ‘lots’. The more specific answer is worked out as follows; start with a level of about 1g/lb of bodyweight and divide over your two or three meals, and then adjust based on lean tissue and strength drops and hunger/satiety levels. So if you find your strength dropping, and your muscle leaving your body, you need to add more protein in, and if you find yourself getting hungry between meals or not satisfied at a meal, add more protein!
What Foods Can I Eat?
I’ve put together a list of foods that will work whilst eating for massive fat loss. You can download it from my website, via the link at the bottom. One thing that I consistently find is the total lack of hunger and feelings of deprivation when on this type of diet, and this shouldn’t be surprising given the huge range of foods on offer here. One thing you’ll notice is the total lack of liquid foods/meal replacement powders/protein drinks. This is deliberate; they don’t provide satiety and satisfaction, and they don’t offer much opportunity for long term diet adherence. As Martin Berkhan says, ‘don’t drink your calories’.
Why High Protein, Low Fat, Low Carb?
A couple of reasons; 1, you want to keep calories as low as possible, as easily as possible. 2, protein plus lots of bulky yet low carb density foods provides the easiest way to feel full, satisfied and happy when cutting calories.
3: Doing only high intensity weights and very low intensity cardio
Each of the three components in this weight loss plan are equally important, so you’d better find a way of including this part! Just ask yourself if it’s worth jeopardising the whole plan for the sake of missing some simple exercises?
Why start with a statement like that?
Because it’s too easy for many people to drop back into old ways of ‘exercising for weight loss’.
What you NEED to be doing is heavy weights, with low reps and using as big movements as possible. Remember, big weights are totally specific to each individual, and the actual number/weight is irrelevant, what’s important is that you lift to YOUR capacity and you learn how to fully lift at your capacity. For those of you that have hardly lifted weights before that means learning what a max effort lift feels like, AND expecting that max to go up quickly as you learn how to get more and more out of yourself.
The great thing about this program is that it really is simple. Take the following exercises and rotate them:
- Dumbell press, bench press or bodyweight dips
- Dumbell or barbell shoulder press
- Lat pulldown, pullup, seated row or bent over barbell/dumbell row
Your rotation is simple: Do 3 weeks of 5set sof 4-6 reps (5×5 style routine) and then 3 weeks of 3 sets of 9-12 reps (3×10 style routine). Each time you hit the upper rep range you increase the weight. Only after 10-14 weeks do you need to rest (but if you’ve already been exercising consistently for more than 12 weeks, you need to take a week of total rest right now – unless you’re goal is within 12 weeks from the start of your program, in which case, you get your rest at the end of that!)
If you don’t know how to do these exercises, you can get instruction from a competent trainer (you can find if they’re any good by watching how they get you to move and focus on the exercises your learning, if they get you to do your exercises like those done in instruction videos you may be sure they know their stuff), or you can check out the copious amount of vids on YouTube and figure your own way.