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    How I lost 46 Pounds of Fat and 13 Inches Off My Waist in 12 Weeks

    My name is Matt, and I recently completed the 2014 BodyBuilding.com $100,000 Dymatize Transformation Challenge. The question of how I achieved my results comes up frequently, so I’m summarizing what I learned in the hopes that others may benefit from my experience.

    But first, my results. My main goal was to get healthy for my wife and kids. Here’s a summary of what I accomplished in 12 weeks:

    - Reduced Cholesterol from 208 to 136

    - Reduced Blood Pressure from 136/90 to 103/73

    - Reduced Resting Heart Rate from 80 bpm to 62 bpm

    - Reduced Weight from 213 lbs to 173 lbs

    - Reduced Body Fat Percentage from 26% to 5%

    - Reduced Body Fat from 55 lbs to 9 lbs

    - Increased Lean Body Mass from 158 lbs to 164 lbs

    - Reduced Waist from 43 inches to 30 inches


    I am no expert. The information below is what worked for me and I hope it may work for you, or at least point you in the right direction. Everything I did during the Challenge is detailed in my BodyBlog and on my Nutrition Philosophy page, but for those in a hurry, I will summarize what I learned in 10 simple principles. Keep in mind, these are principles for transforming from an over-fat condition to a lean and fit condition. They are not for everyone.


    nobody4242’s 10 Transformation Principles:


    1. What you put in your mouth trumps what you do in the gym:

    It is a mistake to think you can work yourself, through cardio and lifting, into a lean condition. The single most important skill to develop is the ability to be hungry and not-eat. Learn ways to fight the hunger. Drinking water, black coffee, or tea are good ways to suppress hunger. The caffeine can also help jump start the fat burning process. Exercise and getting to sleep early are other good ways to mitigate hunger pangs. I did cardio in the late afternoon and then again in the evening to help me through. You have to live with a caloric deficit in order to lose fat, so you need to learn how to be hungry and not-eat.


    2. Do not go long-term no-carbs:

    You can lose fat going no-carbs, but I don’t recommend it for developing an overall healthy, muscular, lean physique. It is OK to do no-carb days sometimes for a day or two, but do not go long-term no-carb. You will rob yourself of potential, or existing, lean mass. Watching overall caloric intake is more important than trying to avoid carbs.


    3. Intermittent Fasting works:

    Learn about Intermittent Fasting. Read up on it, it is worth your time. I learned about it from a website called leangains. The basic idea is that all your calories for the day are consumed during an 8 hour period, and the other 16 hours are spent fasting. It doesn’t matter what 8 hour period you choose. I ate from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. I chose those times for two main reasons. I like to have a few meals in me when I lift weights, which I do at lunchtime. And the 12-16 hour phase of the fast is an optimal fat-burning period in which to do fasted low intensity cardio, so having my last meal at 4:00 PM allowed me to get in a productive cardio session in the morning before work.


    4. If possible, consume carbs and protein before and during weightlifting:

    I went down the no-carb / low-carb road for a few weeks during the Challenge and it cost me strength and lean mass. I had never taken carbs and protein before and during weightlifting. Once I tried it, it was like a revelation. My strength and endurance started coming back immediately. I can’t imagine lifting without my workout shake ever again.


    5. If possible, eat your daily carbs during the first half of your day:

    While I don’t recommend going no-carb, I do suggest eating all your carbs during the first half of your day and going no-carb in the afternoon and evening. However, this depends on when you do your weightlifting workout. I lift at lunchtime, so it was easy for me to avoid carbs later in the day. If you work out in the afternoon or evening, I would still suggest consuming carbs before and during weightlifting.


    6. When you lift weights, go heavy and go to failure:

    If you are cutting back on calories, your muscles will be competing with the rest of your body for resources. You have to create a great demand for repair in your muscles in order for them to grow when your caloric intake is reduced. You have to really hit your muscles hard to create this demand. You do this by going heavy and going to failure. I wrote an article about different ways to go to failure without a spotter. You can find it on my profile page under my forum posts. It is just a quick primer for beginners. Additionally, there is no shortage of great information on BodyBuilding.com to help you get the most out of your workouts.


    7. Mix up your cardio between HIIT and LISS:

    If you are following the Intermittent Fasting protocol and you do cardio in the 12-16 hour phase of the daily fast, it should be LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) cardio. If you do cardio in the early part of the fast or during your eating phase, it can be HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) cardio or LISS cardio. I recommend HIIT during these times, but it is OK to mix it up.


    8. High quality supplements and foods are critical when reducing calories:

    Good supplements can always help optimize gains, but they become even more important when calories are reduced. This goes for food as well. If you have a limited caloric intake, you need to make those calories count. You will find my Supplement and Nutrition Schedules below.


    9. Establish accountability and find motivation:

    I found BodySpace incredibly helpful during my transformation journey, especially early on. I became addicted to tracking workouts, and there were quite a few times where I wanted to skip a cardio session but didn’t just so I could track it. Your BodySpace friends are a great source of motivation and accountability. Take advantage of it. Choose a goal and let people know what it is. These things help keep us accountable and provide motivation.


    10. Don’t stop learning:

    I researched various topics (fat loss, muscle gain, workout routines, etc…) almost daily. With all the great sources of information these days, like BodyBuilding.com, there is no excuse not to find what you need to know in order to transform yourself. Part of the hard work of transforming is doing all the research required to learn how. So dig in, search for things, and read up on stuff.


    These are the main principles that guided me through the Challenge. I wish I had known them all in the beginning. I could have avoided quite a few dead-ends where I had to change course on the fly. I hope this helps you in some way. Thank you for taking the time to read this. God bless, and may you achieve your goals.



    Below are my Supplement, Nutrition, and Workout Schedules for reference:


    SUPPLEMENT SCHEDULE:

    Upon Waking:

    Caffeine


    With Meal 1:

    Dymatize Elite 100% Whey Protein
    Dymatize Super Amino 6000
    Dymatize Creatine
    USPlabs Prime
    Multi Vitamin
    Fish Oil
    Flax Oil
    B-Complex Vitamin
    DHEA
    Saw Palmetto


    With Meal 2:

    Dymatize All Natural Elite Whey Protein Isolate


    Workout Shake:

    NOW Unflavored Whey Protein Isolate
    BSN NO-Xplode
    SciVation Xtend
    Dextrose
    Maltodextrin


    Post-Workout:

    NOW Unflavored Whey Protein Isolate
    SciVation Xtend
    Dymatize Creatine
    Optimum Nutrition HMB
    Vitamin C
    Chromium Picolinate
    Alpha Lipoic Acid


    With Last Meal:

    Dymatize Super Amino 6000
    Optimum Nutrition HMB
    Fish Oil
    Flax Oil
    L-Lysine
    Folic Acid
    Selenium
    Saw Palmetto
    CoQ10


    Bedtime:

    Dymatize GABA
    Isatori ISA Test



    NUTRITION SCHEDULE:

    8:00 AM: Meal 1

    1 Scoop Dymatize Elite 100% Whey Protein
    1/2 Cup Oatmeal (whole Oats)


    10:00 AM: Meal 2

    1 Scoop Dymatize All Natural Elite Whey Protein Isolate
    1/2 Cup Oatmeal (Whole Oats)


    11:30 AM: Workout Shake (Sipped before and during workout):

    1 Scoop NOW Unflavored Whey Protein Isolate
    1 Scoop SciVation XTend
    1 Scoop BSN NO-Xplode
    12.5g Dextrose
    12.5g Maltodextrin


    12:30 PM: Post Workout Shake (Sipped over ~90 minute period):

    1 Scoop NOW Unflavored Whey Protein Isolate
    1 Scoop SciVation XTend


    3:45 PM: Last Meal (Large Salad):

    2 Cups Spinach
    2 Cups Lettuce
    1/4 Cup Red Onions
    1/4 Cup Green Peppers
    1/2 Cup Tomatoes
    ~38g Meat (Fish, Chicken, or Beef)


    Totals: ~1350 Calories (190g Protein / 110g Carbs / 13g Fat)



    CARDIO SCHEDULE:

    Every Day:

    2 or 3 cardio sessions (varied between HIIT and LISS)



    WEIGHTLIFTING SCHEDULE:

    Monday:

    Heavy Shoulders / Light Chest / Triceps / Abs / Calves


    Tuesday:

    Heavy Back / Rear Deltoids / Biceps


    Wednesday:

    Heavy Legs / Abs / Calves


    Thursday:

    Heavy Chest / Light Shoulders / Triceps


    Friday:

    Heavy Back / Rear Deltoids / Biceps


    Saturday:

    Light Legs / Abs / Calves


    Sunday:

    Rest Day
    Last edited by nobody4242; 04-25-2014 at 04:26 PM. Reason: Original formatting did not display correctly

  2. #2
    Registered User Soulkatti's Avatar
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    You ate 1350 calories and 13g of fat? WTF? How are you not dead or a skeleton? Seriously, judging by your avi you look pretty good. I just can't fathom how you ate so few calories and fat.
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  3. #3
    Registered User xxx_jfb_xxx's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Soulkatti View Post
    You ate 1350 calories and 13g of fat? WTF? How are you not dead or a skeleton? Seriously, judging by your avi you look pretty good. I just can't fathom how you ate so few calories and fat.
    I concur. The amount of calories then the amount of cardio you did.... :/
    The journey toward perfection is ALWAYS a path of successes AND failures.

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    Registered User Austinbruso94's Avatar
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    You only ate 8-900 calories for the first 7 weeks? According to your bodyblog. Have you suffered metabolism problems? What is your next plan, bulking?

  5. #5
    Registered User xxx_jfb_xxx's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Austinbruso94 View Post
    You only ate 8-900 calories for the first 7 weeks? According to your bodyblog. Have you suffered metabolism problems? What is your next plan, bulking?
    Wow. I didn't read that at first.

    OP - I'm not a doctor but I'm going to school for psychiatry and it sounds like you have BDD/anorexia from the things I've learned. Sure you may look good on the outside which makes your brain happy because you're pleased at what you see in the mirror but I'd strongly suggest you think about what you are doing to the inside. There are reasons why trainers and doctors recommend slower calorie deficit decreases.

    Decreasing cholesterol/blood pressure/heart rate are all good things but there are more serious problems that can occur. I just hope you get on a more normal diet (if you aren't now). Just some friendly advice. Something to think about.
    The journey toward perfection is ALWAYS a path of successes AND failures.

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  6. #6
    Registered User nobody4242's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Soulkatti View Post
    You ate 1350 calories and 13g of fat? WTF? How are you not dead or a skeleton? Seriously, judging by your avi you look pretty good. I just can't fathom how you ate so few calories and fat.
    Yeah, I thought the same thing myself, but I felt really good throughout the Challenge. I did re-feed/cheat days every week to 10 days. I just went by how I was feeling. I don't recommend this diet for anyone. I think very good results can be achieved with a more moderate approach. But I had a lot of fat to lose, and I wanted it gone.

    I do think people tend to overestimate what they really need calorie-wise to survive. There is a whole school of thought out there that advocates eating a caloric intake in the mid-teens in order to live longer. And I just read about a British study where they fed the subjects 600 calories a day for 2 months, and found that it reversed Type-2 Diabetes.

    I have been averaging about 2500 calories daily since the Challenge ended, and my weight and body fat are holding steady.

    BTW. Soulkatti, those are very impressive power lifting stats.
    Last edited by nobody4242; 04-26-2014 at 04:17 AM.

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    Originally Posted by nobody4242 View Post
    Yeah, I thought the same thing myself, but I felt really good throughout the Challenge. I did re-feed/cheat days every week to 10 days. I just went by how I was feeling. I don't recommend this diet for anyone. I think very good results can be achieved with a more moderate approach. But I had a lot of fat to lose, and I wanted it gone.

    I do think people tend to overestimate what they really need calorie-wise to survive. There is a whole school of thought out there that advocates eating a caloric intake in the mid-teens in order to live longer. And I just read about a British study where they fed the subjects 600 calories a day for 2 months, and found that it reversed Type-2 Diabetes.

    I have been averaging about 2500 calories daily since the Challenge ended, and my weight and body fat are holding steady.

    BTW. Soulkatti, those are very impressive power lifting stats.
    Thanks, I appreciate that. Eventually, I will have to make my way down to like 154-150 lbs before I can compete competitively at a high level in the 148 class. I'm just scared of losing all these gains.
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  8. #8
    Registered User nobody4242's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by xxx_jfb_xxx View Post
    Wow. I didn't read that at first.

    OP - I'm not a doctor but I'm going to school for psychiatry and it sounds like you have BDD/anorexia from the things I've learned. Sure you may look good on the outside which makes your brain happy because you're pleased at what you see in the mirror but I'd strongly suggest you think about what you are doing to the inside. There are reasons why trainers and doctors recommend slower calorie deficit decreases.

    Decreasing cholesterol/blood pressure/heart rate are all good things but there are more serious problems that can occur. I just hope you get on a more normal diet (if you aren't now). Just some friendly advice. Something to think about.
    It seems like you mean well, but I think it's a little inappropriate to be throwing out diagnoses for extremely serious conditions like anorexia and BDD over the internet.

    I do not advocate anyone follow my diet plan. It is just there for reference, and as a record of what I did. The period where I ate 800-900 calories is one of the dead-ends to which I referred. It was a mistake. It cost me strength and lean mass. But I did not know any better at the time. I was still learning, as I still am now.

    Again, I am no expert. However, people have been asking how I achieved my results, so my article was an attempt to share what I had learned along the way. I stand by the principles I presented. As I stated in the article, the principles are for transforming from an over-fat condition to a lean condition. They do not apply to everyone.

    You have to keep in mind where I started and how much fat I was carrying. Suggesting I have anorexia/BDD is ludicrous, and careless. My body was never starved. I ate high quality proteins, vegetables, carbs, and oils, plus my body had access to all the fat calories it could want or need around the clock (It was all over me).

    My goal was to get healthy, not skinny. I had blood work done repeatedly during the Challenge to ensure I was on the right track. In fact, my liver function after was much improved from where I started. The blood work is posted with my progress photos.

    I want to reiterate that I do not recommend anyone follow my diet plan. I think very good results can be achieved with a more moderate approach. But regardless of whether you eat 1200 calories or 1800 calories, you need to live with a caloric deficit to lose fat. The purpose of my article was to share what I had learned along the way on my transformation journey.

  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by nobody4242 View Post
    I have been averaging about 2500 calories daily since the Challenge ended, and my weight and body fat are holding steady.
    This makes me feel better about the whole thing. Great job man.

    Where did you get your supplement information? Just wondering if you had previous knowledge on what you needed or know what each one did? I really think that may have been your saving grace to keeping muscle on while losing the fat. Do you feel that way as well?
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    Originally Posted by nobody4242 View Post
    It seems like you mean well, but I think it's a little inappropriate to be throwing out diagnoses for extremely serious conditions like anorexia and BDD over the internet.

    I do not advocate anyone follow my diet plan. It is just there for reference, and as a record of what I did. The period where I ate 800-900 calories is one of the dead-ends to which I referred. It was a mistake. It cost me strength and lean mass. But I did not know any better at the time. I was still learning, as I still am now.

    Again, I am no expert. However, people have been asking how I achieved my results, so my article was an attempt to share what I had learned along the way. I stand by the principles I presented. As I stated in the article, the principles are for transforming from an over-fat condition to a lean condition. They do not apply to everyone.

    You have to keep in mind where I started and how much fat I was carrying. Suggesting I have anorexia/BDD is ludicrous, and careless. My body was never starved. I ate high quality proteins, vegetables, carbs, and oils, plus my body had access to all the fat calories it could want or need around the clock (It was all over me).

    My goal was to get healthy, not skinny. I had blood work done repeatedly during the Challenge to ensure I was on the right track. In fact, my liver function after was much improved from where I started. The blood work is posted with my progress photos.

    I want to reiterate that I do not recommend anyone follow my diet plan. I think very good results can be achieved with a more moderate approach. But regardless of whether you eat 1200 calories or 1800 calories, you need to live with a caloric deficit to lose fat. The purpose of my article was to share what I had learned along the way on my transformation journey.
    I wasn't diagnosing you, I said I wasn't an expert. It was an outsiders point of view because it was extreme. I was just giving you something to think about. I do mean well. I'm on here just trying to help people like you are.

    I'm glad you got your blood taken regularly & check ups with the doctor. That really shows you were serious about your overall health. I commend you for that sir!
    The journey toward perfection is ALWAYS a path of successes AND failures.

    NO REPS LEFT BEHIND!!!

  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by xxx_jfb_xxx View Post
    I wasn't diagnosing you, I said I wasn't an expert. It was an outsiders point of view because it was extreme. I was just giving you something to think about. I do mean well. I'm on here just trying to help people like you are.

    I'm glad you got your blood taken regularly & check ups with the doctor. That really shows you were serious about your overall health. I commend you for that sir!
    Thank you for your response. I was really taken aback when I saw the part about anorexia/BDD and I wanted to address it firmly. I began this transformation process because I finally decided to take my health seriously for my wife and kids. I agree that my approach was very aggressive, but I believe I did it in a safe and responsible way. I didn't like the idea that anyone would think I had just gone from one bad extreme (fat and unhealthy) to another bad extreme (anorexic and unhealthy). I don't doubt your sincere concern for a moment. Thank you for that. You clearly have helped a lot of people along the way to have such a good reputation on BodySpace. Thanks again!

  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by xxx_jfb_xxx View Post
    This makes me feel better about the whole thing. Great job man.

    Where did you get your supplement information? Just wondering if you had previous knowledge on what you needed or know what each one did? I really think that may have been your saving grace to keeping muscle on while losing the fat. Do you feel that way as well?
    I agree wholeheartedly! High quality supplements, and food as well, are essential to maintaining muscle mass when cutting calories.

    I have lifted weights on and off for almost 28 years, so I had experience with some of the supplements before. Life just got the better of me the last 5+ years and I really let myself go. Even though I had lifted for many years, I had no experience with trying to lose fat. I had always been consumed with gaining muscle and strength, which is part of the reason I got so fat. So when I finally decided to get lean, it was all new to me and it was quite a learning process.

    The supplements I had used before were Whey, Creatine, Xtend, DHEA, and HMB.

    Supplements that were new during the Challenge were Dymatize GABA, USPLabs Prime, Isatori ISA-TEST GF, Dymatize Super Amino 6000, COQ10, and BSN N.O.-Xplode. As I did more and more research during the Challenge, I would add in new supplements that I thought could help me. A lot of the information I needed came from BodyBuilding.com, but I also found some other helpful supplement review sites as well.

    Thank you! Take care!

  13. #13
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    That's pretty impressive. Did you use TRT therapy or done a cycle?
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    Originally Posted by Sarumyan View Post
    That's pretty impressive. Did you use TRT therapy or done a cycle?
    I am not sure if you are serious or just being mean-spirited??? I've read about Testosterone Replacement Therapy and the side effects, especially for any women and children that may inadvertently be exposed, scare the crap out of me. So, while there is nothing wrong or illegal with TRT, I am not interested in doing it.

    I assume by cycle you mean steroids?? I am a 45 year old husband and dad with a 20+ year career in engineering. I refuse to do anything illegal, as it would be irresponsible as a husband, father, and employee. And besides, I am trying to get healthy because heart disease runs in my family and my Dad recently had a heart valve replacement, which was a giant wake-up call for me, so doing steroids would be idiotic for many reasons.

    Have a great day!

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    Originally Posted by nobody4242 View Post
    Quote
    I wouldn't worry about it. Take it as a compliment. You're so jacked someone thinks you cheated. I love it when people ask/assume that.
    The journey toward perfection is ALWAYS a path of successes AND failures.

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    Originally Posted by xxx_jfb_xxx View Post
    I wouldn't worry about it. Take it as a compliment. You're so jacked someone thinks you cheated. I love it when people ask/assume that.
    Thank you so much, Man! I truly appreciate your kind words! I really needed that. Thanks again!

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    If you really did without "help" than it is mind-boggling. So I hope it's true, however, when money are at stake, as well reputation, and there is no way to prove you wrong... well, I have to assume the most likely scenario.
    What I mean is that even if you did get extra "help" (wink), it would still be impressive regardless.
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    Originally Posted by nobody4242 View Post
    Thank you so much, Man! I truly appreciate your kind words! I really needed that. Thanks again!
    Anytime buddy.
    The journey toward perfection is ALWAYS a path of successes AND failures.

    NO REPS LEFT BEHIND!!!

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    when did you have a cheat meal or refeed?

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    Originally Posted by Austinbruso94 View Post
    when did you have a cheat meal or refeed?
    It varied, but on average I did a re-feed every 7 to 10 days. Sometimes it was just a meal and sometimes it was the whole day. The amount of the re-feed and the timing varied. I went by how I was feeling, but that is not always reliable. It was hard to distinguish between what was a real nutritional need for my body and what was just my old habit of over-eating coming back.

    Take care.

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    Originally Posted by nobody4242 View Post
    It varied, but on average I did a re-feed every 7 to 10 days. Sometimes it was just a meal and sometimes it was the whole day. The amount of the re-feed and the timing varied. I went by how I was feeling, but that is not always reliable. It was hard to distinguish between what was a real nutritional need for my body and what was just my old habit of over-eating coming back.

    Take care.
    How much cardio you do a day (time wise)?

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    Originally Posted by Austinbruso94 View Post
    How much cardio you do a day (time wise)?
    According to my BodySpace Workout Tracker (and I tracked everything), I did just over 71 hours of cardio during the Challenge. That is about 51 minutes a day. I mixed it up between HIIT and LISS, mostly according to how I felt. I also changed things as I learned more along the way, and as I got in better shape I could do more. I also changed cardio styles depending on my eating plan. For instance, the last three weeks of the Challenge I started doing Intermittent Fasting, and the recommendation from leangains.com was to do low intensity cardio during the 12th to 16th hour of the fast period, so for the last three weeks of the Challenge I did a 50 minute (that is the length of a Star Trek episode on Netflix) low intensity session on the bike first thing in the morning. Before the last three weeks, I had been doing HIIT, usually in the 10 to 25 minute range, first thing in the morning.

    I really tweaked things a lot throughout the Challenge. It is part of my personality. I just want to mess with stuff because I think there must be a better way and I just need to find it. I researched stuff almost everyday, so I was often changing things and trying new things. There is too much to cover and still keep this post short. I also got into something I call High Frequency HIIT, which I wrote about on my BodyBlog. Basically it is HIIT, but the burst/sprint periods are very short (6 to 8 seconds) and much more numerous, and the rest periods are short as well (9 to 12 seconds). I learned about it from a website called fitbuff.com. I did the High Frequency HIIT usually at night before bed for 5 minutes, just to burn some extra calories and rev up my metabolism.

    So this is what I did for cardio during the last 3 weeks of the Challenge while following the Intermittent Fasting protocol:

    - 50 Minute LISS cardio during the 12th - 16th hour of fast period (Almost everyday except Leg Day)

    - 5 Minute High Frequency HIIT during the 5th to 7th hour of the fast period (Almost everyday, except night before Leg Day)

    - 15 to 35 Minute HIIT cardio during the 2nd to 4th hour of the fast period (But not everyday; Only if I felt like doing some extra cardio)

    I am still doing Intermittent Fasting, but now I am averaging about 2500 calories daily and I have cut way way back on cardio since the Challenge ended. I don't want to lose anymore weight. I am trying to maintain my low body fat while gaining some strength and lean mass.

    Just to reiterate, I am not an expert. I am a guy who is very curious and knows how to google. I read about stuff and if it sounds worthwhile, I try it out. If I like it, I incorporate it into what I'm doing. I know it's hard to sort through all the differing advice available these days. This will sound like a commercial, but I think BodyBuilding.com is a perfect place to start when searching for information. There are other really good sources out there as well, but I don't think you can go too wrong following the advice and programs found here.

    Wow! I just checked out your before picture! What a huge difference! You have already been crushing it! Good for you! You look like you already know what to do judging by how much body fat you have already lost. You look like you are totally on the right track. Maybe check out Intermittent Fasting and see what you think. I wish you the best. I hope this was helpful and that I wasn't just rambling. Let me know if you need anything. Take care!

  23. #23
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    How did you build up the patience for all that cardio? When you say don't go consistently low-carb, could you ball park what you mean from a macro perspective (P%/C%/F%)?

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    the results are quite impressive, and i'm surprised that the first few comments were like "omg think of the children!!". hasn't anyone in this thread(beside's OP)read lyle mcdonald's books? OP, did you do an EC stack?

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    Hi OP! I read from one of your posts earlier that: "for instance, the last three weeks of the Challenge I started doing Intermittent Fasting" meaning you only started IF in your last 3 weeks. May I know what you did when you started? before starting IF?

    Also, if you could do it all over again but with the knowledge you have now, would you say that you would have started with your IF routine from the start? and or what other changes would you have done?

    btw, really inspired by all your messages and progress!

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    Originally Posted by Dajinn View Post
    the results are quite impressive, and i'm surprised that the first few comments were like "omg think of the children!!". hasn't anyone in this thread(beside's OP)read lyle mcdonald's books? OP, did you do an EC stack?
    "omg think of the children!!" That's funny! You totally made my day! I was surprised too by the initial reactions, because I didn't think I was doing anything so radical, even though I wouldn't do it all the same again.

    Had I known about Intermittent Fasting at the beginning, I would have started with that. I believe I could have achieved similar results, with less calorie restriction and less cardio. And I believe I could have gained some more lean mass with a higher calorie Intermittent Fasting approach. When you really look at the lean mass numbers, I didn't get much for all the work I put in lifting weights. According to the stats, I gained 6 lbs of lean mass, but I would guess that 2 to 3 lbs of that was just because I started using creatine and getting proper hydration. So really, for 12 weeks of grueling weightlifting, I maybe gained 3 or 4 lbs of muscle?? That's kind of a bummer.

    OK, so I have to admit I've never read (or heard of) Lye McDonald's books. I had to google him. I've only had time to briefly look over his stuff, but at first glance it looks like it's worth reading more.

    Wow, it's pretty clear I'm no expert because I had to google 'EC stack.' I've heard of EC stack before, but couldn't remember exactly what it was (BTW, EC stack is Ephedrine Caffeine stack for the other noobies out there like me). Other than caffeine (because it has such a long track record), fat burners kind of scare me. It seems like if you wait a few years after a new fat burner comes out, then you start seeing lawyer commercials saying how you can sue because it turns out it causes liver damage, or whatever. Midway through the Challenge, I looked up what supplements the past winners had used. I saw a fat burner list and thought, 'hey maybe I should try that.' Sure enough, I searched for it and it was no longer available because it had been recalled. I don't want to knock all fat burners, because I do believe there are herbs and supplements that can help burn fat. I just don't know how to distinguish between which ones are good and which ones aren't, so I just avoid them all.

    Thanks for the comment and questions. "omg think of the children!!" That is just funny! Thank you!

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    Originally Posted by 1beb View Post
    How did you build up the patience for all that cardio? When you say don't go consistently low-carb, could you ball park what you mean from a macro perspective (P%/C%/F%)?
    Well, I did three different types of cardio.

    - The secret to LISS cardio is a little thing I like to call Netflix. I just watch a show and peddle the whole time.

    - The secret to HIIT cardio is to lie to yourself at the beginning. I would tell myself I only have to do 10 minutes, then I would keep adding 5 minute increments until I got to 25, 30, or 35 minutes. In order to keep the lie believable, every once in a while you have to actually only do 10 minutes.

    - There is no secret to High Frequency HIIT. It just sucks, but it's over quickly.


    I am hesitant to answer your second question because, like I keep repeating, I am no expert. There are so many qualified people who have dedicated their lives to researching these topics in order to help the rest of us live better, I just don't like to mess around in their territory. I am just a guy with access to a search engine. I will say that I don't pay a lot of attention to percentages when it comes to macros. The two things I look at are total protein intake and total calories. I make sure I'm getting good quality carbs (oatmeal, sweet potatoes, etc..), but I don't shoot for a percentage. I let the carbs and fats fall where they may, although I do recommend eating all, or most of, your carbs earlier in the day.

    During the Challenge, I did many no-carb days. Where I went really wrong is when I tried to go no-carb for a week or more. If you are going to go no-carb, I wouldn't do it for more than 2 days in a row. And now that I know about Intermittent Fasting, I'm not sure I would even bother with no-carb days at all. I am still undecided on this issue. I have done no-carb days even with Intermittent Fasting, but I just don't know if it is necessary.

    I know there are people out there that swear by the no-carb/low carb approach, and there are plenty of them with very impressive results so I'm not dismissing that choice. You have to decide which path you want to try (and I don't just mean carb vs. no-carb). Whatever path you choose, you should fully commit to that program. Throw yourself into it. Keep learning and researching as much as possible. You may find it doesn't work for you, but you have still grown from the experience. Or you may have found something that is just right for you. It is OK to make mistakes. I made tons of them on my journey, and now I'm making new mistakes as I transition into maintenance/slow bulk mode from fat-loss mode.

    I hope I didn't ramble too much or get preachy. I wish you the best. Take care!

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    Originally Posted by mikey6696 View Post
    Hi OP! I read from one of your posts earlier that: "for instance, the last three weeks of the Challenge I started doing Intermittent Fasting" meaning you only started IF in your last 3 weeks. May I know what you did when you started? before starting IF?

    Also, if you could do it all over again but with the knowledge you have now, would you say that you would have started with your IF routine from the start? and or what other changes would you have done?

    btw, really inspired by all your messages and progress!
    If I knew everything I know now when I started, I would without hesitation follow the Intermittent Fasting protocol. I am totally sold on it. The place where I learned about Intermittent Fasting is leangains.com.

    I went through a few different phases before discovering Intermittent Fasting. I began by simply eating healthier. No pop, no junk food, salads everyday, drinking lots of water. For the first 10 days of the Challenge, I probably averaged about 1800-1900 calories a day of pretty healthy food and supplements. Then I realized that simply eating healthy and doing cardio was not going to be enough to lose all the fat I wanted lose in the timeframe in which I wanted to lose it, so I cut my calories to 800-900 daily. I would do re-feed/cheat days every week or ten days, based on how I was feeling. I stayed at this calorie level for the next 5.5 weeks. The last few weeks of this period is where I made my biggest mistake. I kept cutting back on carbs until I got to the point where I had gone no-carb for more than a week or two (I can't remember exactly how long it was now). I still felt healthy and energetic, but I was losing strength at the gym, so as I was researching different topics to discover why I was getting weaker, I came across lots of information on the importance of carbs for weightlifting. At this point I bumped my calories up to 1400-1500 daily and added in more protein and carbs. I also started using a carb/protein workout shake, which I had never done before. With the higher calories and carbs, my strength started coming back almost immediately. I stayed at this calorie level for two weeks, and then right after that is when I discovered Intermittent Fasting.

    Thank you so very much for the kind words! Inspiration flows in both directions. When I get positive feedback, I am inspired to keep working hard and maintaining my new healthy lifestyle. Thank you again! I hope you have a great day!

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    When you say no-carb week at a time etc do you mean no carbs at all? Like no vege's with carbs/fruit? Or more no starchy carbs - Bread etc.

    Also when you say re-feed/cheat days what did that entail you eating? And how many calories we're you hitting during those days?
    Last edited by begreatfitness; 05-03-2014 at 11:07 AM.

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    Originally Posted by begreatfitness View Post
    When you say no-carb week at a time etc do you mean no carbs at all? Like no vege's with carbs/fruit? Or more no starchy carbs - Bread etc.

    Also when you say re-feed/cheat days what did that entail you eating? And how many calories we're you hitting during those days?
    What a great question, and it just proves all the more how much I am not an expert! I didn't even think to distinguish between starchy carbs and veggies. I kind of put veggies in their own category. When I say carbs, I was just meaning starchy carbs and sugars. I still ate salads everyday, and most of the time they had tomatoes on them. When I went no-carb, I cut out the oatmeal from my two morning meals and I cut out the carbs in my post-workout shake (at the time I wasn't doing carbs while working out, but I did do carbs post workout). I kept doing my salad just like before, with spinach, lettuce, onions, green peppers, tomatoes, and meat.

    The cheat days/meals varied and were not at all preplanned. I just would go as many days as I could sticking to my plan, and then when just couldn't take it anymore, or something tempted me, I would give in and cheat. It usually worked out to about every 7 to 10 days. Sometimes it was just a meal and sometimes it was the whole day. Either way, my total caloric intake on cheat days probably never went over 1800 calories.

    I hope some of this was helpful. Every time I write another post, I am realizing more and more how totally over my head I am here. I am not qualified to be giving out advice. But there is no one to blame but me. I'm the guy who thought it would be a good idea to post an article.

    I hope you have great day! Thank you!

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