What I Know About Fat Loss

21 Dec

When I was in high school I was overweight. Overweight and incredibly self conscious.

In fact when Under Armor first hit the scene I used to wear the shirts under my clothes because I thought it flattened my man boobs. No Joke.

I wasn’t into fitness, I didn’t think about what I ate.

I wasn’t inactive. In fact, Junior and Senior year of high school I trained 3 times a week at possibly the most respected Strength and Conditioning center this side of the Mississippi.

I would DREAD it.

Additionally, I was a conference all-star in baseball and recruited to play in college.

It wasn’t until my Freshman year of college, weighing in at 216 lbs standing 5’9 and sporting an Under Armor compression shirt under my polo that I decided to make a change.

That first semester I learned A LOT about fat loss. At the time I knew nothing about it. I came home for Christmas break that year at 160lbs. You read that correctly. I was roughly 56lbs lighter in 3 months. I was stronger, faster and a whole lot sexier too.

Surprisingly, I didn’t do it following a fancy program. I didn’t implement any advanced nutritional strategies.

I used common sense. The results rendered people speechless. Ok in fairness I received A LOT of compliments.

Today I would consider myself a wealth of knowledge on the subject. I can tell you all about the workings of the human body. I can explain, in overwhelming detail, complex training and diet strategies.

Too often we suffer from an informational overload. There is no shortage of advice out there on what to eat and how to train. There have been countless publications produced on the subject.

Am I saying they suck? That they’re not worth your time? Absolutely NOT.

Had I known what I know now, coupled with the determinaion and discipline I had in those 3 months, my results would have been unreal.

UNREAL.

That being said, here are a few things I KNOW about fat loss via that 3 month period. I like to reminisce on it because losing sight of it is to lose sight of some basic principles that WORK.

  1. Fat Loss is not a slow progression, it is an act of violence. It begins with a decision to make a change and you have to go full steam ahead. At that time I didn’t settle for 1-2lbs a week, I wanted to lose as much as possible. I was in the zone. No one was stopping me.
  2. Results keep you on track. Log books, nutritional journals, measurement tracking are all good things. Nothing keeps you on pace like seeing results.
  3. Cheat Days, Relaxed Meals, Re-Feeds and the like are overrated. I know how it works. I am fairly well read on the reasons for their implementation. If you have never attempted to lose fat successfully don’t use them. It takes uncommon discipline to use this strategy. The majority of us, myself included, are not able to recover from it. I declined mini snickers bars at Halloween, not even one. I didn’t have a single alcoholic beverage. Behaviorally speaking that may seem ill-advised. Again, if you have never successfully lost a large amount of body fat stay the course.
  4. You will be at war with your mind. I can think back on numerous conversations I had with myself sitting in my dorm room waiting for the chow hall to open. I had to actively talk myself out of making the wrong decision. In fact, I would keep dried cranberries and take extra vegetables back to my room to munch on to buy myself an hour or two. It will take great mental discipline to make a change. It can be done.
  5. Put yourself in a winning environment: a) Don’t keep anything you don’t plan on eating in your fridge or pantry. b) Make sure all those you spend time with know what you are doing. c) Get Out! Avoid the party scene, bars, etc. Make sure to be social and stay busy in productive ways.
  6. Work Out Every Day. Not the usual prescription. However, when you do it daily it keeps you on track.
  7. Prolonged Cardio sucks. My workouts included a 10 min jog to the weight room, a weight lifting program that had no thought given to it for about 30 – 45 min and a 10 min jog home. When you are trying to lose fat it’s all about what you eat. I would call my workouts extra moving in hind-sight. I didn’t squat or deadlift. There was a lot of upper body. I chose things I enjoyed. I gave it my all and I lost 56lbs. The take away? I did it. Rain or Shine.
  8. Thermogenic supplements work. I was introduced to Ripped Fuel Extreme. I took 2 capsules every day. I didn’t abuse them, but I used them.
  9. I ate meat, fruit, vegetables and cottage cheese. I ate a shit ton of vegetables. I ate the same things everyday. Someone commented on how weird my meal was in comparison to theirs every time I ate.
  10. I had A Schedule. I knew when it was time to eat, I ate. I knew when it was time to workout, I worked out. It / I was a well fueled machine.
  11. I never ate alone.

So here it is in a few sentences, K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid:

” If you want to lose fat throw down the gauntlet. Eat less, move more, and do it day in and day out with zero exceptions. Push the envelope and do not take a minute off. Make the decision, make the necessary changes and don’t let anything get in your way.”

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4 Responses to “What I Know About Fat Loss”

  1. gregtrainer December 21, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

    I’ll add that I actually ate 3 Huge Meals A Day Too, Not 5 – 6. Generally they would take up two plates.

  2. Linda Odineca December 21, 2010 at 8:29 pm #

    Awesome blog post!

  3. Michael Boyle December 29, 2010 at 7:53 am #

    Greg- loved the fat loss post. Can I post it on my strengthcoach.com site?
    My email is mboyle1959@aol.com

    • gregtrainer December 29, 2010 at 8:42 am #

      Thanks Michael. You may be familiar with that S&C Facility I once dreaded going to 😉

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