How I Lost 16 Pounds Of Fat in 12 Weeks And How You Can, Too
I’m a lot like you when it comes to losing weight. The motivation starts when I no longer feel good taking off my shirt and feel embarrassed when I look in the mirror.
That’s what happened back in August. My so-called bulk had finished and I was looking soft. I decided to lose the stubborn fat and get in top shape for summer, four months away here in Australia.
I started earlier than most people because I knew that there would be slip-ups along the way. The more time I gave myself the better chances there were of reaching my goal.
Here’s a step- by -step action plan. It worked for me ( look at the pictures) and it can work for you.
This is the first and most important step. I needed to know how many calories to eat to lose weight. Without knowing how many calories you’re eating, it’s hard to know if you’re in a calorie deficit. Here’s an article I wrote explaining exactly how to figure out how to figure out the macros you need to eat to lose fat.
Once you know how many calories you need, you then have to track your food. When you track your food and record everything you put in your mouth, you can’t hide from it.
The truth is right there, telling you how much you ate and if you’ve hit your target or gone over. When you’re trying to lose stubborn fat, snacks, nibbles and treats can be the reason you can’t lose weight.
If you’re not losing weight it’s because you’re eating too much.
Buy yourself a food scale and use the app myfitnesspal to track your food daily. Make this a habit and do it even when it feels tedious. The more aware you become the easier it is to know if you’re on the right track and if you need to make adjustments.
Here’s an example of what I would eat:
Meal 1, 9:30 am: Smoothie
- 2 scoop chocolate protein powder
- 3/4 cup Silk Almond milk, dark chocolate
- 1 tbsp walnuts
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder, unsweetened
- 1 tbsp cacao nibs
- 2 mint leaves
- 4 ice cubes
- ¼ cup water
Meal 2, 1:30 pm (post workout)
- 200g of beef/fish or chicken
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 2 cups of mixed vegetables and salad
Meal 3: 5:00 pm
- 8 oz. lean ground beef, London broil
- 1-cup spinach with 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup rice
- 1-cup strawberries
Fast for 16 hours
- 0 calorie beverages
When you’re trying to lose fat, you want to keep or even build muscle. You also can’t recover as fast because you aren’t eating a lot of calories and you need to be smart with your training. Focus on getting stronger in the gym and NOT trying to burn calories.
Weight training shouldn’t be about trying to sweat. You shouldn’t be aiming to keep your heart rate sky high during the session. Yes, you may break a sweat but it should not feel like it’s cardio. I wasn’t trying to do crazy workout routines like p90x or circuit classes.
The goal was to get stronger every time I was in the gym and that meant focusing on the compound movements. The weights increased week by week. This meant I was getting stronger and that I was gaining and maintaining lean muscle mass. You should be training with weights 3 – 4 times a week for about 45 – 60 minutes.
Here’s a sample workout routine
When you start to lose fat your body will burn fewer calories without you noticing. You will walk less, not fidget as much and you will find yourself sitting down more.
You have to make a conscious decision to keep your activity levels high to burn the same amount of calories. Buy yourself a Fitbit or use the step tracker on your phone to track how active you are during the day. Movement can change day to day which means you might burn more calories today than you did yesterday. On a daily basis it doesn’t matter that much but knowing how active you are in a week can help.
If you average 70,000 steps a week and you’re losing weight then you know how active you need to be for the week. If one week you’re under 20,000 – 30,000 steps and the scale hasn’t moved you’ll know why. The same goes for if you lose 2 pounds this week. If you see you’ve had an active week of 120,000 steps that’s the reason. The more you can track your movement and make sure you’re keeping active the easier it will be to lose weight.
Cardio does help but it’s not necessary. I would suggest only adding cardio in IF you have the time to do it. It’s more important to focus on your movement outside of the gym for the rest of that day.
Here’s what a cardio routine looked like for me.
HIIT Cardio Routine
Choose a piece of cardio equipment (My favourites are the assault bike or elliptical)
- Warm up for 5 minutes
- 20-second all-out sprint
- 40-second rest
- Repeat 15 times
- Cool down for 10 minutes
Walking at 6km per hour and a 3% incline for 1 hour. I killed time by watching Netflix (I actually binged watched the entire Harry Potter movies, again).
I Kept Getting Back Up
Like you, I found the journey wasn’t a smooth ride and there were some mistakes along the way. Some weeks I lost one pound and other weeks I completely stalled. The reason for the ups and down was because “real life” was still happening. I celebrated my brother’s 21st birthday (lots of cake). I travelled for work ( the food was good but I couldn’t work out as much).
The mistakes were frustrating and set me back but they didn’t cause me to give up.
When I messed up, I would feel sorry for myself for about an hour and then get up and keep moving forward. The truth is we’re human and we all make mistakes. If you’re on a trip and get a hole in your tire you wouldn’t slash the other 3, would you? No, you would repair that tire as fast as possible and keep moving towards your destination. I took the same approach with my diet. Whenever I had a blowout I would fix it and keep on moving.
Hiring A Coach
I practice exactly what I preach. I could have gone down the path of creating my own workout routines, but I knew I needed what we all need: accountability.
I needed someone who would be there supporting me when the times got tough. And so do you.
When the scale didn’t move, when I overate or when I felt like giving in, I had someone in my corner reminding me of my goal.
It’s easy to get caught up in your head and play mental tricks on yourself. When you have a coach who can think logically when you’re stressed and overwhelmed and keep you on track, it makes your journey easier.
As you can see there wasn’t any secret workout routine or diet. It was 12 weeks of persistent hard work and I had someone there in my corner every step of the way.
I’m not done yet. I’ve got a photo shoot coming up and a month left until Summer and I have plenty of time to lose a few extra pounds and be true beach body ready. I’m going to continue doing exactly what I told you above and move towards my goal day after day.
You need to do the same thing. You need to stick to your path and commit to your goals.
Focus on training and eating in a deficit. Find someone who’s going to motivate and keep you on track and record your progress. If you play the patience game I promise you will get the results.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
If you’re tired of waking up and feeling embarrassed by what you see in the mirror….
If you want to feel confident when you take your shirt off…..
If you want to get the body you deserve…
…, then it’s time to make a change.