If you are overweight and want to change the way you look and feel, you must make your health and fitness a priority. Here's a case study of a 300 lb man who lost 60 lbs in 6 months while gaining strength and muscle.
Dan is a 6' 2", 29 year old man who works as a dentist in Richmond. Before Personal Training, he weighed about 300 lbs. Dan tried different diets and exercise regimens before which gave him temporary results, but nothing seemed to stick. He decided to give Personal Training a try and after doing some research, he found BLK BOX GYM and decided to give personal training a go.
Dan's goal was weight loss. Extreme weight loss.
In the Personal Training Consultation, we learned about Dan's current habits:
Training - Dan did resistance training regularly and was already quite strong.
Cardio - Dan's cardio consisted of running and light jogs after his workouts whenever he had time.
Diet - Dan had experience in counting calories & macronutrients. However, his cravings usually got the best of him.
Starting body weight: 300 lbs
Starting Waist Measure: 42 inches
After the consultation, we concluded we needed to fix Dan's diet if we wanted to make any significant steps towards his weight loss goal.
Step 1 - Increase Output
In order to kick start Dan's weight loss journey. We needed him to train hard; harder than he already was. Weight loss isn't easy, and the training shouldn't be either. We focused on strength building routines as we felt seeing strength gains would keep Dan motivated on his journey.
Step 2 - Nutrition
An effective nutrition strategy was essential for weight loss success. One of the strategies we used was creating a 'caloric deficit'.
What is a caloric deficit?
A caloric deficit is when your body is using more energy than it is given. For example, if all your combined activities in a day e.g: exercise, gardening, walking to the grocery etc... burned 2000 calories, but you only ate 1500 calories of food, then you would be in a caloric deficit.
In Dan's case, since his goal was extreme weight loss, we had to made sure he was in a caloric deficit. The challenge is finding just the right amount of deficit.
Too much caloric deficit would damage Dan's metabolism and make it harder from him to keep the weight he loses.
Too little caloric deficit and Dan would barely see any progress and quickly lose motivation.
Hitting Calorie Targets
Sometimes, eating the same meal everyday is very boring and also not sustainable. This is when setting calorie targets and counting macronutrients can help.
A quick nutrition 101: Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats are the three macronutrients.
All calories are made up of a combination of macronutrients: 1 gram Protein = 4 calories, gram Carbohydrates = 4 calories, 1 gram Fat = 9 calories. (all this information can easily be found online, or on the nutrition label at the back of a food product)
Since Dan was experienced in counting macros using apps such as MyFitnessPal, Dan was able to accurately and reliably track how many calories and macronutrients he was eating a day. Knowing this, we gave Dan a protein, carbohydrate, and fat target to hit everyday. As long as he stayed within the targets, he would be able to control his calorie intake while eating a different variety of foods.
In the beginning, Dan was able to control his calorie intake. However, as Dan lost weight and became hungrier, his cravings started taking over.
In order to control Dan's cravings, we manipulated Dan's meal timing accordingly. Since Dan trained in the morning, we asked him to skip breakfast and drink coffee instead. The caffeine would help him suppress his appetite while improving his mental clarify and focus during the training.
After training, Dan would then have a protein shake and a small meal
For dinner, we planned a larger meal for Dan. We thought by limiting his meals earlier in the day, this would allow him to have a larger meal at night which would help control his cravings and overcome this obstacle.
Choose High Volume Foods
Even with meal timing, being in a caloric deficit for an extended period and training intensely meant Dan would inevitably be hungry, and trigger his cravings. In order to mitigate this, we gave Dan "high volume" food options. High volume foods are foods that take up a lot of space but provide very little calories e.g: Vegetables, Fruits. Vegetables are also very nutrient dense and high in fiber which helps to keep Dan feeling fuller despite being on a caloric deficit.
Step 3 - Cardio
We asked Dan to perform 30-50 minutes of low intensity cardio every single day. We had to make sure Dan was utilizing all the fitness tools, training, nutrition, and cardio to fullest in order to see the best results.
By constantly monitoring Dan's progress on a progress tracking sheet, we were able to make temporary adjustments whenever Dan hit a weight loss plateau.
One of the strategies we used was "Re-feed Days"
A Re-feed day is an intentional increase in carbohydrate consumption for a day. Re-feeds are an effective strategy for minimizing potential negative hormonal or metabolic effects from long term dieting. A re feed day would help Dan reset his metabolism, re-energize him, and keep him motivated for the tough road ahead.
The Coaching Advantage
In typical and ineffective weight loss programs, strength training usually isn't emphasized. For us, we wanted to make sure Dan was prioritizing building muscle as he was trying to lose weight.
Cardio + Nutrition + Training are the three pillars of weight loss. Through Personal Training, Dan was able to effectively utilize the three pillars in a sustainable manner and lost 60 lbs within 6 months. Although Dan has shrunken due to rapid weight loss, he has maintained and even gained some muscle during this process. Dan has now shifted his goal away from weight loss and towards muscle building and sculpting his physique. By setting Dan on the right path, and giving him effective strategies to overcome his obstacles, Dan is as motivated as ever and continues to train with us to pursue his new fitness goals.
Return on Investment
After 6 months:
Training - 1 hour daily
Cardio - 30 mins low intensity steady state cardio after training
Diet - Counting macronutrients and setting a calorie target. Allows for variety in his diet. Variety is key to a sustainable diet.
Supplements - Protein, Multivitamin, Fish Oil, Creatine Monohdyrate
Body Weight: 240 lbs
Waist Measure: 38 inches