How Charles Lost 25 Pounds In 13 Weeks Without Eating Less Food
Working with Charles over the past 13 weeks has served as a standout lesson in, and as a strong reminder of the fact that much more goes into building muscle, burning fat, and improving your health than simply eating less food (or more), and hitting the gym.
Digestion, Stress, anxiety, sleep habits, lifestyle (job, family, activities, etc).
Training age, dieting history, hydration, recovery.
All of the above are necessary pieces to not only the transformational puzzle, but bricks you need to have in place to create a level of success and sustainability that carries long past the time in which you work alongside a coach.
To support this, and hammer home how much progress you can make without drastic measures, eating less food, or spending hours in the gym, it’s time I encapsulate, and share the story of Charles’ journey thus far.
Without further ah-dew, let’s dig in.
When Charles and I began working together 13 weeks ago, he’d already been tracking his food intake, hitting the gym, and putting forth his best efforts to get the extra fat moving. But, it wasn’t happening.
As you can see from his “before” image, Charles had a lot of fat to lose when we began.
Now, this is where things get interesting.
Instead of subscribing to eating less food, and moving more, or whatever the current turn of phrase is for attempting to cram the fat loss experience into a single sentence, I adjusted the numbers for protein, carbs, and fats that he’d laid out by no more than 10 grams, set him up with a program built to lay a foundation and base of strength, improve his work capacity, as well as cardiovascular health.
It’s worth noting that if you’re in a similar position as Charles in the “before” shot, you *need* to place emphasis on improving the health of your cardiovascular system. If you aren’t breathing properly, have poor blood flow, and your body is unable to properly utilize oxygen, you’re setting yourself for a whole host of serious health issues.
Anyway, moving on.
When you’re carrying fat in excess, it takes a serious toll on your body’s internal systems, and creates a ton of systemic inflammation.
Inflammation can be best summed up as; if you’re chronically inflamed, which is what happens with excess body fat (especially the visceral variety), your body will fight back against everything you’re trying to achieve.
This means the “brakes” on fat loss and muscle growth are effectively “slammed.”
Which as you can imagine, leads to immense amounts of frustration, and is often the tipping point of which people say “fuck this,” and throw in the towel.
But, not Charles.
This scenario coming to reality is ultimately what lead Charles to reach out, inquire about, and take the leap into coaching.
For a quick overview of the situation when we started together, Charles:
- had plenty of fat to lose
- was “doing the right things,” putting in the work, but still seeing no progress
- faced chronic, widespread inflammation
Rather than starting slashing calories, and driving up his energy output, which would have had us both beating our heads against in the wall in frustration, we placed our efforts in 3 areas:
1. Eradicating inflammation
To get the ball rolling, I laid out a plan of targeted supplementation, advised a few new lifestyle habits, and helped to improve his food choices.
In my eyes, what follows is the definition of what I refer to as targeted supplementation. Meaning, that we used supplements which there’s no need for *unless* you’re dealing with a unique situation that calls for certain actions to be taken.
To target, and reduce inflammation levels, we used:
- Allostatic Stamina
(Yes, that’s all. It doesn’t take much if you use the right “weapons” at the right time).
Honestly, the lifestyle changes Charles made were the simplest, and most impactful:
- Morning walks (25-40min) + 25-30 bodyweight squats before and after.
- 1 serving of fermented foods (Charles opted for pickles, yogurt, and sauerkraut) with each meal.
- We hammered on the importance of hydration (3.5-4L per day). It’s no coincidence that the weeks Charles dropped the most weight, had no constipation issues, and felt the best, were the weeks he nailed his hydration.
- 2-3 servings of veggies with each meal.
- I encouraged more mindfulness when eating meals. Which meant not eating in front of the TV or glued to his phone, chewing each bit until liquified, and not running out the door within minutes of finishing a meal.
2. Improving and supporting digestive health
Regardless of a new client’s starting point, digestive health is something I emphasize with everyone I work with, and to anyone who asks why they aren’t getting the results they feel they should be.
If your gut is constantly bloated and gassy, you feel lethargic (especially after a meal), seemingly have a sensitivity to every food, your mood is shit, and sleep is poor, you’re going to want to attend to the health of your digestive system. Once that’s in order, everything else will begin to fall into place.
The lifestyle changes and anti-inflammatory supplements mentioned above all contribute to improving gut health, but we also added the following into the mix:
- Digestive enzyemes
3. Ingraining consistency into every move, every action
Time and time again, there’s nothing quite so impactful upon a “transformation” as focusing the bulk of your efforts on being relentlessly consistent in the daily actions that you *know* will move you forward.
Which means not skipping out on training sessions because you don’t feel like it, saying no to foods or meals that you know will set you back or distract you from your goal, being a responsible adult and actually getting a decent amount of sleep instead of Netflix-binging until 2AM, and eating your damn veggies.
As is often the case, if you want to get to somewhere that you’re currently not, you’re going to have to do shit you don’t like in order to get there.
Consistency stretches beyond the physical actions you make on a day-to-day basis.
Consistency is a mindset, which is exemplified through your choices, thoughts, and actions.
Rather than carry on spouting rhetoric of the importance of being consistent, I went through 3 months of emails with Charles, and plucked some of my favourite quotes, where his mindset shines through:
“Still have some constipation. Did not meet my 3.5L of daily water. Gotta get better!”
“No gym, and food wasn’t scarce like I thought it would be…lol. It will take a week or so to get back where I was.”
“I’m within plus/minus 10g on all macros, but at or just under total calories.”
“The treadmill is my bitch.”
Every single one of the quotes above brought forth a wellspring of pride, and giddy, meathead joy.
I mean, check out where Charles is sitting now:
It’s within these sentences above, the contrast in pictures where you can see the sweat equity Charles has put forth, his drive to improve health and physique, and the raw determination that fuels him, and drives him to improve little-by-little, day-by-day.
Not only that, but it speaks to the power of choosing to place your efforts upon the very act of improving, instead of striving for perfection, and inevitably missing the mark (which has a nasty tendency of derailing even the most dedicated).
And so it is, the trials and tribulations (or lack thereof) of how Charles has been able to look like an entirely different person, take control of his health, and create a better, healthier lifestyle that will carry him well into his later years, simply by training like a boss, eating sensibly, and trusting in the process.
You don’t have to develop an obsession with training, or submit yourself to tracking macros for all eternity in order to make progress.
At it’s core, all you truly need is a desire for change, a dose of stubbornness, as well as support and accountability to help keep you on track.
Which is where I step in.
If you happen to still be reading what has turned into a monster of a tale, I can only imagine that:
1. The headline enticed you, and my writing was compelling enough to keep you reading.
2. You have a desire for change, and that desire is scratching the back of your mind, slowly nudging you closer and closer to the ledge where you finally jump off, and commit to acting on your desire for change.
If you’re nodding in agreement to the latter, I can help you. It could only be a quick question which you slide into my DMs, take my answer, and run with it. Maybe you just need some encouragement to get the ball rolling, and building momentum Perhaps you’re ready to do as Charles did, take the leap, and head down the path of working together. Whichever way the chips fall is fine by me.
What I want you to take away from this is three-fold:
1. A desire to change will only take you so far. Until you find the cajones to act on your desire, you’re going to continue on spinning your wheels, digging yourself deeper into the muck.
2. In many cases, you don’t need to blow up your life in order to take control of your health or build a physique that causes you to swell with pride when you take off your shirt and look in the mirror.
3. If you need help; wether it’s a nudge in the right direction, having a long-standing question answered, or you’re interested in working together, I’m but a message away.
’tis in your hands now.
Wondering what’s next?
Well, here’re a few options:
1. If you know of anyone else who might benefit from the words of wisdom you just read, why not share it with them? (made super easy with the links to your left).
2. Looking for more articles like this one? You’ll find a whack just like this one linked about one-and-a-half scrolls below.
3. Frustrated to all hell with trying to build muscle and melt fat on your own? I can help with that.
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