Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fat Loss, Minus the Cardio: Month 6 - Far from the end

The not-really ending of a long journey.  Well half a year seems like pretty sufficient time to make my point - which I hope I've accomplished.  Doesn't seem like it's even been that long!  But now is a good time to review this process and what the results were:

Cardiovascular exercise (such as running, swimming, biking, walking, any kind of continuous motion for and extended period of time) is not necessary to lose body fat or weight.  Diet and following a resistance training program are much more important.  

Diet - I used a combination of the following techniques:

  • Intermittent Fasting - Typically I have a minimum 'fast' of 16 hours every day, but sometimes I didn't follow this.  I think I only ate breakfast three or four times during this entire 6-month span. Sometimes my 'fasts' were only 12 hours, sometimes they were over 24 hours.  Just depended on how I felt.
  • Carb Manipulation - Basically I try to keep my carbohydrates to majority post-workout.  Of course, I didn't always follow this. (See: The weekend)
  • Not eating so damn much - pretty self-explanatory.
Exercise - I performed a resistance-training routine 2 to 4 times per week, 3 times per week on average. Sometimes I would throw in a <10 minute high-intensity complex or circuit, but that wasn't very often.  I went on a couple of hikes and threw around the frisbee quite a bit, but other than that I didn't do anything else.  I didn't step on a piece of cardio equipment. (Except when I was cleaning them at work)

Weight (9/2/12): 154lbs

One week ago, I was 152lbs.  Between that day and now, I did a good amount of celebrating my boyfriend's birthday weekend as well as just general over-eating during the week.  I'm a little disappointed, mostly because it doesn't make for a very exciting ending!

Pictures (Taken 9/2/12):

Back (Relaxed)

Back (Flexed)

Well, you can help me with this one.  The number on the scale most certainly went down.  I lost 21 pounds over 6 months, or a little less than 1lb per week, which is pretty on-track for most weight-loss efforts. (if slightly below what most people would want to see)

Not only that, but I did this without a super restrictive diet.  I frequently enjoyed things like fried egg bacon cheeseburgers, quesadillas, desserts, occasional alcohol, and more bacon. Some might say that going ~16 hours without eating everyday is restrictive, though I personally found it more convenient.

It just comes down to personal preference.  I would prefer to have 1 or 2 big meals a day than 5 or 6 low-calorie ones.  Do you prefer the latter?  That's fine too.  You don't have to eat the way that I did.

But I think there are some things to take away from it:
  • I lost a good amount of weight on a good timeline without eating breakfast.  You don't have to eat breakfast.  It does not 'jumpstart' your metabolism.  You do not have to eat breakfast.  You do not have to eat breakfast.
  • Quite a bit of my diet was fat.  Peanut butter, cheese, red meat, dairy, you name it, I ate a lot of it.  I still lost fat.  (Next time I go to the doctor I'll do some blood tests and post my results here when I get them.)
  • Sometimes I went 24 hours or more without eating, if I didn't really feel hungry.  I didn't die.  I still lost fat.
  • I still kept my calories within the 1200-1800 range, depending on the activity I did that day.  I may have eaten fried-egg bacon cheeseburgers, but if one of them was 1400 calories, that was all I ate that day.  
I attribute the majority of my weight loss to these dietary changes.  However, resistance training was a required component as well, and not just because I'm a powerlifter.  If you don't weight train, chances are your body will take the energy it needs from not just your fat stores, but your muscle as well.  Muscle takes calories to maintain and if your body doesn't perceive a reason to keep it around (such as regular lifting of heavy objects), then it will get rid of it.  You don't have to squat for heavy singles or doubles like me, but resistance training in one of its many forms must be present to see good changes in body composition - not just a lower number on the scale.

Overall I found the process pretty exciting and not hard to follow most of the time.  There were a few days where all I wanted to do was eat, but anytime I had a craving for something, all I had to do was have a little patience.  If I was craving a Reese's Cup and I had already eaten all I was going to eat that day, well, Reese's Cups will still exist tomorrow.  I'm fitting into clothes I haven't been able to wear since about my sophomore year of college, but kept around, ya know, just in case.  Incidences of me looking in the mirror and thinking "damn you look good," have increased exponentially.  Hard not to see the process as worth it for those 2 reasons alone.

Because 'everyday' pictures sometimes give a different perspective than my above before and afters:

Not a huge difference but I think my face lost a pound.

So you tell me - did I do a good job presenting this information?  Did I prove my points?  What would you have wanted to see done differently?  Are there any questions you feel were left unanswered, or do you think I made a mistake somewhere?  Let me know.  

And thanks for coming on this journey with me!

Weight Loss

3/18/12 - 175
3/29/12 - 171 (-4)
4/13/12 - 167 (-4)
4/29/12 - 164 (-3, )
5/14/12 - 161.3 (-2.7)
5/27/12 - 160lbs (-1.3)
6/24/12: 158 (-2)
8/1/12: 155 (-3)
9/1/12: 154 (-1, -21 total)


  1. YAYYYYYY! Congratulations on your bangin' bod! Your back looks SO strong! Nicely done; way to set some goals and ACTUALLY ACHIEVE THEM! *props*

    p.s. Let's hang out in Oct! :)

  2. WOWWWW! Great job! You were clearly consistent in your efforts as reflected in your weight loss stats. That takes a lot of discipline. You should be proud! Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing this information!