Hey everyone, I’m a little late adding this, I just got back from vacation yesterday. I’m happy to report that I’ve hit my goal weight and I’m doing losing weight for now. My plan of having more days at maintenance and fewer in a deficit worked, and I maintained a deficit of 428 calories per day on average for the month. Ideally I would have liked it to be a bit higher, but the extra 72 calories per day would only amount to about half a lb extra of weight loss.
It’s a bit strange to be done after having been losing weight constantly since January of 2016, and I find it very difficult to eat maintenance calories. Some days I struggle getting enough in, other days I go a bit over because I end up eating things I probably shouldn’t.
My habits, shopping list and meal plans are so tuned into eating at roughly a 500 calorie deficit now that I have to think about adding in extra calories, mostly in the form of more healthy fats. Towards the end of my diet I ended up cutting out more fat than I did carbs, so I’ve been eating roughly half of the daily fats that I should.
Since I was making up about half the deficit or so from activity towards the end this is a bit easier than anticipated though. I just cut out a lot of my daily walking, and set my pedometer for 8000 steps per day instead of 10000. I lost 1.72 kg (3.7 lbs) in July and reached 77.3 kg, which was 300 grams of my goal weight but close enough.
July Weight Loss Statistics
I ended July with an estimated 67.75 kg of lean mass, with 9.55 kg of fat mass, which puts me at 12.3%. I’m not sure how accurate this is, but since I can’t get a DEXA scan or something more accurate it’s good enough to let me track the trend. My initial goal was to get to 10% but I’ve decided to call it quits for now and focus on gaining some lean muscle mass instead. I’m at a point in my weight loss where adding 1 kg of muscle does a lot more for my body composition than losing another kg of fat.
I ended July 300 grams (0.8 lbs) higher than my set goal weight, but I decided that it was close enough and to move on from this first 30 month phase. I think what did the most to help me maintain the deficit in July was that a lot of it came from extra activity instead of cutting back on food. I was eating about 2700 calories a day on average throughout July, but I was burning an average of 3017 calories every day. This was something that I picked up from a Stan Efferding interview, where he said that he prefers to increase activity before cutting back on calories.
I also switched off the bodybuilding push/pull/legs split I’d been doing for 3 months to a lower volume full body program to maintain muscle, but without expending a lot of calories through metabolic training in the weight room. What I learned from this is to always adapt your volume to your diet. It’s pretty easy to handle a higher volume program when you’re eating at maintenance than when you’re in a steep deficit.
Summing Up The Weight Loss
I’ve been on a weight loss journey for many years now starting when I was about 25, 10 years ago. I’ve lost and regained a lot of weight in my life but I’m happy to say that I’m final normal weight with a BMI of 23.29. One of the major lessons for me is that I can actually control my weight, I just had to make a lot of small changes in my lifestyle, and do a lot of inner work to fix many of the habits that lead to me putting on the weight. On my journey I’ve lost 49.6% of my body weight (I round that to 50% if anyone asks), for a total loss of 76 kg (167 lbs). This was a very rough journey and it took a long time, I could have been a lot faster in theory, but even now, knowing all that I know I’m not sure if I could do it faster if I was starting today.
The one thing I’m sure of is that I would be better with taking progress pictures from day one. I took them for the last year, but it would have been fun to have them for the entire weight loss journey.
Going forward I’m going to stay at maintenance calories for a while, probably at least 1 – 2 months to see what happens with my weight. I’ve been in a deficit for so long that I’m not really sure what will happen once I start eating normally again over time. I’m also going to stick with tracking my weight and staying on top of my calories to maintain the good habits I’ve developed during my weight loss. I once read that the people who do not regain the lost weight are the people who stay vigilant with their weight and stick with their good habits.
I switched my weight lifting program to a bodybuilding style push/pull routine, I’m aiming for a weekly volume of 90 – 120 reps for larger muscle groups (chest, back, legs) and 30 – 60 reps for smaller muscle groups (shoulders, arms), I would add calves to the small muscle groups but I have massive former fat boy calves so I don’t need to work my calves any more. I’m using a 3 x 8 – 12 set-rep scheme with 60 second rests mostly focused on the big compound movements. So far in August I’m in roughly a 30 calorie surplus per day, most of which was my birthday cake.
As a final note on the weight loss, It’s customary to post a before/after picture, so here is me at 25 years old at 337 lbs, and me at 35 years old at 170 lbs.