And that’s it! The 60 day challenge is complete, and, by all the metrics I set when I began, it was a success.
Here’s the weigh in from this week:
LAST WEEKS WEIGHT: 67.1 KG (147.6 Pounds)
THIS WEEKS WEIGHT: 66.8 KG (147 Pounds)
WEIGHT LOST THIS WEEK: 0.3 KG (0.6 Pounds)
LAST WEEKS WAIST: Just Over 80 CM (31.5 Inches)
THIS WEEKS WAIST: Exactly 80 CM (31.5 Inches)
FAT LOST FROM THE WAIST THIS WEEK: Slight Decrease
In terms of my thoughts on the week…it was alright. By the weekend, I kinda sensed that the end of the challenge was near, which lead me to take my foot off the gas a little bit.
I went into Seoul on the weekend to visit a friend, so I did a little more eating than I should have, but that was also offset by a lot of walking, so that was all good. During the week, I ate normally and did my standard two 24 hour fasting days.
In terms of the results this week, I’m happy. The weight’s been going down roughly half a pound per week pretty consistently over the past few weeks. At first I attributed this slowdown to some of the dietary slip ups I’d been having, but I’ve come to the conclusion that this slower weight loss might just be the new normal.
It makes sense- the weight at which you lose weight is proportional to how big you already are. At this stage of the game, I’m lean, but not ultra-lean. In order to get ultra-lean, it will probably have to come off a lot more slowly.
I’m cool with that.
Results Of The Challenge
Obviously I’m extremely happy. Two months ago, I set out with a clear, defined goal of losing 10 pounds, taking 2 inches off my waist, and going from 16% body fat to 12% body fat.
On all counts, I’ve succeeded.
STARTING WEIGHT (OCT. 24): 71.5 KG (157.3 Pounds)
FINISHING WEIGHT (DEC. 29): 66.8 KG (146.96 Pounds)
TOTAL WEIGHT LOST: 4.7 KG (10.34 Pounds)
STARTING WAIST (OCT. 24): 85 CM (33.47 Inches)
FINISHING WAIST (DEC. 29): 80 CM (31.49 Inches)
TOTAL FAT LOST FROM THE WAIST: 5 CM (1.97 Inches)
*In the process of converting metric to imperial, I’ve done some rounding of decimals.
If this is the first post you’ve seen from me, and you’re curious how this challenge unfolded over the past two months, here are the links to the previous weeks.
This post explains the parameters of the challenge and my strategies for accomplishing this goal, but in a nutshell, my process was quite simple.
1. Lower My Total Weekly Calories
2. Lift Heavy Weights At Least 3 Times Per Week
3. Use Intermittent Fasting To Increase Fat Burning And Make It Easier To Stick To The Diet
4. Use Flexible Dieting And Don’t Stress About How “Clean” The Food Is
Thoughts On The Challenge
I’ll be doing a follow up post to this on what I learned from doing this challenge, but one of the truly shocking things for me was, at least in terms of dealing with cravings, hunger and sticking to it, how easy it was.
Yes, it did require some will power at times on my part. I couldn’t eat as much food as I wanted to. And there were a few odd days when I was genuinely hangry and legitimately did not want to be on a cut.
But for the most part, it was dead simple. I followed a flexible dieting approach, which meant I could eat whatever I wanted…I just couldn’t eat as much of it as I wanted.
This was absolutely crucial. I didn’t feel deprived.
The quickest way to make someone want to eat something is to tell them that they can’t.
The other thing that made it easy was intermittent fasting. I’ve been skipping breakfast now for years (16/8 fasting), so that’s nothing new for me.
What was new was adding two 24 hour fasts per week into the mix. For those of you not familiar, this is a system created by Brad Pilon.
The premise is simple. You choose two days a week, and fast for 24 hours. They can be any days you want, and he encourages you to choose the ones that fit your schedule best.
On a typical week, I fasted Tuesday and Friday (although that sometimes changed depending on commitments involving food).
To give you an idea of what that looks like, on normal days I eat two large meals- lunch around 1:00-2:00pm and dinner around 8:00-9:00pm.
So for example on Monday nights before the fasting day, I’d just eat my normal dinner. Then on Tuesday, I’d skip breakfast (like I do everyday) and lunch. Only water and black coffee during this time period.
I’d eat my normal dinner Tuesday night around 8:00pm-9:00pm.
And that’s basically it. A 24 hour fast. It’s a little tough to adjust to at first, but once you get used to it, it’s dead easy. And dead simple.
This was also interesting for me because it’s the first time I’ve been on a tightly scheduled “cutting diet” in a long time. Over the past 3 years or so I’ve really been working on making small, micro changes to my dietary habits that have added up over time to me losing almost 30 pounds and keeping it off with absolute ease.
Physical Changes In My Body
Overall, I’m really happy with my new look. It’s only 10 pounds and 4 percentage points off my body fat, so it’s not a night and day difference, but the changes are definitely noticeable.
FACE- I did a post a few months ago on the top 5 reasons people should get lean. One of those reasons is the fact that everyone looks better when they lose fat from their face.
Looking at the before and after pictures, not only do my cheeks and jaw look a little more defined, but I also have less of that “puffy” look than I did before.
TORSO AND ARMS: Despite being a committed chest and arms bro for years, once my shirt came off, it looked like I barely lifted. Now I know why- I was too god damn fat.
Now that I’m 12 percent body fat, my upper body doesn’t necessarily look much bigger, but it looks more vascular. This is especially true throughout my pecs and traps. Which is nice.
BELLY FAT: Like most guys, I’m prone to store fat in my midsection. And like most guys, the “first place to gain it/last place to lose it” means that getting rid of the gut is a struggle. Even at 16% I still had a bit of a gut.
It wasn’t terrible, but it was noticeable when I took my shirt off or wore a fitted t-shirt.
Looking at the before and after side pic, the difference between when I started and now is substantial. So much so that I’ve even gone down a size in my t-shirts. Which is sick.
OBLIQUE FAT (AKA “Love Handles”): This is one place where I was a little disappointed. And when I say disappointed, I don’t mean disappointed in terms of my performance. The location of stored fat and the point in your fat loss progression that it comes off is largely determined by your body.
But I was hoping that, for me, the 12% body fat mark would be the point that my love handles disappeared.
Not the case. I definitely reduced fat in this area, but they’re still there. Which is a little annoying.
But it also gives me something to look forward to as I cut down from 12% to 8%. Because eventually, they will come off.
Where I’m Going From Here
Right now I’m taking a break from cutting. I’m on vacation all of January, I want to be able to enjoy it without worrying about all this fat loss shit 😉
I’m also taking it as an opportunity to practice maintaining my new weight. I know I’ve beat this shit to death on my site, but I’ll say it again:
Losing the fat is a battle. Keeping it off is the real war. If you want to get lean, you better damn well have a plan to keep it off.
Fortunately for me, I have years and years worth of good habits I’ve built up to maintain my weight. For the next month or so while I’m on my holiday, I’m going to be bringing my calories up to maintenance, but I’ll still be doing my two days per week of 24 hour fasting. This will let me eat a little bit over and enjoy being in “holiday mode” while still maintaining that weekly calorie deficit to keep me lean.
Starting in February, I’ll be back on a cutting diet. The 60 Day Challenge model worked well for me, so I’ll be utilizing it again. This time I’ll be working at going from 12% to 8% (AKA “Proper Shredded).
Oh yeah, and Happy Belated New Year from Cebu!