Hey forum,

I thought this may be a good place to scribble down my experiences with weight loss & muscle/strength retention over the past year.



Since 2012 I've been recording my weight in MyFitnessPal & was able to forumulate the above graph based on cloud stored data

Diet

Last year I found myself 192lb to 194lb & over weight. Although I had always gone to the gym, I was never consistent with my training & my diet was disastrous. I hit my '16 New Year’s weight loss resolution hard going on your typical boiled chicken, brown rice & broccoli style diet. As expected I fell off the wagon toward the end of January & binged hard.


March 2016; 194lb~


In mid-March 16 I picked up the torch & tried again, this time adopting the IIFYM lifestyle approach. If If Fits Your Macros isn’t a diet, it’s more a lifestyle. You put yourself in a caloric deficit or surplus depending on your goals & aim to achieve certain macronutrient targets (protein, carbs & fats) throughout each day. From what foods you get these macronutrients doesn’t matter once you remain inside of your total caloric goal. This effectively means you can fit in sweet & savoury foods that standard diets tend to restrict.


The whole approach made dieting so much easier & manageable. In terms of mental health it discouraged binge eating as it allowed me to fit in tempting foods here & there.

Tips I picked up along the way;
1) The first four weeks are probably the worst (in terms of hunger).
2) Vegetables are a gift from God. Ignoring the essential minerals they provide, fitting in large portions of vegetables with meals can do wonders for keeping you fuller - longer. I found going to bed hungry was extremely difficult on my willpower yet once I started having 250g – 300g of frozen vegetables with my dinner I was rarely going to sleep on an empty stomach.
3) Sugar free drinks can counter a sweet tooth. I’m really not convinced that sweeteners pose long term health risks when consumed in moderation. If you look at the studies revolving around some of them the results have been completely misconstrued. A can of Pepsi Max or Coke Zero contains 1-2 kcals & can be a great relief for killing a sweet tooth without spending any of your daily calories.
4) Caffeine can be a useful tool. Caffeine can supress an appetite & I found this to come in handy on days when I was trying to save up the bulk of my daily calories for dinner (on nights out).

Today I’m about 160lb.



I reckon I’ll cut up until mid-March just to hit that 1 year mark, I’ll chill at my maintenance calories for a two or three weeks (build back my glycogen levels) and then I’ll dive into a nice slow bulk. IIFYM is a widely accepted & talked about topic but if anybody has any questions on it please just shout, if I can help you I will.

Training

My training over the past year has changed as I tried out new things. I had to accept the fact that, as I’m in a caloric deficit, I won’t be gaining any muscle until the cut is over. I’ve found an UPPER (Chest & Arms), LOWER, UPPER (Back & Shoulders) routine to work the best for me. I have a compound lift I focus on for each day & put a good bit of time in that lift trying to push my Estimated 1RM up over time.

UPPER (Chest): Bench Press
LOWER: Squat
UPPER (Back): Overhead Press

Including warm up sets I generally do 6 – 8 sets on these movements, utilizing the 3 – 5 rep range.
Once they’re done I focus on accessory lifts with more of a hypertrophy rep range (8 – 12 reps). Strength gains have been slow & at times can stagnate but they do exist. I usually time my refeeds around my Lower days to help my Squat & has worked out for me long term.
I do core work usually every three days a week & I do it at home – nothing too structured, a lot of medicine ball work that usually takes around 15 minutes.


Anyway, I don't want this to come across as gloating or arrogance. I know the progress I've made isn't phenomenal or jaw dropping nor am I the biggest guy on the app. I'm just a typical Jefit user who figured on sharing his little story on the forum.