This year, I took the week of Christmas off of lifting and macro counting.
I had a good reason: I was recovering from a vasectomy.
I wasn’t allowed to lift anything whatsoever except for a bag of frozen peas. Those wouldn’t be lifted any higher than my waist, if you catch my drift.
Here in ‘Murica, we don’t get any pain killers for getting our berries blasted. So, I had to make due with what I had at my disposal:
Of course, I wasn’t going to be sipping Gentleman Jack over the holidays with a bag of peas on my crotch and eating healthy food.
I may be a fitness coach, but trust me – I’m 100% normal. We all have issues staying on track during the month of December.
Also, for the three prior months, I was in a slow-bulk. This meant I was already on the fluffier side of things when I assessed the damage following my week long, whisky induced haze.
No biggie though, right? It’s time to do what us “fitness guys” do. Time to formulate a fat-loss phase into my dieting and training.
Generally, I practice AND preach sustainable methods of dieting. Aim for a pound or so of fat loss per week, eat as much as you can while still losing fat, and keep at it until you lean out.
But doing this would have left me with precious few weeks to gain additional muscle before the summer weather arrived.
I wanted this cut to be done as soon as humanly possible.
I decided on a bit of a different approach than I normally employ. I decided to try a “Rapid Fat Loss” protocol.
What Is A “Rapid Fat Loss” Protocol?
A Rapid Fat Loss protocol is exactly as it states: An “all in” approach to dieting and training designed to strip the maximum amount of fat off of your body in the least amount of time.
There are certain criteria you must hit in order to consider yourself a candidate for this type of a game plan.
Criteria #1: You must have a relatively high caloric maintenance.
The biggest deficit you should aim for around 2/3 of your daily maintenance.
Seeing that I’m 6’8″ and around 253 pounds (at the time of the above picture), my maintenance is estimated to be around 3,000 calories.
This leaves me with a maximum daily deficit of about 1,000 calories, giving me a daily intake of around 2,000 calories.
Criteria #2: You cannot have any binging tendencies or eating disorders.
This is ultra-important. It took me a long time to learn how to control binging and fasting cycles.
After years of practice, I have learned how to utilize mindset techniques to make dieting more manageable.
Criteria #3: You must be a seasoned dieter.
These sorts of protocols are restrictive. They are not fun. (More on that later in this article.)
If you haven’t first been able to maintain a “normal” fat loss protocol, then attempting a “rapid fat loss” protocol doesn’t make any sense.
If you want to race your bike down a mountain, you can’t have training wheels on the back tires.
Criteria #4: You must be able to deal with hunger.
Make no bones about it – you will be hungry on a set-up like this.
You must be able to deal with the hunger and find other ways to cope with your emotions.
It will be a test of willpower, motivation, endurance, and mental abilities.
I had 6 weeks’ worth of a window to work with.
It was around New Year’s, and I was going on a fishing trip with friends in mid-February. There was no way I could still be dieting by that point.
Keeping my set-up in line with the Nutritional Hierarchy For Fat Loss, I had to have a few items lined up.
Item #1: Calories
As previously stated, my maintenance is around 3,000 calories per day.
I set my calorie deficit at -1,000 calories per day. This would allow me a weekly deficit of ~7,000 calories and should provide me with an estimated 2 pounds of fat loss per week.
Item #2: Macronutrients
I set my macros up to reflect these 2,000 calories.
My training day macros were 200 grams of protein, 200 grams of carbs, and 45 grams of fat.
My rest day macros were 200 grams of protein, 100 grams of carbs, and 85 grams of fat.
I tapered the macros slightly to take advantage of a bit of nutrient partitioning – eating more carbs when I was going to train and less carbs when I was resting.
Item #3: Micronutrition, Fiber, and Hydration
In order to pull this off, I wasn’t going to be able to “IIFYM” all too much. Fitting Pop Tarts and ice cream into your diet isn’t the best idea when you’re trying to shred fat as quickly as possible.
Sorry, flexible dieters.
I was going to have to eat almost all whole foods, eat my veggies, and ensure lots of water was flowing through my system in order to keep hunger at bay.
Item #4: Meal Timing and Frequency
I opted for a simple, 3 meals per day format.
Small breakfast and lunch, with a larger sized dinner. My biggest struggle with temptation comes after dinner and before bed. I wanted to make dinner as large as possible.
Item #5: Supplementation
While I’m not a big fan of heavy supplementation, there are a few aids I use religiously.
For a full list of my supplementation regimen, visit this page.
Extra Items For The Gameplan
I knew this wasn’t going to be “fun” or “enjoyable”. I also knew I wanted to shred fat as fast as I possibly could.
This meant a few things:
- I was going to have to give up drinking temporarily. I’m not a heavy drinker, but I’m a “3 tumblers of scotch on Saturday night” kinda guy. That would need to be eliminated. <sad face>
- I was going to have to limit dining out. Dining out when dieting is possible, but it’s rarely optimal. I would be dining out once per week – on Saturday nights. I would need to be sure I had a sizable calorie buffer and order sensibly in order to stay on point.
- I was going to need accountability, so I did two things:
- I emailed my mailing list (click the bar at the top of your browser and grab a free copy of our fat loss guide). In the email, I begged them to reply and tell me they would be watching my progress.
- I enlisted the help of a fellow fitness coach, Tanner Baze. Tanner wanted to do something similar and shed some holiday weight of his own. We “bro-ed out” over the experience, keeping each other on track via social media and text messages. (There is a video at the end with us discussing our experience.)
- You can read Tanner’s write up and hear about his results at <this link>.
The final results speak for themselves, both with the picture and with the data.
I only used two measurements: the scale weight and the waistline measurement.
I knew my deficit would be so large, that I would for sure be losing fat, and using our full fat-loss data parameters wouldn’t be necessary.
Take a close look at the weight loss numbers – you can see where even in a large deficit, scale weight losses are a faulty means of tracking progress.
Even when (twice) the scale weight ticked upwards, the waistline measurement decreased. This was assurance enough to tell me this was working well.
My biggest takeaway was exactly what I thought it would be:
Rapid fat loss protocols are NOT fun.
After about week two, I was in a constant state of hunger. I woke up hungry, I was (briefly) satiated with each meal, but within an hour, my hunger was back in full force.
Even after a large meal for dinner, I would be hungry a short while afterwards.
Also, staying 100% sober was a bit of a challenge.
Although I’m not a daily drinker, I still really look forward to my cocktails on Saturday night.
I work hard – often around the clock – on multiple jobs and being a Daddy and Husband. I relax on Saturday evenings and throw a few back to calm my nerves.
I had a lot more nerves to “calm” than I thought I did.
I found myself anxious and stressed, and snappy at times with my family. I had to employ other methods of relaxing other than drinking. I read more often, listened to podcasts, and engaged in active meditation.
There were also a few “other” side effects to eating such a small amount for 45 straight days.
I found myself tired and lethargic at work. I had to fight a desire to sit at my desk without moving. All I wanted to do was take a nap.
Also, my…………”mojo” wasn’t at full force. Everything “worked”, but sex was the furthest thing from my mind from about Week 3 on. That is certainly not “normal” for me.
After all of those “negative” side effects, the question remains:
Would I do it again?
And the answer is yes. Absolutely.
I achieved roughly 12 “normal weeks’ worth” of results in half the time.
It was difficult and it tested my resolve – but it was damn well worth it.
If you think you might qualify for a raid fat loss protocol, visit our client inquiries page here.
Here is a short video of my buddy, Tanner Baze, and I discussing our experience.
Yours in getting ready for the summer time,