A quick message here. I want to talk about successful people.
In my opinion, most of the time highly successful people, people that I look up to and admire and aspire to be, they get to where they are not because they are able to do what others “can’t” do. It’s because they do what others “won’t” do.
Yes, l know there are exceptions. Only a teeny tiny percentage of the population could ever be as good at football as Cristiano Ronald for example. He might be hard working, I’m not saying he’s not, but he has the kind of God given talent that most us will never obtain, no matter how hard we try. The late Professor Stephen Hawking is another example – he had the kind of intelligence that none of us could ever have.
But people like that are the exceptions! I’m talking about the majority of cases here. The majority of highly successful people made the sacrifices, put the time and relentless work and effort in that any of us “could” do too, if we chose to. Remember life is all about choices.
I’m not just talking about fitness here, I’m talking about absolutely anything in life. There’s no reason that you, me, or any of us can’t be highly successful too in anything we do. If we’re willing to put the work in, that is.
So, if you’re not getting to where you want to be in life, then ask yourself “what’s your excuse?”
We’ve just established that it’s not because you “can’t” do it. Therefore, it can only mean that the reason is the second option, that it’s because you “won’t” do it. And that sounds like a pretty weak excuse if you ask me!
So, my take home message? Just like the Nike slogan – just do it!
However, Christmas = Weight Gain. Unfortunately for most of us, that’s a fact.
One of the main problems is that we are talking about “the Christmas PERIOD”. It’s the overeating and lack of exercise that takes place over the weeks (and even months) leading up to Christmas, and sometimes after Christmas too! Think about it. Often it begins anywhere from early to mid-November, through to the middle of, or even near the end of January!
That’s potentially 10 weeks of over-indulgence! No wonder our waist lines pay the price!
But, it’s not all doom and gloom!
After all, Christmas is meant to be a time for fun with family and friends.
But that’s not to say that you can’t enjoy yourself to the fullest, without having to sacrifice your health and fitness.
Let me show you how you can balance your life throughout the festive period.
You can still have a great time, yet still stay on track to achieving your health and fitness goals!
Now that Operation Get Dan Diced has ended, and I achieved my goal of super low body fat, what am I doing now?
The answer, is Reverse Dieting. See the video here:
What is Reverse Dieting?
Reverse Dieting is, as the name suggests, reversing the dieting process by increasing food intake.
Through the process of me dieting down to super low body fat, I was week by week either gradually dropping calories, or gradually increasing exercise volume.
Reverse Dieting, is quite literally the reverse of this process. So, over the coming weeks, I will be gradually, week by week, either gradually decreasing the exercise volume, or gradually increasing calories.
Why not adjust both exercise and calories at the same time?
It’s quite simply not necessary. All you need are small changes and minor adjustments to get the body to respond the way you want. When dieting for example, I want to be creating enough of a calorie deficit to be losing body fat. If I can achieve this by slightly increasing my exercise volume, why would I decrease my calorie intake at the same time? Likewise, if I opted to lower my calorie intake, I would have no need to also increase my exercise volume simultaneously. And this applies to reverse dieting too. Only change one variable at a time. Little by little.
Why use Reverse Dieting?
The reason, is to minimise fat gain. The reality of dieting, is that your body’s metabolism slows down. Because of the fact that to lose fat, you have to be consuming less calories than your body needs, your body recognises this. It “thinks” it is being starved (which essentially, it is). Therefore, your body will try and combat this by becoming “more efficient” at performing physical activity, so that it preserves calories. This is great for survival, but not so much for fat loss!
So, now that I have achieved my body weight goal, and now that I no longer wish to be dieting, I have to give my metabolism time to adapt. Otherwise, if I were to immediately significantly decrease my exercise volume and increase my food intake, my current slow metabolism would happily store all of these extra calories as body fat.
Why not just stay at my current levels of exercise and calorie intake?
In theory I could just stay at the same volume of exercise and the same calorie intake that I was at by the end of the diet. But in practice, it just isn’t possible, plus I wouldn’t want to! The amount of exercise was so much that it just wasn’t fun anymore, and it took up so much time. And the calories were such a struggle to stick to by the end of the diet, that I have no doubt that I could not adhere to it much longer!
Boiling food before cooking, is a little simple trick I use when trying to keep my calories down!
This also helps with food that is particularly salty when I want to lower the sodium content.
In this video you see me boiling some beef burgers, rinsing off the excess fat and salt, before grilling them as you normally would. I still grill them so to give that same burger taste and texture. Also note that these are decent quality burgers from the butchers, so they are already fairly lean, and not just the cheap crappy processed meat you can get!
I’m not a fan of lamb, generally speaking, but when I do have lamb I will normally boil it first too.
There’s a lot more pics on their way, but here’s a few that Nick sent over for now.
My body weight
Let’s take a look at my weight fluctuations across the six week program:
Average AM Bodyweight (when I’m at my heaviest):
Week 1 – 77.2kg
Week 2 – 76.7kg
Week 3 – 77.3kg
Week 4 – 76.9kg
Week 5 – 77kg
Week 6 – 76.5kg
Average PM Bodyweight (when I’m at my lightest):
Week 1 – 73.6kg
Week 2 – 72.9kg
Week 3 – 73.5kg
Week 4 – 73.3kg
Week 5 – 73.3kg
Week 6 – 73.7kg
FINAL DAY = 72kg at time of photoshoot
So as we can see, overall my bodyweight pretty much remained constant over the 6 weeks, despite the fact that the way I looked changed drastically. Goes to emphasise that the scales alone are a poor judge of progress!
My calories over the six weeks went from 2,100 to 1,800 in gradual decreases. Doesn’t sound like a big difference, but it sure felt it!
This week’s step count was about 17,850 steps a day on average. Remarkably my steps over the six weeks increased from my daily average of 15,000 a day that I started at. Remember, I don’t wear my FitBit during exercise. Considering how much training I was doing and how poor my energy levels were, this is very surprising! I think I was consciously trying to move more, to battle my low energy and to keep dropping body fat!
My sleep average was over 6 hours a night this week. It’ crazy how my sleep actually improved!
I would like to say a massive thanks to Jake Weekes of Leaner Stronger. His coaching was a huge help to me get me through the six weeks. I cannot recommend him strongly enough.
What do I do now?
I won’t talk about this just yet. Stay tuned! To be continued!
I must admit that I’m not in a very good place psychologically as I write this. I have just a few days left of dieting. I am on very low calories. My energy levels are so low that it requires maximum effort to do ANYTHING, even just to think! The fact that I’m still hitting the gym everyday seems an absolute miracle. So the question I ask myself is “why am I doing this to myself?” Would I do this with a client, if it involved them suffering and if it impacted their everyday life to such an extent? NO! Of course I wouldn’t! So why am I doing this to myself?
Is it worth it?
You should know by now that I encourage people to follow a sensible balanced healthy diet. I believe that torturing yourself and suffering is just NOT necessary, when there are less stressful ways to lose weight and get in shape. The thing is, what I am trying to achieve right now just isn’t possible without suffering. To diet down to very low body fat is not what the body will naturally do – you have to force your body to do it. But is it really worth it?
Ok, disclaimer: let’s first draw the line between beach body six pack lean, and competition lean. I am NOT talking about the former, I am talking about the ripped to shreds latter.
Also, please keep in mind that I CHOSE to do this! It wasn’t Jake of Leaner Stronger. Jake has done a great job at helping me through these last six weeks (or just under now as I write this). But it was me who decided to try and diet down to such low body fat in just six weeks.
I’m a hypocrite, because slow and steady is the way
Let me point out that never mind the fact that my goal of dieting down to such low body fat is a questionable one to begin with. It was silly of me to try and do it in just six weeks. With ANY diet, and I preach this to others all the time, slow and steady is the best way! A longer diet as opposed to a short crash diet, will involve less suffering, a greater chance of adherence, and a greater chance of maintainable sustainable permanent results. So for me to undertake such a task that would involve suffering regardless, and to only give myself six weeks to do it, was a poor choice! Think “double” the suffering!
Why am I doing this?
Honestly…unless you’re doing it to step on stage because you enjoy competing….getting to this level of leanness just isn’t worth it. I actually now wish I had signed up for a competition so to make the struggle more worth while. Otherwise I am now pondering why I have done this? There is no true end purpose to this diet, such as a physique contest.
I needed a challenge
I suppose, as I think about it more, I needed a challenge. I am injured right now (knee still isn’t looking good), taking away any martial arts competition from my table of options. I haven’t even been able to practice any martial arts, let alone compete. So I needed a distraction and a new (though hopefully temporary) direction to take my training focus. Also it has been years since I competed in bodybuilding and dieted to such low body fat. Deep down I wanted to test myself, to see if my present older self still had the physical and mental ability to do it. Or maybe I’m just clutching at straws here and looking for excuses. I don’t know!
I would NEVER put a client on a crash diet!
Anyway, on a side note. If anyone does plan to diet down to such low body fat, DON’T try and do it in six weeks! Give yourself more like 16 weeks. Slow and steady = less extreme dieting which = less suffering.
Either way, I have just days to go now. And despite questioning EVERYTHING right now, I know I will feel proud of myself for having seen this through to the end.
What was the question again? Oh man, my brain is fried….