Subj: How I Lost 20 Pounds of Fat in 12 Weeks by Cutting
Earlier this year I embarked on a journey to see how big I could get. During that experiment, which was essentially a no-holds-barred dirty bulk, I reached a bodyweight of 230 pounds.
The photo above depicts my weight loss transformation over 12 weeks. In the left frame, I’m 230 pounds. In the middle, about 218-220 (6-8 weeks into the cutting phase), and in the far right frame I’m just under 210 pounds.
There are pros and cons of being that size. The pro was I could eat as much of anything I wanted. The con was I didn’t like the way I looked. I wanted to be lean and have six pack abs.
During my heaviest, I made decent strength improvements and added pounds to my squat, deadlift and bench press.
As I lost weight, my strength stayed the same, and in fact improved as by bodyweight decreased. The means I was keeping the muscle I gained during my dirty bulk and was losing fat. Perfect.
The verdict –
If you asked me to dirty bulk again, I ‘d say ‘No’. The minimal strength gains were offset by the fact my physique wasn’t that aesthetically pleasing to look at. There where other minor inconveniences as well, like my clothes began fit tight and I finally got to the point were I had to buy bigger clothes or lose weight.
I also realized that the diet I used to gain weight was not sustainable if I wanted to be healthy as I ate a lot of sugar, fat and drank alcohol. When I was 230 pounds, my cholesterol and blood pressure were higher than ever.
My poor diet and relatively low activity level (I trained 3, maybe 4 times a week) resulted in me having a gut for the first time in my life. At that point, the fun was over – I decided to make some changes and lose weight.
My Dirty Bulking Experience
I gained about 30 pounds dirty bulking. For about 3-4 months, I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted without question or second guessing.
Each day I would eat my 2-4 regular meals consisting of healthy meats, carbs and fats. I drank plenty of water and ate fruits and vegetables to get my vitamins and minerals. This was the core of my diet to ensure I got the essentials.
In addition, I would eat sweets, snacks, chips and dip, and drink beer or wine almost every day. Fast food and frozen pizza also played a large role in my diet (It wasn’t uncommon for me to eat an entire DeGiorno’s pizza and drink 4 or 5 beers before going to bed).
While bulking, I worked out 3 times a week. Workouts were done with heavy weights and moderate volume in an effort to build muscle and strength. I did little to no cardio.
I stayed at 230 pounds for a few months until about April/May 2015. Summer was just around the corner and I had to take action fast because I didn’t want to look like whale on the beach.
The pressure was on to be in ‘presentation’ shape by beach season. Thus, the cutting phase began.
My Cutting Method, Experience and Results
My eating and workout habits had to change if I wanted to lose weight by summer.
While bulking, I ate 1000-2000+ ‘junk’ calories everyday in addition to my core diet.
So, the first ting I did was cut back on junk food – I dialed my consumption of sweets to about half of what I was during my bulking phase. (I have a wicked sweet tooth and didn’t want to have withdrawals by cutting out sweet completely. So I opted to reduce my intake by more than half but not eliminate sweets completely.)
I drank beer and ate fast food occasionally, but 80-90% of the food I ate was from quality, fresh, whole foods.
While cutting, I counted macros and meal prepped to help me stay on track. (Visit my Instagram to view the foods I used to eat compared to now and see for yourself how my physique changed as a result of improving my diet.)
While cutting I worked out 4-5 times a week. I lifted hard and sweat my ass off every workout.
I used supersets and low rest between sets to keep my heart rate and body temperature up and to build more muscle and burn calories in a short time. I used a total body workout routine a few days a week to ensure I was training every muscle evenly.
My progress was steady, I lost 1-2 pounds each week and after 12 weeks I lost 20 pounds – over 8.5% of my total starting body weight. Most of the weight lost was fat. I kept my muscle and strength while getting lean and cut. I gained more energy, move around easier and my clothes fit better. Plus, I looked more like an athlete rather than a lumberjack.
My Cut Phase Progression
I started at 230 pounds. As you can see in the left picture I was pretty thick. The middle picture shows me about 6-8 weeks after I started cutting. I was noticeably leaner but still had a ring of fat hanging around the middle.
I stayed the course and hit the weights 4-5 times a week and ate healthy 80%+ of the time. In another 6 weeks I was down to a fairly lean 210.
How To Maintain Your Bodyweight After Losing Fat
Your body reflects your lifestyle. Cultivate the right habits to get the desired results. If you want to maintain your bodyweight then you must train with the same intensity and eat no worse then you did to get your cutting results in the first place.
Hit the weights 3-4 times a week for 45 minutes to an hour. Run when you can. If you can’t make the gym do push ups and sit ups at home. Keep active, eat well, and make sure you get your protein, healthy fats, and nutrients from whole foods.
Go easy on the alcohol and lay off the snacks. Follow these guidelines and you should have no problem getting to where you want to be.
Author’s Note: In theory this fitness stuff is simple. In practice it can be challenging.
Sometimes it helps to have someone there for you to provide guidance and support – especially if you’re new or don’t know where to begin.
If you’re interested in personal training or want someone to help you achieve your fitness goals, go to my Online Training page and sign up. I will help you get into the best shape of you’re life! I layout the roadmap for you – all you have to do is follow it!