Lose 2.5% Bodyfat In 5 Weeks
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The body is the most sophisticated machine known to man, and I enjoy seeing what its capable of.
My experiment was to make the smallest adjustments possible to lose 2.5 lbs and 2.5% body fat in 5 weeks while maintaining my strength (lean muscle mass).
Achieving this goal requires running a very mild negative energy balance of 250 calories a day.
- This could be done by skipping 1 snack a day OR
- Walking an extra 5,000 steps (about 2 miles) OR
- Any combination of the above.
You can see I manage to lose 2.5 lbs of fat while keeping 100% of my lean muscle mass and strength.
Three Gold Stars
Remember your favorite teacher who gave your three gold stars by your name? Pretty motivating rights?
In fact, here is my actual Gold Star Chart for this experiment (I use Evernote for my Adherence Tracking):
Hell, even your car mechanic is “gold star certified” (although most men take better care of their cars than their bodies).
The Rule of 85
As grown-ups we like a more sophisticated version of this, something more impressive sounding like:
The Rule of 85
This simple rule goes like this: To see consistent results, you need stick with your healthy habits only 85 percent of the time.
- In practice, this works out to 6 days out of 7, 18 out of 21 meals, and 1 high intensity exercise session a week.
- What do you do with the other 15 percent? You take a rest day, indulge in a favorite food, whatever.
- The point is that you have wiggle room, so don’t assume that today’s beer or skipped workout will ruin you forever.
- Just chalk it up to the 15 percent of the time that you’re officially “off” the plan and move on — without guilt.
The Psychology of Self-Mastery
If counting to 3 or 85 is too analytical or too much math, try my Sage Mantra:
“Will this food choice or skipped workout move me closer or farther from my health goal?”
There are two ways you can look at this:
- Subjectively: Do I value Self-Mastery?
- You value self-mastery if you feel guilty after giving in to junk food or skipping exercise.
- Personal Example: I get a social invitation to stay out late Friday night. I typically do my strength training early Saturday morning. Both events are enjoyable to me.
- Solution: Go out Friday night and reschedule my workout for Sunday morning.
- Objectively: What gets measured gets done.
- You are 100% more likely to succeed in your health goals if your track your nutrition and log your exercise.
- Personal Example: Statistics and my experience show that logging nutrition and scheduling exercise is foundational to long-term health success.
- Solution: Make yourself accountable to yourself and one other person you trust. All my food and exercise logs are publicly available here, here, here and here.
Originally published at The Healthy Executive.