In today’s blog, I want to go over my most recent fat loss phase, aka photoshoot prep.
For me I have found that putting an event at the end of my fat loss phase, like a photoshoot prep, helps me stay focused on the task at hand.
If you have found yourself not sticking with a fat loss diet, I highly recommend doing something like this.
The trick is to set it up early, dont wait. This makes it real and gives you something extra to aim for.
This was my second photoshoot prep. Here was my first one in September 2020:
Before I go on to the protocols and whatnot, I wanted to give you a little context.
I did my last fat loss phase and photoshoot prep in September of 2020.
Since then I spent October 2020-November 2021 in a building phase.
I brought my weight all the way up to 180lbs at my peak. Now, this wasn’t all muscle, there was some fat gain and some water weight gain.
But at this point in time in order for me to build muscle I do need to be in a calorie surplus.
HERE are times when you dont need to gain weight in a building phase.
HERE are my laws of a building phase.
My macros/cals gradually went up to 3,300ish during the building phase.
Here is my look at the top of my building phase:
Once the building phase was over I took a month-long maintenance phase to lower volume and stabilize my weight. This was in Decemeber 2021.
Cals went to 2,800 during this time.
From there my photoshoot prep/fat loss phase started the first of Jan 2022.
I have broken this up into 3 parts. Part 1 of the diet1/1-2/15, Part 2 2/15-3/17, then part 3 3/17 to 4/28.
PART I BEGINNING OF FAT LOSS 1/1-2/15
The plan was to do a photoshoot sometime in May. This gave me about 16ish weeks to diet.
I like to have all clients set up how many meals they eat per day. This gives you a solid foundation to work from.
For me, 5 meals per day was best. I broke it down like this:
- Meal 1: 8-10a
- Meal 2: 12-2p
- Meal 3: 3-5p
- Meal 4: 5-7p
- Meal 5: 7-9p
I stuck with this for the entire fat loss phase. I will say this is what I do most of the time anyway, even if it isn’t a fat loss phase.
Read HERE for what is in each clients fat loss phase.
Starting macros/cals: 2,270, 180 protein, 275 carb, 50 fat.
Starting weight: 176lbs
The first few weeks were a breeze. After being in a building phase for over a year I was ready to get into a deficit and eat less overall.
Here is a pic of my weight during part I:
As you can see over the first few weeks weight went down pretty quickly.
When this happens it’s mostly water weight and just having less food in your body overall. However, there probably was some fat loss.
One thing that was different in this first part of the fat loss phase was I had a vacation planned with my now fiance to the Dominican Republic.
We had spent good money on this trip and it was an all-inclusive resort so I knew sticking to fat loss calories wasn’t feasible so we built in a diet break for the week of 1/22- 1/29.
During this time I just aimed to get protein in at each meal and didnt go crazy with anything. I did NOT track. I also focused on keeping my activity levels up via steps.
As you can see I maintained my weight very well as I returned it was still 170ish lbs.
This was the first time I put a diet break-in. I would highly recommend it, the only downside is it might be an extra week you have to diet.
Upon returning I went right back to my beginning macros and got right back on track. As you can see weight continued to trend down.
At this point, there still was really no hunger.
Part II 2/14- 3/17
Here is a pic during this time:
During this time my calories and macros stayed the same.
I also really started to get dialed in on my steps.
I would say during my building phase I averaged around 4-6k steps per day.
And for this prep, I aimed for atleast 7k per day. I probably averaged around 7-8k.
I did NO formal cardio.
As you can see my weight continued to trend down during this time.
Getting all of the way down into the 161s.
Pic towards the end of this phase:
Hunger and cravings were still not noticeable. I was very happy with this.
I will talk about this more at the end but I really never noticed too much hunger.
Part III 3/17- 4/27
Weight continued to trend down. But after chatting with my coach Jeremiah we decided to speed things up a bit since hunger wasnt an issue and drop calories to:
2,030 cal, 180p, 215c, 50f.
The drop in cals came from carbohydrates.
I ran these calories up into the shoot.
Weigh-in for this prep was 154.8lbs, compared to around 149 for my last one. I will discuss why here in a bit.
Here are some pics the week of the shoot:
In this last phase I did push for abit more steps and would say my average was closer to 8-9k. The increase in steps and decrease in cals helped me get down to 154lbs. Read HERE for adjustments during fat loss.
Hunger again was not an issue. I had a few moments where I wanted some tasty food, but overall hunger was in check which is always great.
As far as training goes, nothing really changed. I trained 5x per week with a split that looked like this:
- Mon: Push
- Tue: Pull
- Wed: Legs
- Thur: Push
- Fri: Pull.
I still trained for muscle growth, even though it probably isn’t likely during a deficit. However, you still want to do your best to try and grow muscle, even if it doesnt happen.
So training was mostly in the 6-15 rep range.
There was ZERO formal cardio. All I did was aim for a step goal.
Here is a pic the morning of:
Here are some pics from the shoot:
Takeaways/Lessons/differences from this fat loss phase
Now I want to chat about some takeaways, lessons, and differences from this fat loss phase to others.
This was the biggest difference between my last fat loss phases and this one. It was my first time being in a relationship.
I knew it wasn’t going to derail me, but I also knew it was going to bring up some unique challenges.
If it were up to me I would leave my house for the gym and the grocery store and thats about it. But that doesnt lend itself well to a relationship.
We enjoy date nights, and these usually involve drinks. Plus being in a relationship also means there will be more events and friend/family gatherings. Again, this would derail me, but it also was going to be a different challenge.
Luckily I had spent years working on my habits and I relied heavily on these during these times.
My relationship is important to me so it came down to being able to balance everything. Which I can use and be better at.
I was still able to enjoy some drinks and continue to enjoy date nights during this time. I attribute that to my habits, but also having Jeremiah help me manage them.
This made a huge difference in this fat loss phase. I mentioned hunger wasnt an issue and I think this came down to:
- Having a set amount of meals
- Not snacking
- Sticking to full meals/higher food volume foods.
Read HERE to see how to increase food volume.
I have learned over the years what types of foods keep me full.
Didnt get as lean/reasons why
I decided to not get as lean as I have in the past for a few reasons:
- I didnt want to make the sacrifices I needed to get leaner
I do notice a decrease in energy and libido when I get leaner and stay in a deficit for an extended period of time. Both of these were tradeoffs I didn’t want to make as I felt they would negatively affect my relationship and quality of life.
I also didn’t want my work to suffer, as I am still in a growth phase for my business.
2. I wanted to have a little bit more of a fuller look for my shoot rather than super shredded lean.
I am currently in a health phase where I took a break from tracking and dropped my training to 3x per week.
I also have a busy travel schedule until the end of June.
From there I am going to go back into building and focus on putting on more muscle and applying more things I have learned over the last few months.
One thing I want to do is stay a little bit more on the leaner side of things than I did for my previous building phase, however there will be some fat gain.
If you have any questions on this topic please feel free to reach out!