How I Lose Fat, Build Muscle – The Exact Plan

A year ago to the day, I took part in one of the best coaching experiences I’ve ever had. It wasn’t that I lacked knowledge before, but more so the beliefs and patience needed to make body transformation a reality.

Thanks to the help of an online diet coach, I started losing weight at steady rates and ended up in the best shape of my life when the coaching finally ended after 12 weeks. What I’ve learned in the process was invaluable and I am still using all of it to this day. It’s not the information, but the first-hand experiences that made the difference.

Diet Myths Debunked

Right away, I was surprised how easy following a strict diet actually was. There was no carrying around plastic containers and eating every couple of hours. Quite the opposite – 2 meals per day, the first for lunch at 1pm and eventually dinner at 8pm. I really doesn’t get any easier, that was the entire meal plan.

For simplicity, I decided to eat the same meals daily and only switch the vegetables and salads every week.

Meal timing was based on IF – Intermittent Fasting – which in my case meant fasting for 16 hours (most of it throughout the night), and consuming 2 meals during the remaining 8 hours of the day. Consistent eating times are not super important but help hormones and your body adjust to the fat loss.

In addition, I consumed very few carbohydrates (less than 70g) on rest days and significantly more (~245g) on workout days. This strategy is known as carb cycling and an excellent way of maximizing fat loss and “confusing” the body – as opposed to eating the same macros day in, day out.

Asides from diet, another key component for successful weight loss is low stress and consistent sleep habit. Keeping cortisol levels low and getting quality sleep each night is more important than I initially thought. The sleep schedule I stuck to was 10pm – 7am.

Finally, a quick word about weight lifting. Surprisingly, there isn’t more to it than compound exercises and working out 3x per week for roughly 40 minutes. Workout sessions are rotated – A, B, A, B and mainly serve the purpose of retaining muscle mass – they’re not for losing weight.

That’s because¬†when it comes to getting shredded 90% of the battle is won in the kitchen.

The Food Selection

Workout Day

  • 500g Wild Salmon
  • 300g Basmati Rice
  • 90g Organic Peanut Butter (100% Peanuts)

Nutritional Value:

2139 Calories, 175g Protein, 240g Carbs, 53g Fat

Meal Timing: 20% Pre-Workout, 80% Post-Workout

Rest Day

  • 500g Wild Salmon
  • 1000g Frozen Vegetable Mix
  • 100g Organic Peanut Butter (100% Peanuts)

Nutritional Value:

1477 Calories, 176 Protein, 66g Carbs, 57 Fat

Meal Timing: 50% @ 1pm, 50% at 8pm

Adding supplements is not a must, but I like to do what I can to maximize health and stick to well researched and proven solutions. Combined, all of these cost less than $15 per month.

  • 1x Fish Oil (360mg EPA, 240mg DHA, 710mg Omega 3)
  • 1x Vitamin D3 (5,000 IU)
  • 1x Vitamin Complex (1000 mcg Vitamin K1, 1000 mcg Vitamin K2 MK-4, 200 mcg Vitamin K2 MK-7)
  • 5g Creatine Monohydrate

There’s more supplements and healths foods that I consider healthy, but many of them don’t serve a purpose at the moment. Maca powder and horny goat wheat are great for boosting libido and increasing sex drive, but unless you have the time and focus to bang lots of girls, they are a waste of money.

When I start traveling again and spend time in SE Asia, I might start using these supplements a month ahead of time.

How To Gain Muscle

Gaining muscle and losing weight – there’s not a big difference. The entire framework and meal structure (see above) stays the same, a caloric surplus is maintained by adding more carbs on workout days. That’s the entire system for adding lean muscle mass while keeping body fat as low as possible.

Another strategy is to just eat whatever comes to mind and make sure you are in a caloric surplus, but that’s not what I am aiming for. I can’t be bothered carrying around a fat belly – even if it’s just during the winter months.

A Healthy Future

Recent health issues have caused me to reflect on my diet habits and re-commit to putting my health first right after the fat loss phase is finished. I consider my current diet to be healthy, but there’s always a next level and that’s what I am thriving for. In the future, that will mean cutting out all animal products and focusing on mostly raw, organic foods.

The diet won’t be perfect in terms of macro partitioning, but it will be sustainable in the long-run, super healthy and still work great for gaining muscle. The best plan is worth nothing if it can’t be sustained over long periods.

The goal is to get back to the kind of consistency I’ve had during my coaching, where sticking to the plan was easy and I actually told my coach that “I could continue this diet indefinitely”. Yes, that’s how easy it was.