Jonny’s Transformation

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100kg @ 20% Bodyfat to 80kg @ 6.5% bodyfat

At the start of Easter this year I began my transformation. I planned a 5 week intense diet and training plan based around everything I knew, convinced that there was no way I wouldn’t be lean by the end, I was very wrong.

I had made two drastic errors in my preparation, firstly I assumed that I had very little fat to lose, in reality over 20% of my body was fat. Secondly, I assumed that I knew a lot about dieting – in reality, I’d never dieted successfully before, I knew the theory but little about the application.

What started as a 5 week fat loss blitz ended up being a 7 month, slow, yet radical transformation. I cut from a soft 100kg to 80kg at 6.5% body-fat, whats more, I retained most of my muscle mass and all of my strength. I did all this all while living a student lifestyle, I drank, eat pizza and stayed up late – everything a normal student would do. Here’s how I did it:

Start date (-1 week): Forced resentment

Before I started my diet I used a very controversial strategy, I ate all the junk I could manage…and then some more. It annoyed me how much cakes, sweets and fast food affected my emotions – they were comfort foods, rewards if i’d trained hard or pick-me-ups if I was tired, by forcing myself to eat more than I wanted – it made me HATE them. Sure, I probably, gained a pound or two of fat in this week, but I was able to be very strict and consistent for the whole initial 5 week period.

Weeks 1-5: Starting the engine

During the first 5 weeks of my diet I was super-strict, i rarely cheated and when I did, it was planned. I followed a low carb/high-fat diet and trained 5 times a week, any carbs I consumed were around training. I used very clean foods: venison, beef, chicken, eggs, protein shakes, olive oil and salad were all that I ate. It was tough but I dropped about 1-2lbs scale weight each week.

Weeks 5-20: Budget fat loss and temptation

After the 5 week blitz it was time to return to uni for summer term – this meant nights out, take-away, exams, revision and cheap food – it meant endless temptation. This made dieting very difficult indeed. My budget meant I was forced to buy cheap tuna, value chicken and replace meals with protein shakes. This lack of variety and unpleasant food led to a less consistent diet, I became frustrated with the lack of progress and began jumping between diet strategies and training plans. I lost some fat, but very slowly and my strength started to drop.\

Weeks 15-present: No more breakfast

It wasn’t until my work experience started during the summer holidays that I “found my wings” so to speak. I was forced into a situation that would normally have made dieting impossibly hard – I was at a desk between 8:30am and 5:00pm Monday to Friday. Instead of letting this stall my progress, I used it as a platform for change – It forced me to adapt. While doing some research I stumbled across the concept of Intermittent Fasting – In a nut-shell, you don’t eat for 16 hours of every 24 and eat most of your food after training. So, I devised a very simple approach. I would train 3 days in a row, then rest for a day, on days I trained I ate mainly carbs and protein and on days I rested I eat mainly fat and protein, more importantly, I didn’t eat until I finished work at 5:30pm – surviving on coffee and diet coke beforehand. I lost a lot of weight very quickly and regained most of my strength.

I retained my strength throughout the diet.

What now?

Well, My transformation is far from over. After all, it’s a lifestyle, not a diet. I plan to gently reintroduce calories and gain some muscle while staying below 10% body-fat. This may seem like a strange way to do things, why would I get smaller before trying to get bigger? Well, individuals with low levels of body-fat (single figures) are much better at nutrient partitioning. This is a fancy way of saying, now, when I eat more calories then I’m burning, they have a higher marginal propensity to form muscle tissue, rather than being stored as fat. So, want to get big? – get lean first. Once I’ve added some size I plan to cut some fat again for summer, aiming to get well into single digit body-fat, hopefully with some newly added muscle mass. Stay tuned for the rest of the article series and further updates.

5 replies on “Jonny’s Transformation”

So what do you do with the venison?

Its fairly gamey you have to get the seasoning right and an appropriate sauce. I’m thinking sea salt, black pepper and possibly a touch of garlic (if your diet allows you could wrap it in some bacon as well?). Pan roasting the venison (adding some butter whilst its in the pan) could be a nice way to have it.

As for the sauce, well its down to personal preference but I think a good red wine sauce would accompany a pan roasted venison loin nicely. Red wine, thyme, bay leaf, ground peppercorns, diced bacon or pancetta and a few extra personal touches would be lovely.

Let me know your thoughts?

That’s a lot of thought put into taste. I bought pre-seasoned burgers most of the time so I didn’t have to worry about flavour, when I couldn’t get these I just eat it plain. I didn’t pick venison because I really enjoy it, more for the health benefits and to forge better eating habits – once you’ve eaten venison for breakfast, 5 weeks in a row, you can be consistent with anything.

Equally, I do think there is merit to preparing your food as you describe, the more you enjoy being on a diet the longer you are likely to stick with it, just be sure not to include extra, unwanted calories in sauces and dressings.

There’s an article coming up on how to cook clean food with spices, look out for it, you’ll love it.

hey Jonny, i have joined the forum and have been reading through both the website and the forum which i think is great. I was wanting to ask you on week 15 when you did intermittent fasting, how long did you carry that out until you started your new diet? and did you at all feel down or sluggish while doing intermittent fasting. I am thinking of trying it but obviously have exams and uni work to do and i don’t want that to be of detriment. cheers jack

What was your workout split like during weeks 15 on?

You said it was 3 on 1 off, does that mean you would take only one day off and then workout 3 more days in a row?


mon on
tues on
wed on
thur off
fri on
sat on
sun on
mon off

What was the split? push/pull/legs?

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