If you haven’t seen the amazing transformation of Patrick, make sure you check out the following blog post. Through hard work and some serious dietary changes, Patrick was able to get the results he set out to achieve.

We recently shared Patrick’s story and results. But this week we’re sharing with you the specifics of how he changed his body.

By now, most of you know the key to body composition changes are diet and exercise. That sounds simple enough, right? But never seems to turn out that easy.

We’re going to make it simple right now.

The tough part is figuring out how, what, and when to change. So here it is Simplified.

Diet

Patrick’s active lifestyle of running, playing soccer, and surfing allowed him to eat really whatever he wanted and get away with it. At 20% body fat, he was still in the average zone for men his age (early 30’s). But we realized that if Patrick wanted to drop significant body fat, he was going to have to make some changes in his nutrition.

Change 1 – Eliminate sugar in the morning, replace with protein and fat.

Let’s take a look at Patrick’s before sample day as shown in to the right. Click image to enlarge.

PT-Nutrition-Before

Patrick T – Food log Before/After

I want to focus on something that I think is really, really important.

Commonly, people believe that eating a breakfast of granola with non-fat yogurt is healthy, right? Just pick up any popular health magazines and you’ll find tons of recipes for what seems to be a healthy breakfast. For example, foods like oatmeal, granola, yogurt, berries, and whole grain pancakes are commonly purported as such.

But wait, not so fast.

Are these foods really healthy? What macronutrients are you getting from them?

Why these foods may be more nutritious than eating 4 glazed donuts, it doesn’t change the fact that all of these items are carbohydrates. And what do carbohydrates amount to = mostly SUGAR.

For all practical purposes the body see carbohydrates as glucose and metabolizes them as such. When glucose is in the bloodstream the hormone insulin is secreted promoting uptake especially in the fat cells.

So in the case of Patrick it turns out that the breakfast he was eating before contained over 50 grams of sugar. So when you start your day with a spike of sugar – you turn off your body’s ability to burn fat and instead, increase fat storage stimulated by the rise in insulin.

By making the simple change of eliminating sugars for breakfast Patrick was able to keep his body in a fat burning state.

Change 2 – Add more protein to the diet.

A good target for protein intake is about 1 gram/pound of body weight. As you can see from the above “Food Log Before/After” Patrick was able to accomplish his protein goals through supplementing with protein shakes. This is by no means the only way to do it, but it seemed to help Patrick get to his daily intake goal.

Change 3 – Replace empty calories with nutrient dense foods.

In other words, Patrick replaced the empty calories of cookies, chips, and soda with more fruits and veggies. This allowed Patrick to get more nutrients into his body and cut down on his overall calorie consumption.

Exercise

Change 1 – Stop the steady state cardio.

Patrick stopped the jogging, first and foremost. He was going for 1hr plus jogs at least 3-4x per week. He thought this was the way to get lean and drop fat. This is not – there are plenty of studies showing how steady state cardio can inhibit fat loss. Check out this post for details.

Change 2 – Add high intensity interval training.

We replaced his running with high intensity interval training. This meant 3x a week instead of jogging, he lifted weights in the gym or did some serious strength work on the TRX. The intensity of each session was high. He used quick rest periods in between sets. The workouts lasted no more than 40 minutes. And we made sure that Patrick got ample rest (24-36 hrs) in between strength sessions. This way his muscles had plenty of time to recover.

Change 3 – Add heavier weight workouts.

After Patrick dropped most of the body fat, we tweaked the program a little bit and moved to more of muscle building (hypertrophy) phase. Patrick lifted heavier weights and focused more on compound movements – deadlifts, bench press, squats, and back rows. He increased the rest period in between sets so he could fully recover and perform better with each successive set.

Important to note here was that Patrick had to eat and eat and eat during this phase of the training. We had to really focus on getting enough calories to supply the body with ample nutrients to grow muscle tissue. Even if you’re working your ass off in the gym, you have to make sure you reach a caloric surplus (eating more than you expend). Otherwise, you will not build any muscle. Some days on heavy lifting days, Patrick consumed over 3,500+ calories.

2 Simple Adjustments for Patrick’s Success

  1. Clean up the diet
  2. Choose effective workouts that align with goals

So to summarize, we focused on cleaning up Patrick’s diet. He replaced the calorie dense foods (cookies, soda, chips) with nutrient dense foods (fruits, veggies and meat). He upped the protein and lowered the overall carbs.

As for the training component, we first focused on fat loss by stopping the steady state cardio and replacing it with high intensity intervals with short rest in between sets. Then we moved into a muscle-building phase where we lifted heavier weights, rested more, and upped the calories significantly.

Changing the way you look doesn’t have to be that complicated. But you need to have a plan. And you need to chart out the path of how you’re going to get there. Without a plan, it is very hard to know how to get where you want to be.

I want to thank Patrick again for sharing his success with the SWF community.

What’s your plan? And how are you going to get there? Looking for some direction or need a little guidance?

Check out our coaching page and you just might be the next success story!

Here’s to your success,

Nick

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