[Lisa] This was my first Facebook post of the New Year: “Hello 2013. What’s that? You did not recognize me? Oh, that’s because in the picture 2012 gave you from last New Year’s Day I was 29 lbs. heavier.” It felt fantastic to write that. I want to share three things; first, I actually kept one of my New Year’s resolutions from 2012, losing weight. Second, you CAN lose weight in December, I lost 4 lbs. Third, I did enjoy holiday food and drink. I took a look at my food journals from December; I had white wine, steak, pasta, honey balls and other treats. However, all portions were reasonable. I also kept my training schedule.
As did many of you, I saw friends and family, during the holidays, I had not seen in a while. Several commented on my weight loss and asked how I did it. I shared me secret, a crazy program called diet and exercise. Who knew? Now I head off into 2013. Bikini by summer? Mike, you have work to do!
[Mike] At this rate “bikini by summer” is almost a certainty! I say almost because nothing is automatic and fat-loss is rarely linear. Fat-loss does not happen without being strategic in your approach and then you need to execute the strategy. It becomes increasingly more difficult to lose body-fat as body-fat gets lower because our bodies are highly adaptable and the metabolism slows down.
We’re six months away so we have to set the milestones that must be met in order to make this goal a reality. A continual loss of 4 lbs. per month would be ideal. However as mentioned above your metabolism will adapt to your current caloric intake so an additional reduction of 100-150 calories may be necessary. Consequently as your caloric intake lowers so too does your Leptin levels. Leptin is the hormone responsible for controlling hunger and signaling your body to burn fat for energy.
The way to work around this conundrum is by adding a refeed day. On your refeed day you would increase your calories above maintenance levels by 25-40% in the form of additional carbohydrates. This restores Leptin levels back to normal and stimulates the metabolism to burn fat at a higher rate.
The day following your refeed you return to a caloric deficit but with the advantage of your metabolism operating more efficiently. This is the pattern you will follow for the next six months to ensure your fat-loss efforts continue