Yo-Yo Weight Loss – The Natural Way to Lose Weight

March 24, 2009

After I lose weight, I fully expect to gain a portion of that weight back. I call this yo-yo weight loss and I believe this is the way our bodies naturally respond to dieting.

If you don’t expect a weight gain in your quest for a lean body, then you may feel bad when it happens. I hear about so many people who give up and feel like failures the minute they put on 2-3 pounds.

It is unfortunate because this is based upon a faulty belief system. You can have weight loss success

matrix woman

[This picture reminded me of The Matrix and belief systems…”The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work… when you go to church… when you pay your taxes.”]

Isn’t Yo-Yo Dieting a Bad Thing?

The difference between yo-yo dieting and yo-yo weight loss is a matter of magnitude. Yo-yo weight loss typically becomes a yo-yo diet when the dieter freaks out about a quick weight gain.

They feel like a failure for putting on weight and then just think to themselves…”screw it, I just don’t have what it takes to get lean”. These people then proceed to sabotage their diet and eat large amounts of food, get depressed, etc.

I Will “Yo-Yo” off These Last 5 Pounds Before Summer

I am pretty lean, but wouldn’t mind losing 5 pounds before summer. My game plan is to just lose 1-2 pounds per month. This sounds like slow weight loss and it is, but losing that last little bit of weight is the trickiest…especially if you want a normal social life.

Also, one of the things I have found is that when you lose the last few pounds slowly, you tend to keep them off longer than if you “starve away” the final 5-10 pounds (a topic for a future post).

I Thought About This Subject on Sunday Night

This past Sunday, I went over to my girlfriend’s parents house for dinner. Her mom is an amazing cook and she invited us over for lasagna and dessert. I used to be kind of “neutral” on lasagna but her mom made me a convert.

I had two large helpings, 3 pieces of sourdough bread, and 2 helpings of berry cobbler with vanilla ice cream….but I’m trying to lose weight, right?

Sometimes You Lose the Battle, But Win the War

I don’t really view eating a large delicious meal as losing a battle, but as far as dieting goes it means that I will put back on some of the weight that I lost. The cool thing is that this Monday I still was slightly lighter than last Monday.

Also, I did one of my two weekly fasts on Monday, had an intense workout in a fasted state and a medium salad for dinner. I’m back in business!

How Losing Weight is Like Playing a Sport

If you are playing basketball, you can’t expect to stop the opposing team from scoring.

Same with weight loss…you can’t expect to lose weight without ever gaining some of that weight back.

Also in basketball, there are times when a team is behind for a quarter or two. When losing weight, you may weigh more on Wednesday than you did on Monday. This is natural, just make sure that you push extra hard on the rest of the week to come out slightly ahead on Wednesday.

Some Weeks You Will “Barely” Win the Weight Loss Game

For me, last week was a “small win”…I only lost a tiny bit of weight. I still consider this a win and I still consider this forward progress. All of these small wins will add up to reaching my goal of getting really lean for summer. What if I would have gained weight last week?

I would have made a big adjustment in either my diet or exercise plan and aimed for a “small win” this week. Over time this is a great approach to ensuring weight loss success.

Two Steps Forward and One Step Back

You can expect to lose 3 pounds, gain back 2 pounds…lose 4 pounds gain back 1 pound…lose 1 pound gain back 1 pound. I call this “zig-zagging” your way to a lean body.

This is really where I came up with the term “yo-yo weight loss”. A more accurate term would be zig zag weight loss, but that wasn’t as catchy.

 

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Adam Steer - Better Is Better March 24, 2009 at 2:04 pm

Rusty,

Great philosophy towards weight loss. And it totally jives with the cyclical nature of our evolution. Sometimes there was lots to eat, sometimes not. Sometimes there was lots of work to do, sometimes we just got to sit on our asses.

I’m really looking forward to reading your ebook!

Cheers,
Adam

Michiel March 24, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Hey Rusty
Great advice for all the people that are losing hope when it comes to fat loss.
I also working on right now and i’m considering of doing a couple of fasts each week and eat a large dinner after my workouts. I’m currently reading the warrior diet book and i like all the new things i’m discovering. I’m also feeling very excited to test these things out and get back to the lifestyle that we were acctually meant to have.
Congratulations with your first e-book! I’m definatly gonna read it.

Greetz

Michiel

Rayna March 24, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Nice job with the dieting, you have the right idea.

We all have our weaknesses, yours is lasagna, mines red wine and ice cream. The point is that you stick with it and make changes so that when a situation comes up where you really just don’t have it in you to win , you know you’re still heading to the championship because you’ve done so well already.

Adam Steer - Better Is Better March 24, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Rayna,

“…mine’s red wine and ice cream”

Together? 🙂

shailja March 24, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Great post Rusty! Usually when I used to put on a few pounds I felt like I had lost control and it was downhill from there.This past summer I went home to my family,ate great food and put on a few pounds.For my mom love is expressed by cooking all my favorite foods.But I lost most of it just by resuming normal life activites. Over the holidays same story. Then again with a combination of HIIT and intermittent fasting I’m on my weight loss journey again.I think it helps that I laid the fondation down well and have figured out what works for me. So I’m more in control.

Son of Grok March 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm

A lot of people don’t realize you can “yo-yo” 5 pounds in either direction just based on water retention, bowel movements (and impacted fecies yay), what is sitting in your stomach etc. In my opinion, your goal should never be an exact #.. but a range you are comfortable with.

The SoG

Greg Cook March 24, 2009 at 5:26 pm

I completely agree. People get so discouraged because of all the crap they here in public that say you will lose weight by doing whatever and when it does not happen they are ready to throw in the towel instantly. But really the secret to weight loss is just persevering through all the ups and downs.

Greeno March 24, 2009 at 6:35 pm

looking forward to the e-book Rusty…always wondered how much effect supplements have.

Terry Newman March 24, 2009 at 6:48 pm

This is a great post on a very common problem. I myself struggled with weight loss much of my adult life and definitely experienced the yo-yo effect. Once I realized that weight loss was just a small part of the bigger picture of personal fitness, and decided to get my mind in shape as well as my body, it started to come together for me. I’m still working at it, but I have a much better understanding of how the body works. Thanks in part to great posts like these. Keep up the great writing!

Patrick Cox March 24, 2009 at 6:59 pm

Hey Rusty,
Can’t wait for your ebook, I’m addicted to your site. This is off the subject and hope you don’t mind the question. I was reading an article by Craig Ballantyne, and how he doesnt recommend workouts in a fasted state, I first read about it years ago from Shawn Phillips discussing hiit. I personally, think that it makes sense to wait at least 4 hours, and I train consistently in a fasted state. Obviously Craig practices what he preaches just like you do because he is in top shape, why doesn’t he think that this is an important factor in fat loss? how about the 1 hour after the workout, what if it tends to be more like 30 to 40 minutes before the meal, does that make a big difference. He says something along the lines of, athletes don’t perform their training in a fasted state and doesnt make much difference in fat loss. Just wanted to get your thoughts because it make sense to me that your going to burn food calories if its in your system before you burn from fat storage.
Thanks, lookin forward to the next one

Arya - weight loss blog March 24, 2009 at 7:21 pm

Great philosophy. I love your insight on weight maintenance and staying lean for a life time and especially enjoyed your post on the perfect diet plan. I loved the strategy of carb cycling and believe it is an amazing maintenance tool as well. “If your feeling smooth one week make a note to throw in a few more low carb days” I also enjoyed the idea of throwing in three low carb days leading up to a junkier day and learning to get “in tuned” with your body. These are great strategies for staying lean and living a normal life. I am a strong believer in your advice on slip-ups during dieting. I too used to have the same mentality back in my obese days (my entire life until two years ago). When I “broke” my diet I would tell myself I had failed and ate the rest of the day away with a whats the point attitude. I have now lost over 200 lbs and have kept it off for almost a year. On my blog where I am trying to help others conquer obesity I preach never giving up. In my posts I frequently use the phrase “Get right back on it” and encourage using this comeback mentality to stick to goals. “Yo Yo” dieting is a great way to avoid the feeling of failure and allows you to stick to your goals for as long as you want. I am a college student and have found myself putting my fitness goals before my social life. Your strategies of yo yo dieting, carb cycling, and staying with in five pounds of my ideal weight have helped tremendously and are philosophies I will preach and use for life. Thanks Rusty for all your help and this awesome blog. I am going to again update you with my results, but will keep it short by saying everything is going amazing. I feel closer to the gigandet and Tyler durden physique’s every day and am continuing to see results weekly. I know that it is only my third week on your plan but the great and rapid results have me ridiculously excited for what I will achieve in two months! I can’t wait!

Arya - weight loss blog March 24, 2009 at 7:24 pm

Oh yea and check out the blog if you get the chance.

JE Gonzalez March 24, 2009 at 9:26 pm

Thanks Rusty, very encouraging words, especially to us who have been on those last few pounds for a good while. There comes a point where you will have to use the mirror instead of the scale. I agree with SOG, you should look for a range where you look good. I’m a smaller guy, so for me it’s about 155-160, to bring up your 5 pound rule.

BTW Live Long and prosper Rusty
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Yash March 24, 2009 at 9:39 pm

Rusty,
Great post once again. I think the thing that gets people is that negativity when they gain back some weight. The easiest way to get past this is to let yourself gain that matural weight back and lose it again, just to show yourself you can. After I lost a bunch of weight, I started my “bulking” phase [i really don’t like that term though, since I was just going for a natural amount of muscle, which i now have] and gained a bunch of weight. Now that it’s almost summer and i’m getting lean again, my philosophy is really optimistic, because I know I can do it again, but it may be a little harder this time. Last time i lost weight, i started with a higher bf%. now that i’m at around 10% already, its gonna be a chore.

Also, did my first weight loss phase workout today. I had breakfast in the morning and worked out around 4 hours later like in the SFP. When I got to the gym I started with 5×3’s like I said, but I felt a little weak on my opening squats. The rest of my lifts seemed fine since I dropped reps, so hopefully when I go in next time I’ll discover that the weakness was all mental. Anyway, I did some intervals on the treadmill after about 30 mins and oh boy, have I missed those! My treadmill at the gym goes up 10 14mph unlike my home treadmill which is capped at 10, so I ventured up to 11.5 today and it was great. afterward I tried out your theory on being able to lift heavier for a few sets after HIIT. Any advice to optimize these new workouts? I’m gonna give it a few days, but I think I might split my HIIT/SFP days and my weight training days if i continue to find it harder to lift without a meal.

Good luck with the summer toning [though I doubt you’ll need it] and looking forward to that ebook!
-Yash

Kane March 24, 2009 at 10:04 pm

I’m so glad you just posted this, I’m going through this right now! I recently (7 days ago) stopped mesuring my bodyfat. I got it down to 7% and for the first time in my life have a 6 pack! All down to you, so thanks!

Now, my abs dont look as sharp and i dont feel as strong, and i have put on .7% bodyfat. I think the regular checking of it really pushed me. I was really worried about the wieght gain, but after this post i know i just gotta work harder.

Cant wait for the ebook! also, i heard an audio interview with you, nice to put a voice to the face! you said on there that you have a ebook linked to this site – one that isnt free, im very interested but didnt see it!

Take care!

-Kane

BurritoKid March 24, 2009 at 11:29 pm

nice! how often do you weigh yourself?

DownSouth March 25, 2009 at 12:29 am

I’m really glad someone addressed this. I’m busting my ass to cut fat and I thought I was f*cking up big time gaining a random pound or three back here and there. This article made me feel a little better about it. Good work.

MrBunny March 25, 2009 at 7:53 am

Rusty how often do you weigh yourself once a week or more? I feel that anyone weighing themselves more than once a month is getting a bit obsessive and letting a silly number dictate there lives. I understand if you are starting out and need to use a scale as a guideline but after a few months of your new life style you should drop this and use the mirror and your own instincts on how you feel. For a veteran like yourself Rusty i am some what surprised that you are still using the scale and think you would do much better if you drop it all together. After all if you gain 5lbs of fat you will notice by how you feel and looking in the mirror.

As i said before your weight can fluctuate as much as 5-10lbs in a week due to water retention and waste and what happens if you put on a bit of muscle (muscle weighs more than fat). Rusty, i guarantee that you will feel better and more free when you stop weighing yourself i know i did.

Kane,

If you don’t look or feel as sharp then why do you need a scale to tell you that? Also, the are BF scales are not very accurate unless you get it done in a pod. Otherwise simply dehydrating yourself for a period of 24 hours or more will show you a lower BF than you really are.

Trygve March 25, 2009 at 8:27 am

Awesome, cant wait for the ebook.
The trick for fat loss is to trick the MIND. If you believe it, it will work. Nothing is more powerfull then the mind. I know it sounds stupid but if the media had feed us wich commercials of chocklate is the healthiest u can possibly eat and it will make you loose weight, and thats the only thing people would have heared and believed it. You would have loosen those pounds 🙂 the mind is more powerfull then any high intensity cardio sessio guys, so get used to it :p

Daisy March 25, 2009 at 10:17 am

Heya Rusty! Thanks for this post! I appreciate all the work you do by updating this blog regularly! Since I found this blog last summer I have been using it as my resource for fitness information. I tend to slack off from time to time when I get busy with life but every time I get close to my weight gain limit, I always refer back here. I was especially needing something to boost me up today because last night was girls night @ my house and I baked cupcakes after hitting the gym (in a fasted state) and eating a turkey burger on pita….anyway, my friends are supposedly “dieting” too but they covered their cupcakes in frosting and were eating away with tall cold glasses of whole milk….my mouth was watering! I got up, went and grabbed a cupcake with NO frosting and pinched a bit off and ate it, lol. I then felt like a pig.

Now I see you’re normal and love your delicious home cooked meals as much as I do! I feel much better about myself.

Thanks again!

Oh, quick question…only if you have time to answer: I’m toned everywhere in my body except my stomach. It has that tiny pooch still…but it doesn’t look tight. I’m thinking I may need to push my self a bit more and focus more on ABS? I keep hearing that I have to melt fat first so u can see the muscles…but I don’t think there is much muscle there….is that what could be causing this soft belly look?

Helder March 25, 2009 at 10:40 am

Your strategy is the right one i believe, because above all allows anyone to live Life, besides it’s very easy to control weight. I never understood those guys who keep strict diets they never taste anything delicious, they never make their families happy buy eating a normal meal with them, a cake on a birthday, a nice dessert on a special ocasion, that’s not living, food exists not only for survival and nutrition, but also to enjoy.

I like that Matrix above (picture) lol you could also put a picture of Charlize in Aeon Flux, that’s inspiring 🙂

Chris - www.fitnessfail.com March 25, 2009 at 10:53 am

I read the title and fully expected to disagree with the entire article. I didn’t – very well written and to the point.

The title made my eyes bug out of my head though.. which I suppose means it achieved its purpose.

Rayna March 25, 2009 at 11:17 am

Adam- sometimes together, usually one after another….

SoG- You are so right on the fluctuating weight. I go anywhere from 125-131 depending on the time of day, if I worked out the day before, the last time I ate, etc.

I do weigh myself every day, not to be neurotic but I know if I’m on the light end of that I probably need to hydrate and I’m completely satisfied with my weight, so I don’t freak out if I weigh in at 131 for the day. The bf on the other hand…. (kidding).

I think people concentrate way too much on the numbers anyways. When I use to eat candy and junk food all the time ( and I mean ALL the time) and only did light exercise on occasion I only weighed 110 lbs and I was in the worst shape of my life. More important is your day to day activity and body fat %, IMO.

Rayna March 25, 2009 at 11:19 am

and what you’re putting into your body… Sorry 🙂

Brad March 25, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Hi Rusty- This really promts me to ask your advice on something that has been on my mind as I have followed your blog since 1/5/09. I have been in god shape but since trying and learning how to get lean it seems to me that I’ve gotten”skinny” I bought Pavel’s book on strength training and I am on my way to Russian stardom, getting stronger, but I am loosing inches off my waist and feeling ‘small’. Is this a good thing? I used to pump weights like a football palyer and be a lot bigger, I have one of those body types that morphs quite easily. My problem with putting on weight is that I can’t seem to do it while staying lean and keeping that lean look. Is there a good way to do that?

Thank you!!!!!!!

Bill March 25, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Hey Rusty,
i just ordered the radical fat loss book by DR Mario Di Pasquale,its a low calorie version of the metabolic diet,six days of 1200 calories low carb followed by one day high carb 2000 calories.It made so much since after reading it.What are your thoughts on this diet plan?

Mike OD - LifeSpotlight March 25, 2009 at 10:19 pm

I go up and down at least 5 lbs a week (if I were to really weight myself daily….which I have no desire to do). But then again I use calorie and carb cycling plans….and since the body is like 65% water anyways…it’s all a guessing game. I just look in the mirror and adjust from there.

thomas March 26, 2009 at 4:06 am

hmm, the whole blog article would have made sense to me, if you had replaced every “weight” with “fat”. Weightloss is vague and in most cases irrelevant, unless you are a professional athlete and have to make “weight”. Losing fat as much as possible down to a single digit percentage should be the goal.

myra March 26, 2009 at 5:43 am

Hi
Great topic as always Rusty!
Well because i have been losing 1-2 lbs a week steadily for quite some time, i am where i want to be physically Yippeeeeee!!!!,
but when i weigh myself i have not reached my goal of another 15 lbs! im fitter than ive ever been, i have toned muscle definition, if i lose any more i would look like a boney overcooked turkey.
people are shocked when i say my weight they always say woweee thought it was at least a stone less! i used to yo-yo diet constantly but not by a few lbs we are talking more like half a moose or more!!
Its like this,… your looking in the mirror, feel crap about your size, shape, hair, .. feet, ?? (you can bet it starts with one thing then another until you just want to jump from a window) seeing nothing but fat fat fat ,…. get all depressed eat more, then vow next day will be different, its only when nothing fits in your wardrobe you do something about it how many of you has done that especially the girls ??!! thats why we always say we’ve got nothing to wear!!!!!!! secrets out, damn!!

I say it loud and I say it proud…… No more yo-yoing zig-zagging for me!!! ever!!! im done Rusty! no more! Well except for those measely little 4-5 lbs. XXXXXXXXX

Steve March 26, 2009 at 11:09 am

I think this is perfect. Being a college student and having and active social life, puts me in situations similar to this constantly. I will go out and grab a few beers and dinner with friends, but plan for this. I feel treating myself is necessarry to keeping my diet consistent. I treat it the same way as exercising or lifting. You cannot do the same workout routine 7 days a week with no rest. Not only will you be physically exhausted, but more importantly, mentally drained. Plus, when I look at dieting as something I am doing to change my life and make me a healthier person, not just focused on weight loss, it keeps me motivated to stay consistent and not feel bad about having that “lasagna” once a week. Great Post!

Cindy March 26, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Myra –

Once again I have something in common with you (funny). I don’t zig-zag a couple of pounds, that would be a step up for me and perfectly. For the past few months I have zig-zaged between 10 to 15 pounds. I mean like one week I don’t fit any of my clothes and then the next week my jeans will be baggy only to gain weight again and start the whole thing over. I feel like Jessica Simpson. Honestly, I think a lot of it stems from dieting and being restrictive. Some people have to be careful because you could end up obsessing over food and telling youself “I can’t eat this” only to end up eating it.

Anywho, aside from that.

Rusty –
I usually eat a normal dinner and maybe a small snack or cup of decafe coffee at night. The next day I usually don’t eat breakfast, and go to the gym around midday after class is this bad? Because the whole working out in a fasted state makes sense but sometimes I just feel like I’m not at my physical best.

Overtraining could play a part too… not sure. Overtraining would make a good article topic by the way (if you haven’t wrote one already)

admin March 26, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Adam,

It certainly makes sense to me to have a somewhat random diet with more days of calorie deficit if people are trying to drop weight. Th ebook will get launched very late tonight. I’m excited!

Michiel,

The Warrior Diet is a great book. I like the whole book, but I just eat a bit less than he suggests in that one meal. Also…I just do two fasts per week (Eat Stop Eat style). The book is going to help people make decisions on supplements. I’m excited for people to read the interview. Eye opening.

Rayna,

Whenever possible, I like to prepare if I know I’m going to have a high calorie day…typically with stricter days leading up to the day and slightly longer workouts.

Adam,

Rayna might be on to something. Red wine flavored ice cream. Red wine floats. Ten again, that sounds disgusting.

shailja,

It is smart to catch weight gains before they get out of control…just like you are doing. Good job.

SoG,

You are right. No more “feces” talk, however! I like the term “poop”…it doesn’t make my stomach turn so much.

Greg,

It seems that perseverance is the key to success in anything….good call.

Greeno,

You are going to like this little 30 page ebook. I can’t wait to get this setup tonight!

Terry,

Understanding how the body works is key…then it is just a matter of doing the right things. Thanks for the compliment.

Patrick,

I have a post all about this exact subject. Type in the term “epoc” into the search bar on my site. It will make a lot of sense when you read that post. Craig’s point is that you can lose fat even if you have nutrients in your system…I argue that you can lose more and get a better HGH response if you are in a fasted state. Recently Craig has been doing a lot more of his workouts in a fasted state, because like me he is following the “Eat Stop Eat” method of eating. Both work, but you will get slightly better results if you do your workouts completely fasted.

Arya,

I love hearing of people like you who have not only lost a tremendous amount of weight, but you are aiming for more than just being average. A lot of overweight people are satisfied with just being “not fat” (bad English)…you are aiming for a Fight Club or Cam Gigandet physique. I know you will get there! I have checked out your blog a few times already. I’m blown away by the intro post where you show your before and after pics. Crazy!

JE,

The mirror is the true measure of success, but I still like to use the scale a bit as well. Between the two of them, I get a better overall picture of where I’m at.

Yash,

Don’t you love being in total control over your body composition? You sound like you have it really dialed in. Give yourself about 2-3 weeks before you decide to split the lifting with HIIT. It is just more time efficient to do these in the same session. Since you are doing multiple sets of 3, you should quickly gain strength regardless of your energy levels.

Kane,

I’ll need to put audios on my site. The audio that you are referring to was one where I was interviewed as one of the emerging bloggers on the Internet. You will enjoy this little ebook, It will be the first of many reports. I love researching and seeking truth in regards to fitness…and broadcasting it all over the Internet (even if it challenges accepted “facts”).

BurritoKid,

I mainly will weigh myself on Monday morning and maybe 1-2 more times per week…but I track my Monday weight.

DownSouth,

Your a bigger muscular guy, right? So…a pound or two is nothing to worry about at all.

MrBunny,

I like the scale and mirror combo. A scale can show me a trend that is sometimes hard to notice in the mirror. Just one of the tools I use to measure progress.

Trygve,

I agree to a certain extent. You must be “mentally tough” to do what it takes to get lean, but the mind on its own isn’t going to make your body lose weight. Positive thoughts are okay, but “positive action” is where the results come from.

Daisy,

Heck yeah I love food! As far as firming up your abs…fat loss is a big, big part of the equation, but make sure and do “planks” as well. Type in “abs” into the search bar on the top right corner of this site. I have a few ab posts that will help a bunch.

Helder,

I hate it when people won’t eat cake and other foods during celebrations because of a diet. That is a flawed way of eating in my opinion.

Chris,

I try my best to “suck people in” with the titles 🙂 Glad it worked!

Brad,

You will seem smaller at first, because you aren’t training for “the pump”. What will happen is that as you get stronger with low reps, your muscle definition and density will improve dramatically and then you will be lean, compact, and look outstanding. You will look 10x better in clothes and lean and sleek out of clothes. Give it 6 months or more and you will know exactly what I’m talking about.

Bill,

I have read this plan. It works, but is just a bit structured for my taste. My opinion is that if it doesn’t feel too restrictive and works for you, then it is a good approach for you to take.

Mike,

People do vary throughout the day. Good point. If people do chose to weight themselves they should do it first thing in the morning before eating to get a better idea of their progress.

thomas,

With a proper routine, weight loss IS fat loss. I used to think it was easy to lose muscle and that one had to be extremely careful about muscle loss while dieting. The truth is, that recent research is showing that it is very easy to maintain muscle even under extreme low calorie diets. To make things simple, I refer to weight loss since it is easy to measure. Type in the term “800 calories” into the search bar on my site and read the first article that comes up.

myra,

It sounds like you have made a strong decision to keep in top condition. That is a big step in the right direction.

Steve,

Funny you should mention going out for beers with friends. I’m going to hang out with a former co-worker tonight to eat some hot wings and have 2-3 beers. Because of this, I will hit the gym a bit harder the next 3-4 days and throw in another lower-than-normal calorie day this week. When I was in college, having a few beers 1-2 nights per week was a very important part of the overall experience. Enjoy this brief time in your life. It goes by too quickly in my opinion!

Cindy,

What you are doing is fine and makes sense, but you should avoid overtraining at all costs…and yes I need to do an article on that for sure. Grab a cup of coffee (black) or a 2-3 cups of green tea before your midday workout if you need a little energy boost.

Rusty

Yash March 26, 2009 at 7:07 pm

Thanks for the compliment Rusty. I’ve come a long way in terms of getting in tune with my body [with tons of help, of course, from you and a few others] but I still have a lot to learn.

By the way, I had my second workout today, and it felt a lot better than last time. I’m just going to have to give myself time to adjust and hopefully energy levels will get back up. Plus I picked up a few tips such as having a moderately carb meal the night before so there is glycogen in my muscles even though I’m fasted. Have you ever tried barefoot running/vibram fivefingers or anything along those lines? maybe even nike frees? It got me some great calf definition last summer, and now that I’m running again and using the vibrams, my calves are on fire all over again. I’m a huge fan of them for HIIT especially since it helps running form and recruiting more muscles, so I though I’d drop a hint.

Sweety March 27, 2009 at 2:08 am

Hey Rusty!!
I absolutely love your website.. you are really doing an amazing job helping everyone reach their fitness goals.. keep it up I just had a couple questions…for the past 5 years i have been yo yo’ing (if thats a word!) between 120-135 pounds. I am 5’4 and would like to maintain my weight at 120 but cant seem to do so! I now realize i might have in the past made a mistake of doing too much cardio and dieting hard … now my maintenance daily calorie intake is around 1100 which is quite low i think! I am currently at around 135 pounds and would like to slim down to 120 and stay there this time!!.. what would you suggest I do? I was thinking of doing 3-4 days of HIIT. I aslo wanted to start doing resistance training.. i think that would help raise my resting metabolic rate. Which exercises or machines would you suggest( i am an amateur when it comes to weight lifting)? How many days of resistance training would you reccommend? oh yes and for calorie intake should I reduce it to 800? Thanks Rusty for all your help, really appreciate it 🙂

Yavor March 27, 2009 at 4:27 am

Rusty, I always try to convince people they don’t need supplements.

One guy I train still bugs me to recommend something to him.

Ah, the frustration!

Even though we have made a night and day transformation with him, he still slips sometimes and wants results yesterday! Even though he started working out two years ago with me and has added a ton of muscle and lost bucketloads of fat, making him more proportionate and athletic looking, not to mention his self esteem is through the roof, he still sometimes asks if there isn’t a faster way.

But it’s just human nature – we all need results. And fast!

That’s what the supplement and marketing industries. And, as human nature isn’t gonna change, so will supplements continue to exist.

Yavor

Mike Haydon March 27, 2009 at 4:36 am

Hey Rusty. I found your analogy comparing weight loss/gain to playing sport especially insightful. It’s still counted as a win, even if you only win by one point. I like it. Thanks.

Dave Starbuck March 27, 2009 at 11:47 pm

You are right on Rusty!!! I’ve been doing the weight loss thing for about 2 years and I’ve lost over 60 pounds, but it seems like I’ll lose 10-15 pounds, gain back 5-6 pounds, lose that 5-6 pounds and this will repeat for a while, then I’ll lose another 10-15 pounds then the cycle starts over again. Hell it works and I’ve averaged around 30 pounds lost every year since I’ve started working out and eating better. All I care about is that on January 1 of year new year I’m lighter than the previous year. Now I’m 220 lbs, next year I expect to be around 180-190. No need to rush…

-Dave

fitfightergirl March 29, 2009 at 5:28 am

Have been studying your site intensely since I stumbled upon it and everything you say makes sense! Was formerly 109 lbs [5’4″] and got into muay thai and then started eating 5-6 times daily as the nutrionist recommended. This wasn’t working for me and brought me up to 129lbs.

Just following you one meal a day approach has helped me get down to 120 in just one week! Mostly water weight I know but feels great nonetheless.

Problem is, in the past few days I’ve lost no weight but am feeling extremely run down.

My usual daily routine is [5 days per week]
AM run – now incorporating4x1min burpees at the start + 10 mins of HIIT on the treadmill, then 20 mins high intensity treadmill at a speed.
4-7pm: Muay Thai training – hitting/kicking bags, 5x4minute rounds on pads, sparring/grappling 3×4 min rounds, more bagwork.
and x3 a week: 100 pushups, 100 squats [no weights], 100 situps, plank for 2 min

I want to keep losing weight/fat until I get back to 109 but I also need the strength for my muay thai sessions in the afternoon. Currently I feel too weak to do anything at training.

I was leaving my one meal of the day till around 8pm after training, with maybe a coffee or a piece of fruit during the day if I’m hungry. I just feel so depleted right but at the same time I’m scared to bring my intake over 1100 and consume carbs for fear that I won’t be tapping into my fat stores during my morning runs.

Also, I don’t think I need to revert to a normal diet yet as i’ve only followed the 1 meal a day plan for one week and feel that I still have quite a bit of body fat to lose.

Would really appreciate any advice!

Ling.

admin April 2, 2009 at 5:08 pm

Yash,

I’m going to get a pair of vibram’s from sure. I like running on the beach. It sounds like a great way to do it.

Sweety,

You can go pretty low-cal if you are doing resistance training and you will still maintain the your muscle while losing fat. I would recommend eating around 1,200 calories (while losing weight…you can eat more once you reach your goal). Do resistance training 4 times per week followed by 15-20 minutes of HIIT. So Monday and Thursday, you could do Chest, Back, Abs followed by HIIT. Tuesday and Friday, you could do shoulders and arms followed bu HIIT. Something like that will work well.

Yavor,

Your friend probably doesn’t realize that he will look unbelievable if he keeps it up for the rest of his life.

Mike,

Nice looking site. I like how clean it looks and feels.

Dave,

You have a great attitude. No matter where someone is at right now, they are just 2-4 years max away from an incredible body. Just one step at a time and over a period of time these little steps add up to something huge.

Ling,

I am assuming that you read my post on the Warrior Diet…which outlines eating one meal per day. I take a much more realistic approach that works just as well, called Eat Stop Eat. It is a way of incorporating a one meal day approach into a more normal eating schedule. You eat healthy foods every day for 3-4 meals per day and then do the one-meal-per-day thing, just twice per week. The big difference is that this one meal has to be normal sized as well. You can eat a big meal like The Warrior Diet. This will work a lot better for you, because you have a tough workout schedule. It is the diet I currently follow.

Have a great one!

Rusty

Fitness Gym April 14, 2009 at 6:17 pm

I totally agree with your post. Especially giving in to eat lasagna, bread and dessert but then rebounding back with salad. But at least you win the battle in the end even if it is just a little. I can relate to your post 100%. It is like a sport and it is very hard to lose weight and stick with it. I work out on my own and cook almost all the time. I found this http://www.ballyfitness.com…cooking-healthy.aspx to be very helpful. It tells you what to eat etc. I use it as my guidance because if not I get so sidetrack and eat whatever I want.

Thanks for the post and I look forward to reading your ebook and see what you found!

Amy April 19, 2009 at 12:43 pm

Hey Rusty!

I just discovered your site and after sitting here reading your posts for the past hour or so… I feel like getting off my butt and going to the gym!!!

I’ve been a yo-yo dieter with a binge eating disorder for over 30 yrs. now… I’m 51 yrs. old and can’t believe I’m still on this self-destructive course which has consumed such a huge part of my life! It’s time to finally let it go, and put my focus on positive behaviors and really get in touch with my body!

Can’t wait to come back and read more!!! 🙂

admin April 19, 2009 at 6:15 pm

Amy,

Thanks for the compliment. Sticking with it is half the battle. You can definitely succeed.

Rusty

Word May 30, 2009 at 12:26 pm

Hey I am 15 years old and over the last two months I have been losing weight and now I am about at 5% and have no idea how many calories I need to maintain this because I definitely dont want fat to reappear again. Any suggestions on what foods and how many calories i should consume each day?

Diana January 14, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Hummmmmm……interesting, if we look at weightloss as a lifestyle instead of dieting we would have a different outcome. Lifestyle is about management, its about controlling what you put in your mouth. It’s about moderation, It’s about calories in calories out. This is not rocket science. Get off the couch, put down those chips grab an apple and go for a walk. Cheap Edmonton Hotels

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