Man Skills: how to lose your fat gut

by adam on February 19, 2011

I don’t post much on this page about fat loss, but I think it’s time to change that up.

Before I get going, you can view some of my fat loss articles on www.MovementMinneapolis.com.

If you are here looking for a fat loss boot camp in Minneapolis, click here now.

Why Should I lose my big fat gut?

I don’t like to dabble in “shoulds” too often, but I will give you one….

Because you think about it every fucking day. That is a start. People obsess over their appearance. You wake up and at some point you look at yourself. Most people are not very happy with what they see.

If I’m wrong, stop me now.

What I do know is that the supplement industry makes 10 billion dollars a year selling pills that promise fat loss. P90X murdered the market with its promises of extreme fat loss. Biggest Loser is one of the nations most watched television programs. You can tell me you don’t care about fat loss, but the indicators are clear that everyone else does.

You want to look better. What is wrong with that?

Nothing in my opinion. Some people may tell you not to worry about it, but you still do.

That is fine. I’m going to tell you some shit that will help. I’m going to share with my history. You will learn from my lessons and mistakes. It will be your burden to decide if this is for you.

Everyone who is not committed will ask for qualifications to buy them in. So here are my qualifications.

I was fat. Now I’m not.

This is me as a fat guy, around 240ish...

I train lean people who used to be fat.

I teach people how get lean and stay lean.

And I do it better than anyone else I have met. That last part is yours to decide, just be warned I don’t care if you agree or not.

Man Skills, things every man (and wo-Man) needs to to know.

Why do I title this Man skills? Because taking control over your body, having a hand on how it works and looks is fucking awesome.

Every man has in his grasp the ability to control his body composition. Choosing to exercise that ability and demonstrate mastery of it is up to you. At the minimum I want to make sure you are up to speed on the broad strokes with this.

What do I know about this topic?

Well for starters I know what it is like to wake up and think “fuck am I really this fat?”

I know what it’s like to pull a pair of jeans out of the closet and get defeated trying to get them buttoned.

I know what it is like to try on a suit which is only two years old and finding out it is definitely not something to wear today.

Now some real deal fat guys would laugh at me when I say I know how it feels. I have never exceeded 25% body fat. I did not avoid going to the beach, or asking a girl out because I felt like a fat kid. I never truly “struggle” with the weight as others have. So if that disqualifies me from helping you, click the Back button right the fuck off my site. See how effective that is to get your attention? Back to work…

I am saying that as my disclaimer. I don’t want you to be misled to thinking this will be a story of someone who went from like 300 lbs to 200 lbs. It’s not a story of someone who changed their entire life.

Those stories are pretty neat, but it does not apply to me. I was never someone who killed gallons of ice cream and hid in the basement wishing to never be found. I’m a guy who found himself fat because I ignored my bodies feedback, my sensation, and in many ways common sense. I also do not have a story of massive set backs and tragic problems. As soon as I knew what to do I did it. This is a story of how I learned to drop fat without killing myself with dumb fucking diets and bullshit faddish exercise programs.

Enter The Blue Suit

My first day of basic military training I jumped off the bus at 185 lbs. I was 18 years old. In my mind I was a big kid, but realistically I was a 6’2 scrawny kid with a wide upper back from lots of wrestling and a belly from too many trips to Burger King after work. I think I was some what pudgy as a freshmen in high school, I was lean and pretty strong when I graduated as a senior at 191. I more or less took off 9 months of training as I worked a lot prior to military service.

So concerning food and fat: BMT was a strange beast for my diet. It was the first time in my life I was limited on when I could eat, but at the same time it was the most food ever provided to me at one time. Breakfast at 6AM sharp, lunch 1145 sharp, diner 1700 sharp. You either ate or you were ordered to eat. They gave us good food too, but no one ever asked if we wanted more or less. Here is your serving, clean your plate.

I was the dorm chief for my flight (323 TRS/flt 163, 2001) and I would be the last person served. The rule is simple. The flight had time to eat until I was done. If I decided to eat one bite and call it good they had to drop their shit and leave. So some days I would take a long time to eat, maybe 7 minutes. Other days I would be a big fucking dickhead, bite a piece of toast and say get the fuck back outside.

During this time I learned how much leverage food has over people. Prior to that I never really thought about it. On my flight there were a few guys that would bug me from time to time, “Hey will you please slow down, I’m starving!”

Now were they starving? Of course not. Were they unhappy? Stressed out? Confused? Yes, Yes, Yes. They wanted to use food as a lever to alter their state. Too bad for them, 18 year old trainee Glass had no idea what state management was. He simply assumed they were lazy and wanted more time to fuck off before going back to whatever task we had. So instead of talking to them about it, I would shovel down a plate of food in 45 seconds and tell them to unass their chairs. Why? Because I am a dickhead like that.

My graduation day I weighed 172 lbs. I was pretty fucking lean. Scrawny bean pole looking fucker. I have a photo from that day and it’s hard to remember having a 29 inch waist with a medium shirt.

Skip ahead to 2008. Wow big jump, I know.

ok, i’ll back up for a second.

After technical school I was sent to Minot to the nuclear wing. I was able to get some weight lifting in during my technical training, and I was back up to 180. My schedule at Minot was optimal for training, and I left there for Korea at 201. If I had to guess, I would have been around 11-13% body fat then.

Then in Korea I drank my ass off. Somehow I balanced a lot of training on the Emergency Services Team with trading a lot of dollars off in Song-ton for OB’s and Long Island Ice Teas.

By the time I left Korea I was right around 210, probably around 17%-18% body fat. I was distinctly more muscular, but definitely fatter. My endurance was up, my “work capacity” was up. I could run 10 miles no sweat. I could wear my gear all day and go crush the weight room for two hours later. But I was fatter. My diet could have been described in many ways by the popular 40% Protein/40% Carbs/20% fats. I thought that was the best way to stay lean and get strong. But I was in fact fatter when I left than when I arrived. Very important to note that.

When I first got to Okinawa I decided I wanted to lean out more. It was hot as hell and humid all the time. I would run at night, and do a lot of body weight exercises plus some deadlifting and pressing.

I was placed on day shift and found out it is easier to crush fast food instead of packing a lunch. Way easier. Having to eat in a patrol vehicle meant lowest possible preparation is required. So I got to be pretty tight with Charle’s steak sandwiches and Pop Eyes chicken. My diet was clock work, eat at 6 AM after shift change before traffic started. Eat again around 2 PM once the standard noon car accident rush was over. Eat again at 8 PM before bed.

Naturally I was training the whole time. My body weight moved to 215. My waist was slightly up, but I thought things were going ok. By the way, I was fatter.

During my first deployment to Iraq I dropped a lot of weight. I came back more muscular and leaner than when I arrived in Oki. I spent the whole deployment lifting like a mindless little worker bee- deadlift, press, get ups. Like a good party member, deadlift/press/get up. Very little cardio outside of jogs here and there, and every now and again I would try out this crazy “Cross Fit” thing which was picking up steam on the base. I didn’t care much for the CF, because it rarely included the motor miracle of lifting a barbell of the floor. I did do some body weight training during this time and was highly influenced by Matt Furey’s Combat Conditioning book.

My diet during this time was “inconsistent” according to my coworkers. I would eat anywhere from 1 to 6 meals a day. Some days I would eat nothing but 5 pieces of chicken breast. Other days I would have fruit pieces through out the day. I had no eating schedule, because LSA Anaconda had 5 DeFACS and one was always open. I limited myself to one soda per day, and I drank 2-3 gallons of water a day. Because the DeFacs served completely different food daily, I had good variety across the board for macro nutrients and types of food.

When I got back from Iraq I dropped 4,000 dollars to have several hundred pounds of metal cannon balls with handles delivered via APO to Oki, followed by several hundred more via import from Australia. Tree swinging traps and the pain tolerance of an immortal were in my future.

For 6 months I worked in the mobility/S-4 section. Very routine diet. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Rarely missed a meal. I look back and see I pretty much ate the same 7 meals through out the week. I also dined out often, enjoying some fantastic meals and of course CoCo-IchiBans at least 3 times a week.

Body fat came back fast. It was some what perplexing at the time because I switched my training over from 2-5 sets of 2-5 reps over to lots of reps with kettlebells for workouts that would often go 40-60 minutes.

I should add, in this year (2006) I was so certain of this fact: Diet doesn’t matter. Only training matters. Lift harder and the fat will come off. I knew that.

That was the belief system of a man who was putting on more body fat every month.

me as a fat guy side view

I was back in Iraq within a few months.

Guess what happened?

Got leaner every month.

This time it was different. Lots of moving around, working 6 days a week 14 hour-18 hour shifts. Some days I would only get in a single meal. Other days I ate upwards to 8 meals. I have no doubt I had at least 4 times where I put down over 8,000 calories.

Some days I would eat only meats. Other days I ate whole boxes of pop tarts. Some times I would eat three plates of vegetables, other times it was only sugar and fat. When the temperature would go over 140 degrees I wouldn’t eat anything.

My workouts were 45-90 minute kettlebell circuits. Stupid volume. I had days where I would set a timer to 30 minutes and do nonstop get ups. I would drink a bottle of water, then juggle kettlebells for 30 more minutes. Some days I would snatch for an hour.

I got lean. When I came back I was under 10%. My body weight was right at 197lbs.

This gets close to when most of you first found me. I started this website when I got back from Iraq the second time.

Where it all goes bad…

North Dakota. 3rd lowest population in the United States. World leader in flex seeds and sun flower seed production. A place where you can drive in some directions for 3 hours and not find a McDonalds.

fat guy rear view

Honestly, I fucking hated moving to North Dakota. Wonderful people live there, but its a fucking fat camp stocking state.

Nearly all the food you can get is coming in heavily processed. Good luck finding fresh fruit or vegetables considering everything must be shipped in. Minot had 3 major grocery stores, they all smell like rotting vegetables and bleach. The best place to eat in town would be like a 1/4 star joint in any major city. High quality food? Not here, not unless you go out and kill it yourself.

So I’m training my ass off. I am getting in to these feats of strength, steel bending, and throwing around kettlebells every day. My job has me on the road in a vehicle for upwards to 10 hours a day. I fall back to old familiar favorites- Cheetos, beef jerky, processed lunch meats. I often got home late and tired, so I order Papa Johns or wings from Pizza hut. I felt like I’m hungry all the time, but I’m obviously over eating because those utility pants were getting tighter.

Now I feel my psychology at this time was really what allowed the next series of events to unravel.

First I had this idea that “functional fitness” was all about how I played, and had nothing to do with what I looked like. I had an idea that training to alter my appearance was vain and wasteful. The only thing that mattered was more weight on the bar, bigger steel bent, or more reps in a set. Diet didn’t matter, if you tried hard enough and stuck to it all things were possible. Will power and effort is all that is required, and people who are failing need only to resolve themselves to stop being a pussy.

So I added body weight (and of course body fat). 2008 start of the year 210 lbs, highest point 217 lbs. 2009 start of the year 212 lbs, highest point in the year 246 lbs. I was doing a “mass” program and I was eating a lot. I felt like I was getting pretty strong at the things I was working on. My waist was at 38 inches. I could snatch a 24kg bell a hundred times with no problem, but I felt tired all the fucking time.

Luckily I was able to justify this shit with the idea that it will all come off as soon as I train harder.

Turning it all around

In many ways The Movement was born in February 2010 in Woodbury MN when 7 people met at Kinetic Edge Performance  for three days of listening to Frankie Faires tell us everything could be changed. The request from him was “tell me when you think I’m full of shit.” I had already been working with the material at this point for several months to the best of my ability. During the weekend we had a talk about diet, and Mike T Nelson told me had been working for a while on a new plan for eating. The basic idea was everything is too complicated and unrealistic for people to make the progress they could.

I spent a lot of time learning more and more about this topic. I spent even more time testing it out, studying results, and replicating them on others. So I have several years of personal data, and over a years worth of data points with multiple subjects.

212 lbs at 11% body fat, taken 18 Jan 2011

Here is the last personal thing relating to my history you should know.

I weigh 213 right now. I am lean. My body fat is decreasing while my fat free mass increases monthly. I am the strongest I have ever been and I have never looked better. Why does that matter? Because it was incredibly easy to get here.

Photo was taken 15 Feb 2011, leaner every month.

Why share all the history?

As I write all this up, the experiments which should have been run are screaming at me. The answers appear obvious, like a red pen has circled all the key words. It’s so funny that as we retell a story the solution is so apparent when at the time it eluded us.

What my history reveals about me

  • I was consistently leaner when my diet was heavy on variety and light on routine.
  • I was leaner with multiple types of meals and a wide range of macro nutrients
  • I was leaner when I rotated my meal frequency, I was fatter when I was on schedule
  • Quality of food matters, I got fattest when my quality of meals dropped
  • Training has minimal impact on fat loss, even when you are centered on so called “fat loss” movements
  • Trying hard has little impact on fat loss, no matter how hard I tried 4,000 calories of low quality food would still be stored as fat
  • Being dedicated has little impact on fat loss. I trained 5 days a week for 40-60 minutes, and still got fatter. The wrong action performed with high dedication is still the wrong action.
  • If you chose to ignore diet, you can just forget about an easy fat loss experience. This is not to say it won’t happen, but it will not be as easy or as fast as it could be.

It does not matter what you think about those statements, the data confirms this is accurate.

Here are some opinions

  • A lot of this could have probably been managed/avoided had I maintained a food log and tracked my measurements monthly.
  • A body that looks better plays better. Take any person, make them fat, performance goes down. Make them lean, performance goes up. See a lot of fat guys at the Olympics? No you don’t. Lean Adam kicks fatty Adams ass, and fatty Adam was not one to be fucked with…
  • Training for appearance is not stupid.  Ignoring appearance is stupid IF deep down your appearance matters to you. Don’t let the pretenders define your priorities! To add on, most of our popular functional fitness authorities look and move like shit, with very poor functional strength and ability. Fuck the gurus, do your own shit.
  • Fat loss is probably 75% diet. It’s also 100% science.
  • Some movements probably work better for fat loss, but ultimately you have to own up to the amount of calories you are consuming.
  • It is not as simple as calories in vs. calories out, but that shit is highly associated to this game.

Now on to the man skills part

You want to lose the gut now?

Do this:

  • Keep a food log. Write down everything that goes in your mouth.
  • Measure your body with a tape measure every 14 days in the following sites: neck, shoulder, chest, waist, hip, upper leg, lower leg, upper arm, lower arm.
  • Take a photo of yourself in the front, side, and rear every 30 days with your shirt off.
  • Find a way to check body fat and do that every 14 days. I recommend an OMRON body fat tester. I have been using one at Movement Minneapolis for 6 months and it has proven to be very helpful.

Try this:

  • Use a variety of foods, variety of frequencies for meals, variety of macro and micro nutrients, variety of meal times, and variety of meal sources.
  • Use a variety of food preparation techniques
  • Eating in various combinations and isolations
  • Changing the brands and labels on foods. Like a certain brand of oatmeal? Try out several others and see if you can find something else you like.

Don’t do this:

  • Don’t make it harder than it needs to be. Don’t try to “fix” everything today. You will fail. One thing at a time dude bro.
  • Don’t get pissed off when your 50 lbs of fat doesn’t fall off in one week of no donuts.
  • Don’t completely eliminate anything from your diet that you enjoy. If you like a beer, then have a beer. If you love pizza, then eat pizza. This is about lifestyle, not restriction.
  • Don’t think you can short cut this by dropping $300 dollars at GNC. The only thing that will get leaner is your bank account. Supplements may or may not work, but even the best fat burner gets owned when you crush three big Macs at lunch time.

Keep this in mind:

  • It is going to take time to drop off fat, after all it took time to put it on. Most men have been working on their fat belly for at least 5-10 years. That shit is not coming off in 4 weeks.
  • Don’t do anything now that you are not prepared to continue doing. This is about sustainability.
  • If it was easy everyone still wouldn’t do it. They would sit around and bitch. Like they do.

Avoid the following:

  • Beware of fat people telling you about diet and fat loss. I’m not saying to not listen, I’m saying use caution. If they knew what they were talking about they would be leaner.
  • Beware of people offering a 30 lbs reduction plan which works in 3 weeks. A sucker and his money are soon parted, and the fat loss game finds a lot of suckers. Don’t be one of them.
  • Beware any plan which includes completely eliminating any part of your diet. No more carbs? Red Flag. No more dairy? Red Flag. No more pizza? Red Flag. Catching my drift?

Seek out the following:

  • People who have dropped body fat. Ask them how they did it. Do not do what they did. Their history is useful for data points for experiments, not as an example to imitate.
  • Medical professionals. I know most dude bros do not trust doctors these days, but they are on your side. Talk to your health care provider and ask them if they believe your plan is healthy for your body.
  • High quality food sources
  • Meals that make you happy

Keep the faith:

  • In science and experimentation. Follow the numbers. Tape measures, scales, and body fat tests don’t lie. Experiment until it’s moving in the directions you want to see.
  • You can do this. I honestly do not know if you can, but there is no point in starting if you believe you will fail.
  • That this is really a simple process, and most people are over complicating it because they want your money. And they want you to be confused. That is because they are really confused them self.

Get the hell away from:

  • Ideological stances relating to food. Carbs are not “bad” and organic does not automatically equal “healthy”
  • Crash diet plans. 21 pounds in 3 days sounds like amputation to me…
  • Anything a celebrity endorses who is unable to control their own weight. Oprah I’m looking at you sweetheart.

Final word for now

In the future I will be offering more tools which will cover fat loss in a comprehensive way. I will also release a product which will show you how clients at Movement Minneapolis are shedding fat so fast.

I cut the fat, so can you

For now- take this which I am giving you freely and use it. Don’t be the guy who needs to have cash squeezed out of him before he appreciates information.

If you want more information on application of the metabolic Flexibility program, click here now.

P.S. have you downloaded my new Ebook? It’s free to you, look on the right hand side of the page. You will love it.

{ 36 comments }

Frankie Faires February 19, 2011 at 12:38 pm

The only metric that matters is adaptability.

Practice it in everything…
including your diet

and expect your ass
to look
a whole lot sexier.

Good leading from the front, Velvet.

adam February 19, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Thanks Pimp

Faizal Enu February 19, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Well done and well written Adam….

adam February 19, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Faizal you have made a HUGE change in your body over the last two years, how much of this did you also observe with your fat loss?

Peter February 19, 2011 at 3:21 pm

As a friend of Faizal’s I can honestly say the addition of a fuckton of Dance Dance Revolution is the key.

Faizal Enu February 20, 2011 at 9:26 am

Pretty much everything you said, verbatim. A couple of things that are very important:
1) Try stuff
2) Don’t take fat loss advice from a fat ass
3) Don’t quit

The Machine February 19, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Adam,

You have done an amazing job changing your body. You have always been strong but now you are lean and mean. Your strength improves and real Gents like you and I are able to maintain/get stronger while staying lean.

I’m proud of you, keep up the great work.
Mike

adam February 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Thanks Mike! I feel this is something which is important in both my profession as a trainer as a leader to people for strength.

Steve Meidinger February 19, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Great points, especially the variety of eating times. I have absolutely no method to my eating madness. I eat breakfast maybe once a week on whatever day I feel like. I sometimes eat dinner, sometimes just drink beer or wine and eat cheese or nuts. I haven’t eaten lunch in years. I don’t eat “recovery” meals.

I still eat an ass-ton of vegetables (which always seem to make me feel better), I eat good fats from salmon, sardines, oils, nuts and seeds and I mow down some fruit here and there. I get some Bison, elk or other wild game in when I feel the need for it. I eat pizza and shit when I feel like it. I am 6’3″ and have weighed between 190-195lbs for over ten years.

I have followed an order of eating when I can for nearly twelve years now. I always start meals with veggies, move to proteins/fats and end with carbs. I see a lot of people writing about this topic now like its new science…its been pretty fucking obvious to me for over a decade. But, I digress.

Good stuff as always, man.

adam February 20, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Steve,

very good stuff. Tell me have you attempted to either lower your body weight or elevate it in the last year? I think that would be useful to either shoot for 185 or push to 200, it seems waving the weight and composition of the body is useful.

alastair hart February 21, 2011 at 4:21 am

“how much of this mirrors what you are already doing?”
to quote your good self

“I was consistently leaner when my diet was heavy on variety and light on routine.
I was leaner with multiple types of meals and a wide range of macro nutrients
I was leaner when I rotated my meal frequency, I was fatter when I was on schedule
Quality of food matters, I got fattest when my quality of meals dropped
Training has minimal impact on fat loss, even when you are centered on so called “fat loss” movements
Trying hard has little impact on fat loss, no matter how hard I tried 4,000 calories of low quality food would still be stored as fat
Being dedicated has little impact on fat loss. I trained 5 days a week for 40-60 minutes, and still got fatter. The wrong action performed with high dedication is still the wrong action.
If you chose to ignore diet, you can just forget about an easy fat loss experience. This is not to say it won’t happen, but it will not be as easy or as fast as it could be.”

a few things. nowadays i like to keep long gaps between meals, most days. sometimes, maybe once a week i will fast for 20 hours or so, and then eat all ofmy meals for the day in the next three hours and enjoy feeling stuffed. then maybe a day or two later i will just graze all day, snacking on little treats and stuff. i throw in a deliberate high carb day in once in a while, and then when the summer is here pizza, beer and barbeques , fried breakfasts, kick in big time on the weekend. my point is i do the, “6 small meals a day, 3 larger meals a day, and the “warrrior diet” if you like, pretty well on instinct. i restrict nothing, but i do use common sense when i deliberately target fat loss, which i do for 4 to six weeks every year.
interestingly have just done my fat loss phase for this year for the first time since using gym movement protocols. waist is under 32 inches, i have a six pack, dropped 15lbs in five weeks, 4 inches of christmas flab off the waist, all without breaking a sweat. hell a lot easier than when i have done this in previous years.

Steve Meidinger February 21, 2011 at 8:54 am

Adam,
I have not. Great suggestion, though. I feel the need to go a bit lighter as climbing season approaches.

I will shoot for 185lbs within the next six weeks. I am currently floating at 193lbs.

Matt February 19, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Hey man, REALLY enjoyed this article! I did the life changing weight loss about 6 years ago. I went from 305 down to 200. After starting an office job I got back up to 240. I tried to out lift my bad diet…..doesn’t work. Now, I’m trying to lean down, and I’m bring a couple buddies with me. We all read your site. Keep it up!

Brian Johnson February 19, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Solid post. Solid work.

mike sheehan February 19, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Adam

There is nobody that leads from the front like you , nothing is misssed you provide the best and most tested and documented results thats why you are the man, in a results based industry i see know nobody putting out results like this. Most people jaw muscles are there strongest cause they talk bullshit all day and get nowhere i hang with you cause your the exact opposite you say very little and produce very much imagine being the fence sitter thats missing out on getting better, not me , been sick looks like you spread some incredible knowledge last week i will be back tracking test out the info and add it to my training my my fucking training wheels are off it been a year since the grip n rip this year will be my best thanks getting the info coming it helps me so much thanks adam great work per usual . ya boy DDN put on a laser show at the POwer lifting meet they are going to start black listing you two you guys from competion you are getting too strong , just think DD tv would be there request an interview if you told everyone to tighten there already too tight glutes and power breath good thing you are not full of shit , you guys are too smart No interview, you must be able to do that in the snow with no vibrams in order to be an elite rusky maybe when DDn pulls 600 lbs and you snap another cresent and loose 10 more pounds people will start listening , side note your beard must weigh 8 pounds very nice, i have grown a nice one dudes at work say i look homeless perhaps the best compliment i have recieved all week , i tell them thats the goal alright let me stop

adam February 20, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Mike you will like this.

when I was in Dallas Frankie took me over to a bar strip. We were walking down the street and bumped in to an old friend of Frankie. He talked for maybe 15 seconds, then we headed out. Later that week he ran in to his friend, and they asked him “who was that homeless guy you were with”

The beard will make a come back this decade, no longer will hobos and crazies own the rights to it.

Of course I am crazy and nearly homeless so maybe not…

titus February 20, 2011 at 12:15 am

Adam,

I just discovered your site last night while, doing a little research for more KB fitness programs, around the end of November I purchased my first KB (it’s a 50lber Sports Authority does not sell them in Kg).

To get on and read this latest article this evening was a breath of fresh air and a reality that has also hit me in the last months. I was introduced to the cultfit as you call it by my commanding officer on a tour to Iraq in 2007, before that time a was a typical gym rat thinking I had to lift heavy pack on weight and find some way to slim down after.
I came out of high school 2001 at 135/5’9” joined the Marines Reserves did some college and then slowly worked myself up to 165 my heaviest in 2006. I think I’m not far from being back at that weight right now and not real happy about it. Once I started Crossfit in 2007 I dropped down to a lean 140 my eating was none routine not specifically healthy but all quality food. I moved to Houston after I got out of the Corps and that last tour, did some more college, worked out hardcore and thought the same thing you described earlier in the post food does not matter it’s the workouts that are giving me the results.
I got board and ended up joining the Air National Guard for Texas, all of 2010 was spent in school for these guys meals became routine none quality all processed. I started to pack on weight workouts were the same but eating I found really matters, so now I’m trying to figure out how to get back to the basics and drop this unwanted poundage. Crossfit has been good to me but I want to get into more of the KB stuff, I have never joined one of their gyms I just picked out the workouts that I liked. I watched the demo vids ignored the lifts I did not understand and never picked anything up my body said was in poor form.
As much as I have enjoyed crossfit I feel my mindset is more like yours “do what works for you” right now I’m looking for something new that will work for me. And what do I want to incorporate into what works for me? KB’s and lots of them and with the wisdom and information I have found on your site expect to hear more from me.

Titus

adam February 20, 2011 at 2:40 pm

I have a lot of info posted here, searched the article sections I believe that will be a good resource to you

alastair hart (ali) February 20, 2011 at 3:16 am

awsome article adam.your ability to write down what so many of us are thinking never ceases to astound me.
i too had a moment once when i woke up and thought, fuck, where did this fat guy come from. then i got lean, then i got fitter, and now i am getting stronger. and i am still lean. and i have spent 8 years being advised by fat people how to “diet”. even though i eat what i want, whenever i want. interestingly want i want to eat tends to be the good stuff. i like to experiment, and variety is key. amuses me when i get grief for caring about how i look, by people who also care about appearance, but because they look like shit, pretend they don’t.

adam February 20, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Ali thanks for sharing that. How much of this information mirrors up with what you are already doing?

alastair hart February 21, 2011 at 4:26 am

er… i seem to have replied in the wrong place. it’s further up the page.

Mike T Nelson February 20, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Awesome work once again Adam!

I love it how experience fits into a theory.

If there is zero experience (data) that fits the theory, either the data was not collected correctly (usually not the case) or the freakin’ theory is broke!

There are many many broken theories out there for fat loss!

This line made my laugh “Minot had 3 major grocery stores, they all smell like rotting vegetables and bleach” I have been to a few places like that—I did not feel like buying anything.

Of course both quality AND quantity of food matter.

Variety is overlooked by virtually everyone.

Adaptability is the key for sure!

Excellent work and fun to lift at the Movement Minneapolis yesterday again.

Keep leading from the front!

Rock on
Mike T Nelson PhD(c)
http://www.extremehumanperformance.com/metflexnc.php

Tyler S. February 20, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Nice article, Adam. Thank you.

To anyone in Minneapolis who may be reading this- become an action taker and go check out Movement Minneapolis to see how fast and easy it is to start looking, feeling, and performing better. Adam is not bragging. Your body will thank you.

Jeremy February 21, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Yup, I can identify with this article Adam. I looked my BEST when life was at my WORST. Not to drag up my life but I found out that my “at the time” super serious Girl had been cheating on me, it fucking killed me……Sounds pathetic but I didnt wanna eat at all, shit was just all bad for me, I ended up eating irradictly…….sometimes 6 times a day, sometimes once a day and maybe just an apple or sandwich. Anyway I ended up losing 25 lbs, down from 250 to 225. I was scared I had lost all my strength, all my “gains” from the past year of training. I ended up losing NO STRENGTH whatsoever. I actually felt great(physically) and looked very lean. I actually looked “bigger” in my eyes simply because my shoulders popped out, had some more cuts, my ratio’s looked better. So since then I realized that eating 5-6 times a day, 300 grams of protein a day, etc etc ISNT neccesary ALL THE TIME. Yes, you gotta eat to grow, but it doesnt have to be everyday. I have since lost my “religion” of excess protein, 6 meals a day, carbs in the AM only, post workout meals etc etc etc. These are all coveted beliefs in the modern fitness world, but I have for myself tested the system(even though accidentally) and found for me it works. After I recovered from the bad relationship I started eating “normal” again and training super hard…..I got bigger and some lifts have gone up BUT I feel like shit again and look like shit again. I would go back to 225 again even lower to feel great again in my own skin………AND I WILL. Thanks for the reminder to be me and do me.

adam February 22, 2011 at 11:09 am

Jeremy

Valuable feedback you have shared with us here. Do you keep a food log at all?

Charles February 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Great article Adam. MikeT lead me to you. I completely agree with this approach, and if you notice, this approach is extremely similar to “Grip & Rip” in that all that matters are the tested and measurable results.
If all you eat is chicken breast but you feel like shit, you’re gaining weight and your performace is low, perhaps you should look at eating more variety etc… Key test and retest…

adam February 22, 2011 at 11:10 am

Charles

yes, when we planned Grip and Rip we had a lot of these starting points. Since then (one year ago) we have vastly improved our process

Joe February 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Nice article Adam. Diet does make all the difference.

Matt Orb February 23, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Good post,

I particularly agree with the notion that “it doesn’t matter what you eat so long as you train hard” is bollocks.

A few years ago when I was in the final few months of my service with the Royal Marines Commandos I decided I was going to cut up and get shredded so I lifted weights for an hour or so during the day and then did at least an hour of cardio in the evenings, five times a week.

My diet (from memory) wasn’t great, not appalling but very regular as is the way in military establishments and regardless of the amount of phys I cracked I never seems to shed much (if any) fat. I was extremely perplexed to say the least.

This post has inspired me to keep a food log, I have a fairly good handle on what I eat during the week – nothing but snacking on nuts and dried fruit during the day and a main meal in the evening when I get in from work. It’s the weekends that let me down as I tend to think ” What the hell, I’ve been good all week so I’ll eat exactly what I want, when I want.”

I have been as high as 245lbs and as low as 215 but I hover around 220 at the moment and around 15% bf so I’d really like to shed some lard for the summer.

Just a point on bf monitors, the one you mentioned is an electronic one. Do you find they give consistent readings? I’ve never been a fan of them as the results vary greatly depending on what I’ve eaten, how hydrated I am, whether I’ve taken a dump etc.

I prefer the skinfold callipers and tend to take a reading on a Friday, I choose to do it on a Friday as I believe it’s a more consistent time to do so as my eating has been fairly uniform all week and I’m not full of junk from the weekend.

adam February 23, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Matt

We have had several people go to the University and get in the bodpod, we compared measurements and the hand held unit is with 1% for most of the people. We have also cross checked it with a WI scale David owns and it is pretty close.

While it is 100% accurate in the sense of being dead on, it is extremely useful to plot trends. If one was to check it daily for 30 days they would be able to see trends. I believe it is a helpful aid in a fat loss journey. Not essential, but damn useful.

Skin measurements are great- provided they person measuring is consistent with sites. get in to an exact routine with your sites and you will be good to go. Same thing, not 100% accurate but useful to spot trends.

Bianca February 23, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Great post & it’s helping me a lot, I need to lose some winter pudge.

& btw I’ve said before Man Beard is very popular in Wyoming and Montana….. If you want to blend in and possibly put a Grizzly in a head lock for kicks, come out here! None of that would look out of place.

Torsten Brück March 18, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Great stuff Adam!
I will try to get my wife open-minded for your thoughts, looks like a realistic and good way!

adam March 18, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Torsten great to see you commenting!

Tell her it gets easier with time, just keep taking those small steps forward.

Marc March 27, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Such a great post! Very enlightening for me! I have pretty much shared this with everyone. One week of being a PHD had proven much to me…

Thanks Adam!

blengas March 29, 2011 at 2:24 am

It’s indeed a good post, helped me a lot.

Cheryl April 3, 2011 at 11:07 am

Awesome post dude! I’m former Air Force and I’ve been to all the places you’ve been stationed at (including a 2-day hellish TDY at Minot in January) and I can say you’re spot on when it comes to all the different working/eating/partying environments.

I’ve had my own journeys as well throughout all the places I was stationed at/deployed to/ TDY and I like how you evaluate all the possible correlative/causative stuff that could’ve been contributing to fat gain or fat loss but most of all I truly love your statement, “fuck the gurus, do your own shit!” I counsel a lot of my coworkers on fat loss and I constantly have to baby shake them from thinking that people like Tim Ferris aren’t anything else but great marketers.

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