I’ve dropped 27 lbs and counting, using the Visual Impact program. These are my results more than half way to my goal of 30 lbs!
Nearing the end of 2014, I was the heaviest that I have ever been, weighing in at 215 pounds. Now, the funny thing is, I wasn’t in the worst shape ever, as I still lifted a few times per week and would do a bit of cardio here and there but my poor diet and lack of a real plan had my weight surging upwards. In this post, I am going to share with you exactly how I’ve done it thus far, and how I’m making the final 15 pounds melt away very easily.
A Step by Step Plan of Action to Get into Great Shape
There is so much noise and confusion out there about what it takes to lose fat, gain muscle, or create a certain body type that it is no wonder why so many people fail at achieving their goals. It is the same reason why magazines can run the same articles each month about the latest breakthrough diet, that totally gets results. Most of this info is utter nonsense and even when it works (weight loss occurs) it is usually an unsustainable way to live for most people.
The truth of the matter is, fat loss is really an easy process. Yeah, I said it! Cut out all the BS about fat loss and what does it boil down to? Three things…
That’s it! If people can get those three things into order, losing fat or building muscle is an absolute breeze. Just to prove to you that I’m not full of it, I’ll break down each of the three parts and what I specifically did to make each of them go as smoothly as possible, without starving myself or going on any weird diet that I cannot sustain long-term.
Fail to Plan and Plan to Fail
Saying to yourself, “I’m going to lose weight” isn’t a plan. It’s a wish at best. I don’t know about you, but I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve attempted to get into really good shape, and within a few weeks have completely lost track of my motivation. I’ve successfully gotten into shape before, but I was only able to do it by having a specific course of action. Motivation is a really fickle thing, it’ll usually last a few days, and for those few days you really kick ass. After that, though, work and other distractions start to creep in and start to weigh down on your mind and your willpower.
The key is to make things as easy on yourself as possible and slowly become the lifestyle you’re trying to attain. Too often we try to immediately cut out all the junk food and restrict calories to the bare minimum. After all, more is better, right? This ends up being a really bad approach for most people because they have become accustomed to a certain way of eating and going about their days. To interrupt that abruptly, can be a really big shock and too overwhelming to handle.
What I have found that works…
Easing my way into the new lifestyle. For this go round, I didn’t diet at all for the first week. I just kept track of what I ate and then added a few Visual Impact workouts to the mix. That’s all I did. It didn’t matter what I ate, I just needed to see what was a normal week of eating like for me and where I could start to make changes the following week.
The second week, I just added eating a healthy breakfast every single day. Lunch and dinner might still be crap BUT at least I had gotten the first meal of the day in order, kept track of my eating habits, and continued exercising.
I went on like this, each week making slight alterations to my schedule, my environment, and trying to find the right balance of foods and timing. I experimented with eating a few larger meals and multiple smaller meals until I found a schedule that worked best for me. This of course, added more time to my body transformation, but so what? I needed to get it right and habituate myself to a certain way of doing things, so that I don’t even have to think about it anymore. Now, I literally don’t even have to think about what or when I’m going to eat, I just do it and it’s completely painless.
This also helps tremendously for junk food cravings and the like. I gently phased out all of the junk or other high calories foods I was eating, so that, it was really easy to let that last bit of it go. This slow and steady method, also, increased my awareness of my moods and why I would eat certain things. I could take a step back in my mind and then pass up on some pizza, cookies, or whatever else because I was acutely aware that it would conflict with my goals.
A tool I use to make things simpler
The biggest pain to me when following a specific fat loss diet was always trying to keep track of my calories and macronutrients. I never wanted to do it and would always just try to ‘wing it’ and calculate things in my head. Nevermind, the fact I couldn’t remember what I actually ate two days prior, I followed this stupid method anyway. This time around I am armed with the power of the iPhone and downloaded an app to take care of all of that for me.
My NetDiary Pro, keeps track of your weight, calories, meals eaten, macros, and whether or not you are on course with your plan. Here’s a screenshot from my own app:
Pretty simple, right? That’s just my daily food totals screen. It also provides daily and weekly analysis of what you have eaten and if you’re still on track of your goals, has inputs for exercises with calories burned, and charts to view your progress. Most importantly, it saves your foods and portion sizes, so once you’ve used it for a little while it takes hardly any time to punch in your daily info. Check below for more info:
Diet is the aspect of getting into shape that most people screw up and it is also the most important part of the process. Eat too many calories and you’ll be spinning your wheels by not losing any weight and too few calories you’ll be tired, lose muscle mass, and possibly damage your health.
The simplified approach that I have been taking is as follows:
1. Find maintenance calories
2. Subtract 500 from the maintenance number each day (There are 3500 calories in one pound of fat. So, 500 calorie a day deficit x 7= 3500).
3. Eat 1 gram of protein per estimated lean mass (165-175 grams a day for me)
4. Eat healthy fats and lots of veggies
5. Use intermittent fasting to not eat between 8 PM and 8 AM (unless I workout later in the evening, then a post workout meal is necessary).
That’s it. The most difficult part was experimenting with the number of calories I needed to take in each day. My NetDiary Pro suggested my maintenance calories at the start was 2,800 per day (the number of calories I need to eat to maintain the starting weight of 215). I experimented with 2500-2700 calories and vigorous workouts, so that I didn’t have to drop down calories too much right away. This worked for a while before my weight plateaued. Right now, I’m between 1900-2100 calories per day and the fat loss is right on target. 1800 is probably the lowest I would go for health reasons, but if I find myself stagnating towards the end of my cut, I’ll probably just mess with my carbohydrate intake to create a leaner look.
Some of my staple foods include:
Oats, chicken, jasmine or basmati rice, green veggies, turkey, whole wheat bread, natural peanut butter, red potatoes, other lean cuts of meat. I also use a whey protein supplement to make sure I hit my daily protein intake and a multi-vitamin.
The intermittent fasting was introduced in order to curb any late night eating. I found that eating four times per day works best for me. I usually eat around 8 AM, 1 PM, 4 PM, and then after my workout. This was the best option for me because it allows me to keep within my caloric and macro-nutrient ranges and not feel hungry throughout the day. I like to eat my meals within that shorter time frame, it’s just what I discovered that works best for me. Here is a sample meal:
Visual Impact Muscle Building and Visual Impact Cardio
I’ve been mentioning Visual Impact throughout this post as my current workout of choice and I want to delve into a bit more of what it is all about. Visual Impact is an ebook workout program which is delivered to your email for instant access, so you can start right away. Actually, I am using two workouts from online trainer Rusty Moore, his Visual Impact Muscle Building and Visual Impact Cardio. I am supersetting these two programs because I wanted to achieve a lean and muscular look and not just get skinny. I wanted to cut 25-30 lbs of fat but I still needed a weight lifting program that I could integrate into the necessary dieting and cardiovascular work I would be doing.
Luckily, VI fits the bill as the muscle building program is geared towards getting the so-called, “Lean Hollywood Look” and the cardio is an intense fat burning program designed to get you into peak aesthetic condition.
What is Visual Impact Muscle Building?
The original VI program is a 3 phase program which lasts a total of six months designed to get you that lean and cut look similar to Brad Pitt in Fight Club, Taylor Lautner, and other Hollywood actors. This program is NOT about adding bulk in whatever form it may come. Rather, the goal is to create as Rusty says, “a sharp-angular look” not the standard bulky ‘meat head’ physique. I think that most guys want to have some decent muscle mass and have the cut physique that drives women wild and not the huge, steroid monster look that will have them running in fear. Getting in shape isn’t all about the chicks but why not take the benefits that go along with it?
Phase 1 of the program is broken down into 3 separate days and has more of a focus than the other two phases on gaining proficiency and mass. I think that naturally skinny guys would do well to repeat phase 1, so that they could add more muscle before really cutting down in the latter phases. For me, I had to skip the deadlifts and squats in this phase due to an old back injury. What really changes in between the phases besides some of the exercises is the rep schemes, which is designed to create a certain type of physique and not just add muscle randomly. Below is a link to a video where Rusty Moore explain this in more detail:
Who is this program for?
I think that skinnier guys who want to gain some muscle yet retain their leanness would do well with Visual Impact Muscle Building and probably won’t need the cardio program.
Guys who have fat to lose would do well to combine this program with the cardio program, like I did, to really help create a great physique.
What does this program cost?
$47. Individually. Buying both programs usually results in a huge discount for the second one. Really for six months worth of workouts that works out to roughly 26 cents a day in order to help transform your body.
Is the cardio program difficult?
It can be brutal sometimes. It builds up over the program and the last few weeks look pretty damn challenging. There will be weeks in which 5 days a week is commonplace, so it is important to monitor your body and know when to take a break. Overall, I love it. I love having to push myself through workouts because I know that the results are already taking place and I cannot wait until I’m completely chiseled.
Here are some of the perks of Visual Impact Cardio:
- No more guess work. Specific workouts you can tailor to your own fitness level.
- Special Advanced cycle designed to help you get really cut.
- Intense workout to help build stamina and endurance.
- 3 separate, 8 week cycles, which can be repeated and modified as you get stronger.
- The reasoning behind everything is explained in simple, easy to understand terms.
- Can be downloaded instantly, you start right away.
I think that I have written enough for now. However, I’ll be updating this page as my progress goes along with new pictures, videos, and whatnot to keep you informed about the rest of my journey.