How a (Future) Dietitian Does a Diet Part 1

Want to see how a pro loses weight? Many of you may be wondering why a real “pro” even needs to lose weight. Good question. You may have read my “About Me” and saw that I lift weights. Although I don’t consider myself as a bodybuilder or powerlifter, I’m still interested in gaining muscle, being lean, and lifting more weight (being stronger) at a lower body weight. For this reason, I go through cycles where I gain weight (usually about .5 lbs per week or less) with the goal of gaining muscle and then I lose weight with the goal of losing fat and keeping the muscle that I gained in the previous cycle. Before you quit reading because you think this doesn’t apply to you, please hear me out – I think most people will learn some things while following my weight loss journey that can help you out regardless of if you ever plan to gain or lose weight in cycles like I do. Many of you are probably thinking “I thought lifting weights meant gaining muscle all of the time. Can’t you just lose weight and gain muscle at the same time.” Not exactly. When losing weight, your body is in a catabolic state which basically means you’re your body is breaking down tissue (fat and muscle) for energy to fuel your body because you aren’t giving it enough energy from food. Because building muscle takes a lot of energy from the body, muscle building gets put on the back burner of your body’s priority list. In fact, for someone like me that has been lifting for some time, some muscle loss will likely occur even if I continue to lift and eat correctly. However, you may be luckier than me. There are four types of people that can lose fat while gaining muscle:

  1. Beginners to weight lifting (if you haven’t been lifting properly, this may apply to you too)
  2. Obese (BMI>30) people
  3. People who have “muscle memory” from lifting weights in the past, but quit lifting for an extended period of time
  4. People taking steroids

I, unfortunately, don’t fit in to one of those categories so I must do my muscle gaining and fat loss in separate cycles. Currently (2/24/14), I’m at the end of almost a 2 year long weight gaining cycle that started in May of 2012. I’m 6’2” tall. I started at about 165 lbs (likely 10% bodyfat) and ended at 207.6 lbs (likely 19% bodyfat). A 40 lb gain in about 21 months with about half of it being muscle – exactly the pace I was shooting for. However, even when doing most things right, I have packed on both fat and muscle and it’s time for the fat to come off.

The diet started on 2/24/14 and has been successful so far. Stats at the beginning of the diet:

Age: 22

Height: 6’2″

Weight: 207.6 lbs

Estimated Body Fat Percentage By Sight: ~19%

Lean Body Weight (Muscle+Everything That’s Not Fat): 168,2 lbs

Fat Weight: 39.4 lbs


Photo Courtesy of Bahrain Personal Fitness

Not only will the fat be coming off, it will be coming off fast. My girlfriend, who is also in school to become a dietitian, has been working at a weight loss clinic for the past couple months and has got me thinking about a scientific approach to rapid fat loss while maintaining muscle and being as healthy as possible. Over the next couple weeks, I will be sharing my experience with losing weight quickly and then for several weeks after that I will show you a more moderate and flexible approach to weight loss. My future posts on this will break it down into my 5 Steps of Weight Loss, give you bits and pieces of my experience, and then show you the real results! Stay tuned 🙂

Step 1: Motivation

Step 2: Education

Step 3: Preparation

Step 4: Initiation

Step 5: Evaluation and Perfection

7 thoughts on “How a (Future) Dietitian Does a Diet Part 1

  1. Wow! I know how hard that can be. My husband is 6’1″ and 210lbs. He says that as he gets older the harder that weight is to maintain…as muscle. On the upside, I fit into 3 of 4 of the categories that you outlined…which seems like good news to me 🙂


    • Oh yes, that’s definitely true – especially as we approach being middle aged muscle is harder to keep. That’s part of why I’m a huge advocate for starting to weight lift and continuing to while your old. It’s great for bones too, which is especially important for women. At least I can be thankful that I have my age working for me!
      I’m guessing number 4 is one of the things applies to you right? 😉 Do you currently lift weights? Would you be interested in hearing about how to best way to lift weights to maintain/gain muscle while losing weight? I’m thinking it would be a good future article topic.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I would love an explanation on “muscle memory”. I think I fall into that category and I am currently struggling to find a balance of fat loss and muscle gain.


    • Basically, your body remembers muscle that it used to have if you recently lost it and will regain it back more quickly that if you never had that muscle in the fist place. Imagine a bodybuilder that quit lifting for 9 months. He eats too much and is exercising less – he gains some fat and loses some muscle. Then he goes back to lifting and decides to lose weight by cutting calories. Because he used to have more muscle, he will gain back some of the muscle he lost in that 9 months off at the same time as losing weight.

      Did I answer your question? Does that make sense?


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