Well I finally hit the 200 mark on the scale at the gym, Friday. It's eight years since I've been there, and it feels good. What feels particularly good is that rather than just losing 30 pounds of weight, I lost 45 pounds of fat and gained 15 pounds of lean mass, an estimate my personal trainer thinks is low. My strength has increased dramatically over the last year, and particularly so since I began fasting and going to full body workouts last January.

The whole mainstream diet world is focussed on weight loss rather than on body fat loss, and so the approach is too often one where plenty of lean mass is lost right along with the fat (thanks to insane amounts of "cardio"). So, the metabolism slows, people get weaker, and then simply end up with a small version of their previous selves, at roughly the same percentage of body fat to lean mass. Now, instead of being big & fat, they're skinny and fat. It's interesting when you develop and eye for this. You no longer look at people in terms of size, but in terms of leanness. Almost everyone is fat. Very fat. You would be surprised. Some skinny people are actually upwards of 30% BF.

Right now, best estimate is that I'm still at around 20% BF, so 40 pounds of fat. To get to my goal of < 10%, assuming lean mass stays the same, target weight is going to be in the 175 – 180 range. And now that I'm closing in, I'm really getting motivated. I've cut way, WAY back on alcohol consumption. Last week I had none at all, and I really learned how much that was slowing me up. I dropped 4 pounds, and that's with two 30-34 hour fasts.

Now I'm getting radical: crash diet a-la Lyle McDonald. I'm dong the "Rapid Fat Loss" protocol. I spent yesterday getting all prepared, then cooked a big (final) meal for friends and we're off — both myself and Bea, who I've been training for about a month now, and who is showing great progress. The diet is quite simple. It's the same no-low carb as always, with just sufficient protein based on your lean body mass and activity (none, aerobics, or weight training), and almost no fat. If you've been paying attention, then you know that without a regular or large source of carbs, you body turns to fat for fuel (and protein too). By restricting the fat as well as the carbs, your body has only your own fat to use rather than dietary fat. And, by keeping protein at sufficient levels, you'll waste minimum to no lean body mass.

There are some essential nutrients involved, particularly essential fatty acids (Omega-3), so you'd really need to get and read the book before attempting anything like this. What it boils down to is about 190 grams of protein per day for me, and about 110 for Bea, and that's it. That's 760 and 440 calories per day, respectively.

We'll do it for two to three weeks and should each see fat loss in the 10-15 pound range. I'm using Fit Day to keep track of it all, which really sucks. I've tried to avoid counting anything, or measuring shit out, but I can put up with just about anything for a few weeks, so I'm doing it.

Later: I've taken away the FitDay access because I'm only using it to keep track of my intake for the short period on the diet, it's incomplete in terms of the veggies (negligible impact macro-nutrient wise) and a few other things, so I don't want to lead anyone astray.

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  1. Justin on June 9, 2008 at 11:57

    Protein only — wow. Best of luck to you: I look forward to hearing how it works out!

    I'm embarking on taking my training to the next level — going from home, high-intensity workouts with kettlebells, dips/pull-ups/pushups, sprints to trying out crossfit for a month. I'm trying to shred off the last 10 lbs of fat.

    Oh, and I'm trying to cut back on alcohol, as well. I find that to be the last vice to control …

  2. Chris H on June 9, 2008 at 13:01

    Hi Richard

    This is interesting – I'll be really keen to see how you get on with Lyle's PSMF. I've never tried it despite having read the book a few times.

    All the best


  3. willyd on June 9, 2008 at 16:36

    I thought you had to eat fat to burn fat because protien can be converted to insulin with the absense of fat?great job on the fat loss your going radical.

  4. Tony K on June 10, 2008 at 00:07

    Congrats on 200. I was stalled a few weeks ago at 208. I did the PSMF and three weeks later hit 200.

    I had already been on fairly low carb, so I didn't get the big glycogen dump that a lot of people get.

    I found that usually towards the end of the week I would feel a little weak and foggy (going into ketosis I suppose).

    Take care,

  5. Chris on June 10, 2008 at 02:16

    Richard – another point, are you going to be fasting too while on the PSMF?

  6. Richard Nikoley on June 10, 2008 at 09:28


    I think you mean to say that protein will be converted to glucose. Yes, and that's the point. While everything can run pretty much on ketones, the brain needs about 25% of its energy from glucose, so without any carbs to speak of, it's going to have to go to protein. THe point of the diet is to provide sufficient so you don't cannibalize lean body mass.


    Yea, I don't expect to get the effect of either a big glycogen dump, nor a lot of loss from water dump as do people who are carbaholics and go no carb. Same with Ketones. I ever just turn the stick a light pink, i.e., trace, and that's after even a 36 hour fast and heavy workout. I think I've been low carb long enough that my body has grown pretty efficient at accessing fat, probably in a dire and ultimately losing effort to keep it.


    No need. I'll be running a 2k kcal deficit per day, every day, so that's 14k per week, more than double what I'd run from two 30-hr fasts.

    I'm going to post later about my experience on day one. Short version: do you know how difficult it is to ingest 190 grams of protein?

  7. Richard Nikoley on June 10, 2008 at 11:39

    Yea. I'm going to compose that post now, but yesterday really convinced me of the glorious, glorious nature of fat. But, this is just a temporary tool. Three weeks min, six weeks max, most probably.

  8. Chris H on June 10, 2008 at 11:21

    I must admit that the huge amounts of protein are what have always put me off. Plus I like my (dietary) fat! The idea of separating eggs and then having the whites but not the yolks just seems wrong….

    All the best with it though and I look forward to reading more of your menus on Fitday.

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