In part 4 of my interview, Erik Ledin discussed strategies for those who are at the advanced level and looking to burn that last little bit of stubborn fat. There were definitely some writer-downs in there!
Today, we’ll take a look at what kind of fat loss results beginners can expect out of a 12-week body transformation contest and what sort of things they can do to maximize results. Here we go….
Craig Ballantyne: All right. So let’s switch gears here and go back to beginners and say what can a beginner kind of expect in their first week of changing their body or going on a weight loss program or what we’ll call a transformation program? What would they expect if they made the nutrition changes and started an exercise program?
Erik Ledin: I would probably expect maybe a couple pounds of weight loss which is probably just related to some loss of like water and glycogen. Maybe a little bit of fat. Increased energy. People don’t realize how poorly you feel on bad food until you start eating good food and then eat bad food again.
Craig Ballantyne: Right.
Erik Ledin: You think that someone has this average diet that is the North American diet and they just think that how I feel on a daily basis is normal. You cut that stuff out. You start eating well. Eating a lot more wholesome foods and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Good fats. Lean proteins. You start feeling a lot better.
You don’t really realize how much better you feel until you stop that and fall off the wagon and realize, “wow, this is what I used to feel like all the time.”
So I think that will happen relatively quickly. Your body’s more nourished. There might be a couple days of adjustment depending on just how – where you’re coming from. Where I’ve seen people that in the first few days they don’t have as much energy. They might be a little bit foggy or something like that. The body’s adjusting to new foods or cleaner foods.
But I would probably expect better sleep, more energy, better workouts. JUST FEELING BETTER. Maybe a little weight loss. Not a lot of course but it’s only a week.
Craig Ballantyne: What’s been your best case scenario success story for kind of a beginner after about 12 weeks?
Erik Ledin: I’ll answer probably in terms of the fat loss standpoint. Not a weight loss standpoint just because like I said there could be muscle gain and fat loss which kind of skews the actual scale numbers but I would say that in a 12 week and a beginner person, again it really depends on where they are.
Like someone obviously that’s got more weight to lose is going to be able to lose it faster.
If you have a lean body weight of 150 pounds and you’re 350 pounds, you can drop pretty fast in 12 weeks. Very fast. If you’re only 15 pounds above your goal weight, it’s obviously going to be slower. So it’s hard to kind of quantify that.
I would say that someone who’s got a fair amount of weight to lose in 12 weeks could probably drop like a good 25 or so pounds. Easy.
Craig Ballantyne: Sure.
Erik Ledin: Easy. Of fat, you know, even more. Someone who’s kind of pretty good right now. They’re relatively lean, it’s going to be obviously a lot slower. They might – I mean 12 WEEKS IS A LOT OF TIME. Twelve weeks is an average contest prep time.
Craig Ballantyne: Okay.
Erik Ledin: So you can pretty much transform in 12 weeks easily.
Craig Ballantyne: Okay. Now you’ve answered this question kind of off and on here but just going back to a regular person who’s trying to do a transformation or just, you know, lose weight and they’re starting to run into some problems. Things aren’t going as well as planned. How can they troubleshoot these problems?
You talked about changing the calories to maintenance for a bit. Is there anything else that – maybe just common things that come up that they don’t realize they’re doing wrong? But it’s easy for you to spot?
Erik Ledin: I think the little things like the little snacking when you’re having a little bit here and a little bit there. People don’t realize that. They have a bite of this, or as they’re making dinner for their family they have a bite of this. And a bite of that.
That stuff ADDS UP and when your body weight’s coming down and you still need to create some kind of caloric deficit and the lighter you get, the harder it is to do from nutrition without starving. So these little DIETARY SLIPUPS actually add up fast to decrease this required deficit.
The other thing is that because of that reason – and this applies a lot more to females obviously because they’re generally lighter but it is difficult to create an adequate caloric deficit with nutrition with a lighter female. So people like that they simply do have to do more cardio than their heavier counterparts because unless of course they’re just going to bring their calories to painfully low levels. Which is just going to cause them to binge anyways.
Using a little bit of extra cardio. Like just regular medium intensity, steady state stuff is a great way to kind of top off the caloric deficit. You can create a deficit from food, from dietary restriction or from expenditure in the gym.
So ideally it’s done from some combination of both but that’s one of the things that most women I think of when they get to the lighter body weights and they want to take it to the next level they’ll have to probably do a little bit more exercise if they’re not willing to bring the calories lower.
But I think the most common thing I would say is really dietary adherence. The longer you’ve been dieting probably the harder it is to stick to it. The more cravings you get and I think that’s when it’s important to plan these things in. Allow yourself to have things. Don’t expect perfection because perfection’s not required to hit your goal.
Craig Ballantyne: Great. So you mentioned a little bit about the differences between men and women in that answer there. What are some other GENDER DIFFERENCES that come up when guys and gals are trying to lose weight? And how do you help people through those? Or what impact does that make on your recommendations?
Erik Ledin: One thing that we just talked about was the more cardio with females. More often than not I think women tend to respond better to lower carb diets. Particularly towards the end of a fat loss phase when they get into these stubborn body fat areas which for women are usually the lower body. Like hips, their butts, their thighs and stuff like that. Really stubborn fat. Right?
It’s stubborn for a reason so this body fat tends to I guess just for lack of a better way of explaining it become more available to be used for energy when carbs are lower.
Craig Ballantyne: Okay. How low?
Erik Ledin: Under 20 percent.
Craig Ballantyne: Okay.
Erik Ledin: I think there is research that says that after four days of carbohydrate intake under 20 percent that the sensitivity of these areas of fat was greatly increased.
Craig Ballantyne: How long do you do that for in these women that are getting close to the end? Do you just continue on?
Erik Ledin: I would probably keep the carbs low actually at that point and still have these re-feed days. Because it’s hard to maintain exercise performance on low-carb diets.
Craig Ballantyne: Okay.
Erik Ledin: So the re-feeding, the high carb eating will help maintain the intensity in the gym as well. .