Perfect Fat Loss Day

John Romaniello has helped thousands of people to achieve their fitness goals using unique and effective methods. Not only is he a fitness expert but also is  the creator of the Final Phase Fat Loss program.

A lot of you may wonder how doses someone like John outline a typical day and structures his time. So today I share with you this fitness expert’s perfect fat loss day.


When Craig first asked me to a post about my “perfect” fat loss day, I was a bit skeptical—I thought, “okay, well, it’s interesting, but I don’t know how much the timing of my grilled chicken feeding is going to help people.”

So I thought about it, and after a while, it dawned on me what Craig wanted to accomplish with a post like this.

You see, I’m certain that you can simply copy my template (which I’ll provide below), modify it for yourself, and achieve phenomenal results.  And, in fact, a good many of you might do that. (If so, I’m taking 22.4% of the credit!)

However, a post like this has a LOT of potential as an exercise—not something to be followed, but rather as something to be recreated.

What I am going to post below is my IDEAL, PERFECT fat-loss oriented day, in terms of both diet and training.  This has value as a concept, because the truth of the matter is, the MORE of these days I have, the BETTER my results will be—and the same goes for you.

Of course, who really has perfect days with any real level of frequency?  Sadly, not many of us.

However, I also know that the closer I make everyday to this template, the more progress I’ll make.  Rather than just starting out each day with a general idea of what to do or how to act, I have a full, 24-hour schedule that will guide my actions.

Am I always able to follow it exactly? No; but, as I said, my goal each day is to get as close as possible.

Again, you can try to emulate what I’ll provide, but let’s face—I’m not you, and you’re not me.  We live different lives, have different jobs, and follow different schedules.  Therefore, what’s ideal for me may be wildly inconvenient (and therefore) ineffective for you.

At the end of this post, I would like you to simply do what I’ve done below: create, hour by hour, what your perfect fat loss day would look like.

Here is mine, starting from the moment I wake up, until the moment I go to sleep.  I will also give you a rationale for a good number of the choices I make in this schedule, so that you get some valuable content and insight as well.

6:55AM Wake up, pee, and immediately head to kitchen and drink 16oz of water.

–          I like to get an early start on the day.  I don’t get up as early as Craig, but I go to bed a bit later than him.  This fits in very will with my lifestyle.  However, getting an early start makes me more productive.

7:00AM – I perform my “neural wake up call.”

This is a series of very light body weight exercises.  I do this in order to raise my metabolism, wake my body up, and stretch out some of the kinks.  I’ll do push ups, Bulgarian split squats, overhead reaches, spider-man lunges.  I’ll hold these exercises in the stretched position for about 1-2 seconds, allowing for a deep stretch.  Just 1-2 sets of 10 reps or so.  Takes 15 minutes, gets the blood flowing, and gets me burning extra calories early in the day.

7:15 – I drink another 8 ounces of water, and take any supplements I happen to be using. Currently, that would be Athletic Greens, and a multi-vitamin.

7:20 – I check my email, and sort it into three categories: “immediate” (my coaching clients, affiliates, or editors for magazines or websites I write for), “next” (regular fitness questions from readers who aren’t clients), and “later” (random stuff that may not even warrant a response).   This isn’t a fat loss related task per se, BUT, I do find that being organized in other aspects helps tremendously with fat loss.  Craig can attest to this.

8:00AM – 45 minute brisk walk. I don’t consider it this “cardio.”  I’m talking a walk to clear my head, because it’s how I start my day.  This is my “mental clarity” hour.  Moving meditation.  Like Craig, I think that for most people, “slow-go” cardio is pretty dumb.  However, I enjoy walking around my neighborhood, getting some blood flowing, and just checking out the city life at that hour.

8:45AM – Answer my “immediate” emails, then post some stuff to Facebook and Twitter. Usually, I have a writing project I’m working on, so I’ll start on that.  I do all of this until around 11AM.

NOTE – You’ll notice that I have been awake for about 5 hours and haven’t eaten yet.  There are a few reasons for this.  Firstly, I find that I have a bit more clarity before I have eaten, so I get my best writing done at this time.

Secondly, I simply CANNOT eat before my workouts, or I will vomit.  Since I train at 11, it makes no sense to eat beforehand.

11:00AM – I mix my workout shake, take one or two sips, and then head down to the gym for a training session.  My training session will, or course, vary day to day; however, if I’m looking for fat loss, it’s safe to assume that I’ll do some sort of fast paced circuit.

Before I do this, I’ll warm up with 5 minutes of jump rope, some jumping jacks, and then I’ll use my foam roller for about 10 minutes to work out any sore spots.

Today, I did a (very) simple density based workout:

A1) Push Press – 185 pounds for 10 reps in 20 seconds
A2) Bent Row – 185 pounds for 13 reps in 30 seconds
A3) Front Squat – 185 pounds for 12 reps in 30 seconds

I rest about 30 seconds between each of those, then add 10 pounds do the bar and tried to exceed my previous number of reps in the same time frame.  I did for all three exercises

A1) Push Press – 195 pounds for 12 reps in 20 seconds
A2) Bent Row – 195 pounds for 16 reps in 30 seconds
A3) Front Squat – 195 pounds for 14 reps in 30 seconds

Because I did MORE work in LESS time, I increased my training density.  This means I burned a lot more fat, increased strength, and generally felt awesome for beating the challenge I set for my self.

I decided to do this a third time with heavier weight.  While I couldn’t beat the reps, I still got a great workout.

A1) Push Press – 205 pounds for 8 reps in 20 seconds
A2) Bent Row – 205 pounds for 13 reps in 30 seconds
A3) Front Squat – 205 pounds for 13 reps in 30 seconds

After that, I finished up with jumping jacks, push-ups, pull-ups, mountain climbers, and jump squats – all done for as many reps as possible in 30 seconds.  I went through that 4 times, and that was it.

Simple but effective.

During the course of the workout, I aim to drink the remainder of my workout shake.

After that, back on the foam roller for 10 minutes, and then back upstairs.

Ideally, this will all have taken place in just about 75 minutes.  Today it took 90, but since we’re looking at a perfect day, we’ll pretend it didn’t.

12:15 – Have my post workout shake (same thing I use during my workout, just half a serving) and get in the shower. On a perfect day, I will take a contrast shower.

A contrast shower is when you alternate periods of VERY HOT water with VERY COLD water.  I normally do 30 seconds of hot, 30 cold, 30 hot etc.  The reason for this is that it facilitates in a number of ways, but also increases production of Growth Hormone, as was as activating brown adipose tissue—this is “fat burning fat.”  That is, it’s a type of fat that is riddled with dense mitochondria, and when activated, helps you to lose fat.

Again, I don’t ALWAYS do this, but on a perfect fat loss day, I would.  Every little bit helps.

12:30 – Dress and start making brunch (despite this being my first meal of the day, I can’t eat at 12:30 and call it breakfast).

This meal will be 5 organic Omega-3 eggs.  I just make mine over easy.  I grease the bottom of the pan with coconut oil—this adds some more healthy fats and gives the eggs a really unique flavor that I love.  You can get coconut oil in both spray and spread.  I like the spread.

In addition to the eggs, I’ll have a (giant!) sliced tomato, some salsa verde, and an apple.  I also take 3 fish oil capsules with this meal.

I eat this brunch in front of my computer, usually catching up on the blogs and newsletters that I follow.

All told, between making the meal and eating it, this takes about an hour.

1:30 – I spend about 30 minutes answer emails that I’ve marked “next” and then move on to my “programming shift.”

2:00 – From 2PM to 5PM I am officially in the trenches working on training programs. Mostly for my online clients, but also for in-person clients, and any new projects I’m working on.  I only do this about 3 hours per day because, to be honest, it’s very mentally draining.

I work for 50 minutes, and then spend 10 minutes “refreshing.”  My refreshing is 3 minutes of deep breathing followed by a few push ups, some jump squats, and some band pull-aparts (I do about 100 of these per day for shoulder health).  I follow up with 2 more minutes of deep breathing, then back to work.

5:00PM – I have a blender drink.  On a perfect day, I’d follow my best fat burning recipe:

6oz Almond milk
2oz water
6 ice cubes
3 scoops protein powder (vanilla)
2 tablespoon enhanced almond butter (has added protein from egg whites, and flax seeds)

3 table spoons Chia seeds

1 teaspoon flavorless fiber powder

A few drips of vanilla extract

½ teaspoon of extra dark cocoa powder

2 tablespoons cottage cheese (adds texture)

5:15PM – I answer my “later” email then return to working on my blog posts.  (I usually try to post new blogs between 6-8 PM.) I’ll work on one until about 7

7:00PM – I watch Jeopardy.  Every. Single. Night.  I also play Punishment Card Jeopardy.  It’s a cool way to make the show more interesting.

Take a deck of playing cards, and have each suit represent an exercise.  For me, spades are squats, diamonds are push-ups, hearts are mountain climbers, and clubs are lunges.

EVERY time I get an answer wrong, I draw a card—whatever the number is, I perform that many reps on the corresponding exercise.

So if I draw a 9 of clubs, I do 9 lunges (per leg).  Queen of diamonds is 10 push-ups.

This can be a lot of fun, or miserable.

Out of interest, I am AWESOME at Jeopardy.

7:30 – I start making dinner—4 grilled chicken breasts (3-4oz each), seasoned with herbal dry rub.  (Rubs are generally superior to marinades.  They are usually made with herbs, spices, and salts—not sugary goo like marinades.  I like the ones from Tons of flavor.)  I will also have giant servings of broccoli and cauliflower.  I season those with a little lemon juice and Celtic sea salt.

I drink about 20oz of water with dinner, and take 4 fish oil capsules.  I eat pretty fast (I don’t chew, being honest), so I’ll usually finish by 8:15.

8:15 – Clean up the kitchen and go for a walk. Again, this isn’t for fat burning (though it helps), I just enjoy a walk after dinner.  Usually, I’ll put on my iPod and walk for 20-30 minutes.

8:45 – I check my email again, and answer anything urgent. Not much comes in, so I can usually just answer everything in 30 minutes.

9:15 – Finish reading blogs.  Make my “to do” list for tomorrow.

9:45 – for 2 hours, I’m going to try to get more work done.  Again, 50 minutes of work, 10 minutes of refreshing.

11:30 – Snack – ¾ cup cottage cheese, 2 tablespoons of almond butter, 12oz water.

11:45 – Unplug from the world, and read for at least 60 minutes before going to sleep.

12:45 – if I’m still feeling “awake” I’ll do some stretches and yoga poses while listening to relaxing music and focusing on deep breathing.  Ideally, this will get me ready for my snoozies.  I’ll another chapter if I’m in the middle of a good book.  (For those interested, I’m currently reading American Sphinx by Joseph J Elliss.  It’s an incredible biography of my favorite President, Thomas Jefferson.)

1:15AM – lights out, bed time. No matter what.

Okay, that that represents my PERFECT Fat Loss Day.  As I said above, the more of these days I have, the better off I’ll be. Again, I’m not able to replicate that every day while trying to lose fat, but because I have this written template, I have an actionable plan that I can follow as closely as possible—and the closer I make each day to this, the better I’ll be.

You can certainly try to mimic this plan, but it would be hard for most people.  You see, I work in gyms and from my home, so I have a lot of freedom to eat and train however I like.  I understand that my schedule is a bit of an anomaly.

That said, this post can still have a lot of value for you.

Here is what I want you to do:  take about 30 minutes and create a PERFECT fat loss day for yourself.  In fact, since your schedule is probably different on weekdays than it is on weekends, draft one for each.

This should be the most perfect realistic day that you can have.  A day where nothing goes wrong, but where miracles don’t occur either.  (Don’t base your day, for example, on your boss calling you up, telling you to take a few days off but collect your check anyway!).

Once you have these schedules, you can follow them as CLOSELY as possible—and in doing so, guarantee you better results and faster fat loss.

In fact, take it a step further and post it below!  Craig and I would love to see what your ideal day looks like!

No one is perfect, and no day is really perfect—but the closer we can get, the better we’ll be.

Good luck!

  • Andrew

    Nice post! Just wondering what the “workout shake” consists of. I am guessing BCAA’s or EAA’s or some hydrolysate protein without added sugars? Please fill me in -cheers!

  • Hey Andrew,

    I am currently using a pre-formulated mix. It’s got whey hydolsate, dextrose, maltodextrin. Basically, fast digesting protein and carbs, in a 50/50 ration. And yea, it has a full spectrum of BCAAs.

    Thanks for the question!

    Did you design you Perfect day yet?

    • Andrew

      I just tried to post my perfect day (took 20 minutes to write) but got a comment that my post was “too spammy” that sucks -so I will come back later and try and repost

  • chantelle

    wow is that all you eat??

    • I aim for about 2200-2600 calories per day, which I find is pretty good when I’m losing fat.

      My “breakfast” is about 475 calories.

      Pre- and-during-workout shake is about 450 (it’s very large)
      Post workout shake is about 150.

      My blender drink is about 600.

      Dinner about 350-400.

      My snack is about 300.

      Again, I each a lot of veggies and drink a lot of water, so I stay full and I’m not losing muscle, so it’s pretty effective =)

  • John, how would you change your diet for folks who want to build muscle?

    • For muscle gain, I try to take in about 4000 calories.

      I eat earlier in the day to allow for this,

      My first meal is usually 4 whole eggs, 3 oz steak (flank), an apple, and 1 scoop of whey protein.

      Meal 2 is usually a shake made with 4 scoops of protein, 4 tablespoons almond butter, 8 oz almond milk, and some chia seeds.

      Meal 3 – a few pieces of fruit, homemade chicken salad with sliced almonds, hard boiled egg.

      Meal 4 – 7-9 oz steak, sweet potato etc

      Meal 5 – cottage cheese and almond butter

      • Do you like steak?

      • It’s my favorite. Although I hear horse is delicious. I’ll have try that when I’m in Canadia (Yes, I spelled like that on purpose) next.

  • Katy

    Hi John,

    Hey – just read your perfect fat loss day, very helpful. Here’s my dilemma: I’m 37, have yo-yo dieted and been fit on and off over the years. Now training as a cheerleader (yes, embarassing, but as an ex-gymnast, it’s a form of training i love, so what the hell!).

    Want to lose the weight i piled back on last year, plus the rest I’ve never been able to shed as an adult. So – 20 kilos in total. (50 pounds i guess?) I’ve lost 7kilos already, so it’s a great start, but i know it’s going to get harder to finish it off.

    So, obviously, I’m trying to lose fat, build lean muscle mass, get stronger and fitter. First Cheer competition is in May, and i don’t want to look my age for it!

    I’m *reasonably* happy with my training schedule, although it is a little vague in the mornings. 4 nights per week I’m tumbling or cheer training, but I do my own workouts in the mornings. A combination of either Cardio Insanity, Extreme Fat Loss diet workouts, Turbulence Training, or Tae-Bo. I usually just decide when i get up what i should do. Not the best planning I know….

    But , i struggle with my diet. I’m fanatical about not eating too many carbs to help with the weight loss, but i do find sometimes that i just lack energy to complete the workouts effectively.

    Can you , or anybody, give any advice on that front? I take a post workout shake in the mornings, and after that am a little up in the air as to the best course of action, meal wise.

    Also, the best advice for the morning workouts…… I do tend to get bored with the same old thing which is why i mix it up.

    Thanks for any comments 🙂

  • cesqua

    how long is the contrasting part of the shower? i’m fascinated by this

  • cesqua

    also, i keep not receiving the 5 tips confirmation email, and i’d love to read the report

  • ZANA

    looks to me like you are carbless– even good carbs!! not sure if thats the healthiest choice or not!! do you do this everyday???

  • Lisa

    I have to admit i was shocked at how long you’re up before you eat – as i basically do the same thing and always have but have read numerous places and been told by “experts” that it’s part of the reason i can’t lose weight (and over the past few years have steadily gained it) – i eat less than you (most of the time) and have been strength training (according to my age/size/ability) and interval cardio (like Craig does) 4-6 days/week for years- now am incorporating Craig’s Turbo Training routines (just got em) – also don’t eat till after i workout (usually ends up being 3-5 hours after waking, depending on the day). Obviously this hasn’t hurt you in the least – i’m SO confused!!!!!!

  • Mike Patel

    Hey John, I noticed that you only get about 6 hours of sleep a night. I was always under the impression that 8-9 hours was the number to aim for when training. How much of a difference does it really make on your body when you get 6 hours of sleep vs 8 hours? Also, I’m currently a college student and often find myself staying awake for more than 24 hours at a time completing projects and papers. Do you think its okay to continue to do HIIT workouts or is it just too much for the body to handle.

    Thanks in advance

  • xena

    Wowwww…! I thought what I’v heard from you guys so often that it is really important to take youtr rest aka sleep and to aim for at least 7-8 hours?!! And lo and behold what do I see here from one of my favorite fitnesspro’s..only just about 6 hours! What gives??? Or is this one of those yeah everybody got their own internal sleepsystem that works for them kinda thingee??
    Please enlighten me and don’t mind my english since I’m not a native-english speaken person(so not important but hey just wanted to let you all know just in case,LOL)
    Thanks! 🙂

  • Angel

    Thanks for all the info! I am (female) 5’4 and weigh 123 lbs. My body fat is around 25% and it needs to come down before summer! mostly in the hip/thigh area. I am not sure what kind of training to focus on to lower body fat and also build a little muscle for definition. And I keep reading conflicting things on how many calories to eat, since I don’t want to “lose weight”. It’s difficult to go below 1400-1500 cals for me and still work out hard. Is it possible to come down to 18% in only a few months and what is the best way to do so?

    Thank You!

  • Enzian

    Hi, I just read this and was fascinated by the hour-by-hour detail – thank you! I have two questions:
    1) like several posters above- is 6 hours ok consistently, or only sporadically?
    2) you seem to ‘fast’ for 12 hours. Is fasting for 12 hours on a DAILY basis ok? How about up to 14-16 hours (on a DAILY basis)?


  • Marty

    I have hypothyroidism. What would you suggest to help with this condition? I was doing figure competitions so I pretty much trained and ate what you have written. This condition has my stumped. I can’t get rid of this extra 8lbs that is hanging around my middle which I have never had before. Any suggestions would be wonderful. Am 54 and in pretty good shape. Thanks for your time.

  • Kylie

    Hey Roman,
    I would add journalling your “perfect day” so you have something to look back on when evaluating if this plan is working or not. It’s great to look back and see a string of successful days 🙂

    Or, on those not-so-‘perfect’ days, you can identify where/why…

  • Roy Taylor

    5 1/2 hours of sleep per night ? Yikes, lol