How I lost 3% body fat in a month with no muscle loss

So here's a list of things I did to lose 3% body fat with no muscle loss in a month:

Image description 0.1 lb muscle loss, ~7lb of fat loss

There's alot of method and techniques I used to get here, mostly around building better habits. Here are what those habits are, and how you can reproduce it for yourself:

Checking in

Image description dexa scan

  • Dexa scans once a month to start out and analyze results scientifically on fatloss%

    • do it at the end of a cut and halfway in it
    • before you start a new workout routine
    • Dexa scan is an MRI machine that checks how much fat is in your body in different regions
  • Weekly progress pic to check in with self

    • take pictures at same angles everytime
    • do it in the morning
  • Weekly measuring of body sizes

    • this gives a bigger picture of whether I'm losing fat or not (e.g. smaller abdomen)

Working out

Image description example of notetaking for workouts on sets

  • Pyramid sets upward during workouts. For lower power lifts near one rep max, 5-10 lb increments. Upper body at 2.5-5 lb increments
  • Allow 3-5 mins recovery on big 3 lifts between sets
  • Perfect breathing techniques on eccentric and concentric loading
  • Check in with body. If I couldn’t do a warmup set or got overly fatigued from it, skip workout
  • Increase total number of warmup sets to reduce injuries
  • Checking if new strength numbers were met from previous workouts
  • Write down how every set went in a workout.

    • I use shorthand notations like ls for lastset, ms for midset, fs for first set, bs for best set etc.
    • I write a lot of notes here, more than I think I'll need
    • I'll add levels of exertion of effort for each set.
    • I'll write down if I need to go down a level or up next time.
    • I also add notes on dates of when I worked out (to be implemented)
    • More data is better
    • I add the notes from my phone while working out to a google spreadsheet, based on program I'm on
    • I run a FIND/SEARCH to see what my last sets were for that specific exercise. E.g. "helms row" for instance

Recovery Habits

  • Improve sleep hygiene with better practices and melatonin
  • Yoga for strength and meditation
  • Stretch regularly before a workout and foam roll it out
  • Before a deload period, I went for one max PRs and hit to failure
  • Being aware of stress levels and solutions to remedy it
  • Get into the habiting of moving a lot and not sitting stand for too long

Macro dieting

Image description tracking weight changes over time

  • 2000-2200 calories daily on workout days
  • A little more calories on recovery days
  • Deload week, I did maintenance 2500 calories
  • Do macro nutrient tracking every so often, and calculate calories per meal everytime I qcook
  • Chicken Egg Rice Broccoli just works
  • Eat about 500 calories before a workout, should be high in carbs and protein
  • Eat 30g protein / meal max, but eat 4-6 times in a day

Dealing with Hunger Pangs and desire to eat out

Image description chicken broccoli rice eggs

  • Only plan ~1500 calories a day, fill the rest however I wanted (junk food, beef jerky, alcohol etc)
  • Postworkout, do half casein half whey protein
  • Creatine and vitamins
  • Nighttime, do all casein protein
  • Add starchy vegetables that are filling and low cal, broccoli. Add eggs into diet. 35-45 % protein intake daily at ~200g
  • Drink lots of water during before after workout, and also have a habit of drinking a post nighttime smoothie too with more water

Hi 👋

I'm Vincent Tang, a web developer specializing in modern Javascript. This website is my digital garden of notes on backend, frontend, and devops! I'm the founder of Tampa Devs and I also run a coding podcast called Code Chefs