The nitty gritty of my rapid weight loss program was simple as possible. I hate over-thinking, so I try to keep my own programming reptitive and well-researched!
Diet: 2000 cals per day. I set out to focus on getting a lot more vegetables and water intake during this cut. I leaned hard into roasted carrots, broccoli and onions which was super easy prep huge amounts of AND it's super tasty and pairs well with almost anything. I also bought the big bags of pre-washed spinach for salads, which I made enormous bowls up by adding just a tablespoon or two of lite caesar dressing on top and tossing it all together.
Macros: I strived to maintain 120-140g of protein every day as well, and this proved to be more challenging than I thought! I don't like relying on supplements, but I'll admit that having a coffee protein shake in the morning, and my salted caramel flavor shake at night was very helpful. As far as carbs and fats go, I didn't really measure those. I hate math, so I just filled my protein quota first and then ate fats and carbs for taste and trained into a deficit when needed.
Workouts: I didn't have a specific plan or progression in mind for this challenge, just train hard 4-6 days per week with tools I have in my home gym (AKA the Brojo): kettlebells, pull up station, stationary bike, ab wheel and of course bodyweight exercises. I didn't follow a specific body part split since I'm not bodybuilding. I have a periodized aerobic-power-strength phase plan since I'm not prepping for sport. I usually did 20 minute AMRAP circuits of simple, compound movements when I had more time and short HIIT workouts when I was pressed. In the final week, I knew that training would take a back seat to an increasingly extreme calorie deficit, so switched to a plan that my body would recognize and repsond predictibly to, so I chose the Kettlebell 5k plan before weight week and in the 48 hours leading up, I did no workouts at all since I was only taking in sips of water and bone broth. It was about as miserable as it sounds.
Gear/Extras: In addition to the Brojo's equipment, there were a couple extra things that helped me along the way. First and foremost was the MyFitnessPal app which I used to track my cals and works perfectly with a chest strap heart rate monitor I got on amazon. This paired with a free app on my phone and gives accurate data on my calorie burn and heart rate during workouts, which was good info to have when trying to train myself into a consistent deficit! I also made use of protein powders during the day, one coffee flavor in the morning and another for after workouts or late at night. I liked the Chike mocha and Quest salted caramel flavors. I did not use any other supplement, and I never have (trust me, I GOT OPINIONS about supps). Finally, during my final "sweat sesh" workout before weigh-in I used one of those rubber sweat-suit shirts to shed extra water weight. I did 10 minutes of bike intervals and a bunch of burpees and ab work in it. Again, this sucked just as much as you'd think. But!
I made weight- just not how I wanted or expected...
I used to compete in thai boxing and jiu-jitsu. Weight classes are a thing there. I'm familiar with the why and how of quickly cutting weight for a fight. I also recognize that making dramatic cuts in weight, even water weight, is detrimental to your long-term health and is unsustainable. So, you ask again, why do it at all??
Because two steps forward to one step backwards is still technically progress! Because I needed a kick in the pants that I could follow up with a slower-paced, more sustainable plan, and because I know myself.
Basically, I kind of enjoy suffering. I knew the whole month that if I didn't maintain discipline on my diet and training, that the final week would be a suck-fest and to be honest, I was almost looking forward to it! It worked for me, but I would NOT recommend this method to any of my friends, family or clients.
As mentioned above, this weight loss strategy is short term and unsustainable and unpleasant! In coaching, there is value in taking the long view and planning for hiccups and the compilation of small victories over time in order to achieve a larger goal or quest. This is the strategy I take when training other adventurers for weight loss and general physical preparedness and it works!
If I can drop 10 lbs in less than a month during the shortest month of the year with maybe the most off-track distractions possible, anyone can, I just wouldn't recommend it. What I do recommend is a smart strategy, accountability to stick with it and the know-how to keep your head in the game when things get tough.