When my wife and I were getting ready to get married a few years back, I thought it would be a good idea to lose a little weight before we went on our honeymoon. I wanted to look decent on the beach in Mexico and so I thought—okay—I’ll work out and eat better.
While I was able to do many different things leading up to our wedding, losing weight was not one of them. I think the stress of the wedding combined with many other factors including not knowing where to begin led to me not being any more fit than I currently was. (which wasn’t much).
Last year, I had the pleasure of meeting a local fitness coach who I hit it off with very well. Seeing that he had amazing results and seemed to know exactly what he was doing, I began working with him in order to better myself. In the past 4 months I’ve increased my bench press, back squat, and deadlift 100 pounds each. I’ve toned things that I didn’t know existed and have changed my approach to the weight room floor dramatically.
While you may not be interested in strong man training and bulking up, perhaps you’re considering losing a few inches before your wedding. As a disclaimer, I want to make it very clear that I don’t think any of my readers or clients need to lose weight. While there is a healthy medium, your personal fitness is your journey and your choice. I love all of my clients in all shapes and sizes but since beginning training, I’ve seen amazing results. No fads, no miracle diets, just hard work.
I had a chance to interview Dan, my fitness coach, recently and wanted to share some of his insights into weight loss, fitness, and personal health lifestyle changes.
How long have you been weight lifting?
In some way shape of form I’ve been lifting since 1997 so 22 years. As far as training specifically for strength sports, it’s been about 8 years.
Tell us about your company and what you offer.
So my company is JG Strength and Conditioning. I offer comprehensive customized training and nutrition and we do it all online and over the phone. So basically I’m a personal trainer that saves you a bunch of cash and you get to take more responsibility for your progress since you aren’t relying on me to do everything in person. I work with everyone from the divorced dad trying to get back into dating shape and the house wife trying to get beach ready all the way to some high level powerlifters and strongman competitors.
What’s the number one question people have when it comes to weight loss?
The number one question goes something like this: “How do I get rid of the fat under my arms?” “What exercise do I need to do to get rid of my love handles?”
What should they actually do about that?
The hard truth is that there are no short cuts short of liposuction and even then there’s a decent amount of pain and recovery. Also people like to focus on a specific exercise to reduce body fat in a specific place. eg. Side crunches to get rid of love handles. There is no “love handle muscle” so there’s no way to directly train that. Side crunches are cool and will develop the obliques, but those abs will be hiding until you reduce body fat over all. Unfortunately for all the people wanting a short cut or spot fix this requires consistent diet and life changes. In the end folks need to decide if pizza, beer, and wine matter more or if having a bad ass body matters more.
What’s a realistic timeline for our brides if they want to lose weight before their wedding?
So their’s a big discrepancy between losing “weight” and losing “fat.” If you want to lose 10 lbs of weight then we can do that in a week by starving and dehydrating you. It’s a common practice in sports with weight classes. I used to drop between 10 and 20 lbs in a week to make a class. The issue is that this is an illusion. As soon as you rehydrate it all comes back. Again there’s no magic way to get and stay in shape. Weight loss that will be primarily fat can happen pretty quickly though. A bride can loses between 1-3 lbs/week depending on how deconditioned they are, and the best part is that will be mostly body fat and will stay off if you maintain correctly after your fat cut. I’d say you want at least 12 weeks leading into the wedding. That’s 10-30 lbs of bodyfat gone before the wedding!
Is there a diet that you would recommend?
There are a lot of ways to skin the diet cat. The most important thing is to be able to stick to it consistently enough and long enough to keep the benefits. I’ve used everything on myself and clients and have had success with all methodologies. Ketogenic (High fat, moderate protein, almost no carbs), Backloading your carbs post workout, counting macros, and basic “clean” food diets have all worked for me and various clients. I’d say Ketogenic seems to be the hardest for most people in that it’s not something they will maintain for more than a month or 2. Eventually most people just want a pizza. Don’t fall into the trap of sales people trying to tell you a specific diet is better than all others. It’s just not the case. The human body is amazing and can adapt to using almost any methodology.
If you had to choose just one—diet or exercise.
For fat loss: Diet 100% of the time, but it’d be good to sneak a walk in from time to time.
Any other tips for my future clients?
The best rule of thumb I’ve every heard about losing weight/fat is this: Does eating what you are about to eat make you more or less of a piece of sh**? If it does then don’t eat it. If it doesn’t then eat it. Honestly if you follow that line of thought in diet and life you will probably end up sexy and rich.
Tacos, cheeseburgers, or Chinese?
YES! Although, if I have to choose just one it would be cheeseburgers. Shame on you for not asking about pizza or candy though.
How can my readers get ahold of you?
Instagram: @Strongman_Dan on Instagram