How to Lose Weight Fast. I Lost 5½ Pounds in a Week
Learn how gaining muscle can help you lose fat
By: George D Choy | Jan 30, 2019
It’s easy to lose weight fast in a week with minimal effort. Use your body’s natural ability to burn your belly fat. No cardio required.
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George & Sarah x
Vegan Personal Trainer & Nutritional Consultant
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We answer the questions we get asked all the time
The dynamic stretching warm up we do before our Calisthenics or gym workout.
Watch our workouts and eat this big bowl of “ice cream” after training.
Hi I’m George and I’m Sarah. And I’m gonna tell you a secret. Mmm. How I just lost five and a half pounds in one week!
So if you if you’ve subscribed to my newsletter, then you’ve probably received the the weekly video log last week, which is should you work out when sick. And the answer was no! [Laugh] Spoiler alert there! Watch it anyway it’s still interesting.
So I had a cold, cough, flu and fever. I’ve still got a little bit of cough, so I still have not worked out…I need to make sure that my chest is clear before I start—because obviously once you start breathing heavily, then you start getting flem in your lungs.
Plus you put your body under a huge amount of stress, which slows down your recovery. So the worst thing to do for me right now (is workout) because I’m almost ready. I don’t have a fever, so if I go to the gym now I’ll probably get a full-blown chest infection or something like that. So it’s really just not worth it—so I’m just having to hang on in there.
But anyway, so—how did I lose five and a half pounds in a week.
Well, basically when you when you are ill—if you look at other other animals, quite often when they’re ill, they stop eating. Children do it too.
This is because they’re much more in tune with their body than most humans, because they’re not thinking about conventional eating times, and “I must eat this amount of food” or anything like that. They’re just going by: “do I feel hungry?” yes or no. I’ll eat, or not eat. Or I’ll eat a bit.
Quite often when the body is fasting, it can then work on healing itself. Or even just eating small amounts of food it’s less stress on the digestive tract, and again your body can can focus more on healing.
So basically how did I lose 5 and a half pounds? So the first thing is you know I really start tuning in to my body when I get really sick, and if I don’t feel hungry…I just don’t eat.
And as I was spending most of my time just lying down sofa…and I was going bed at 2 in the afternoon…Joking] I needed fanning and being fed some peeled grapes…”man flu” [laughs]
Anyway, so I wasn’t really eating. I wasn’t moving at all. So I made a conscious effort in my mind to think: “okay, well I can’t eat the same as usual because I am not moving,” so I’m gonna expend a lot less calories.
So I really tuned into: “do I feel hungry?” Yes or No? Am I gonna eat? And I tended to eat much lighter food—just a little bit of fruit and yogurt and things like that.
Or you’re eating a half meal. Because I just couldn’t didn’t feel like I could eat a whole meal, like I would normally eat, such as a huge serving bowl of salad…or a nice big curry.
And I really didn’t feel like it, so I just ate smaller portions.
So talking about calorie expenditure… so for example: if you ate one medium Hawaiian pizza (obviously it would have to be Vegan.) A typical Pizza Hut Pizza, animal-based, that’s about 1,200 calories. It’s just a medium 12 inch pizza.
And many people will eat a medium pizza—some people will eat a large pizza. We used to. [laugh] It’s a quick way to get fat!
Or if you had a burger meal, it’s gonna be more (calories) than that probably.
But let’s say you have one one medium pizza—which seems fairly normal. 1,200 calories. Given that the average man or woman’…a woman is only supposed to have about 2,000 (calories) maximum per day, then that’s more than half (of your daily) calories gone for the whole day, in one meal.
Now if you ran a half marathon. So if you think you’re gonna eat your pizza, and then go out (and run) a half marathon. So it’s not just a little 5 mile jog or something. That’s nearly 1,500 calories.
So it’s about 300 calories more burned than the pizza. And no, you’re not going to eat a pizza, and then run a half marathon straightaway to burn it off! That’s so unlikely!
So you’ve got to think about processed food. It’s really calorie dense. One little one little muffin from a coffee shop is 500 calories! That’s just the normal chocolate muffin in a Starbucks or Costa or something like that. It’s around 450 to 500 calories. You’d have that as a snack!…that wouldn’t even be a meal.
You might eat that as a snack, with a latte, with another 200 calories or something.
Yeah, this is something we used to do. We used to eat all that stuff. So if you have a latte and a muffin, that’s 700 calories. So 700 calories is half of my BMR.
It’s basically the same as a whole main meal. So if you you start taking processed out of your diet and go for Whole Foods—which are as close to natural as possible you see the weight just fall off in no time. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about (today).
Anyway I rarely eat that many processed foods. But anyway, so as I was saying…a medium pizza is 1,200 calories. A half marathon would only just burn that off, and give you a couple of extra hundred calories to to loose some weight.
But at my body weight—if I do absolutely nothing and I just lie in bed all day long, my basal metabolic rate is 1,450 calories. So basically by doing nothing, I burn the equivalent of a half marathon every single day.
But that’s quite low for a guy, because you’re not very tall. Yup, so I’m only 5 foot 4, and I did weigh a hundred forty-two pounds a week ago, [laughs] So at that weight and that height, I’d burn 1,450 calories by doing nothing.
And how did you find that out? So to find out, you just just type “BMR calculator”into Google and tons of sites pop up, and you just put in your your height and your weight, and then it spits out the number.
One (site) that we quite like is Cronometer.com. Cronometer is really good at estimating calories. It’ll tell you how many calories you got from the day. It asks a bit about activity levels as well, which is quite useful. There are really complicated ones—when I used to do a lot of calculations for people for nutritional consulting, there are really complicated formulas to work it out, but we found that these calculators (on Cronometer) were actually fairly spot on.
Yeah anyway, so it’s much easier, and how to pay loads for those. But the Cronometer one—if you’re putting your food in as well, it will come and gradually take it off of that So it tells you where you’re supposed to get (total calories).
Yeah you can put in your activities—if you go to the gym or jog or whatever, you can type that in. It can work it out quite cleverly. But…you’ll be very surprised to find out that your hour in the gym was only 150 calories or something. You’ll think “What?” That’s not even going to burn off one muffin.
So what am I getting to? What I’m getting to is the fact that, for our clients we don’t really push them to do loads of cardio…this is a total waste of time.
People enjoy it. Okay, if you enjoy it, and it’s a form of meditation stress relief, then go ahead and do it. But not loads. But if you’re doing it as the only way to lose weight, what you’ll find is it’ll stimulate your hunger. So you’ll get more hungry and eat more food. You won’t lose weight. It’s compensation isn’t it. It’s just natural for your body to do it.
Even if you don’t realise you’re doing it. Doing a load of cardio—your brains going “ooh, I just burned a load of calories,”I can eat that muffin”…”I could have an extra big dinner”, or I can do something. And even even if you’re not consciously doing it, you tend to compensate, or overcompensate, which is even worse.
That’s generally what people do—they will over compensate. They will think they’ve burned more calories, and they will eat more food than they think they have.
So if you’re trying to lose weight, that does not work. It doesn’t work. So anyway—so we don’t ever push our clients into doing loads of cardio. What we do tell them, is to do strength training.
And so the reason for that, is if you do strength training—either with weights, or body weight exercise like calisthenics, like I do, then basically you can increase your basal metabolic rate.
So that means if I go in (to the gym) and add a couple of pounds of muscle to my body, then my Basal Metabolic Rate goes up. Which means when I’m sleeping, I’m still burning calories. I’m burning more calories than I was before—when I didn’t have the muscle.
Because you’re telling your body I need muscle. Because if you don’t do any form of strength exercise at all your body leans out gets very skinny, because muscle is expensive for your body to run. It costs calories to keep it there.
So George obviously…give us a nice pose George. Rrrrrr. Laughs. That isn’t what his body would do given the choice, because it costs food to maintain that, so he has to go to the gym…and I have to go to the gym as well.
I’m not obviously as muscly as George, but for a woman, I’m fairly muscular. I have to tell my body over and over again, “actually I need some more muscle, “I need to maintain this muscle” and “I need to build a bit more muscle” because I’m using it.
So it’s the equivalent of Neanderthal man times—he has to lift heavy rocks to survive. Therefore his body priorities keeping some muscle on him, in order to have him survive. But it’s against what it wants to be doing. It’s against nature. It wants to lose muscle.
So if you’re not going to the gym and telling your body you want the muscle, it will think “oh, I don’t need anymore, yeah I’ll get rid of it.” It will look to dump it.
The other thing is to remember is that if you don’t do any form of strength training, then for example if you’re a woman, you’ll end up with a pancake butt. So you’ll end up with a shape they call “skinny fat.” Well blokes can get skinny fat too.Yeah, blokes do. So it’s where you look skinny, but it doesn’t look good.
Because you’ve just got no shape. So even for women, doing strength training—focus on your buttocks, focus on your shoulders, focus on your (v-shape) back…create the create the hourglass physique.
See I’ve got quite nice shoulders. So for guys it’s not too dissimilar. Focus on on the shoulder, focus on the arms. Less on the butt. I did work my butt quite a lot once, but she didn’t like it. [laughs] He looked kinda weird. Like stop doing that. Go back to the thighs and abs. I looked like Beyonce. No it wasn’t that bad, but it was a bit odd. So he’s stopped doing that.
Anyway, so I’m just gonna recap now. So I lost five and a half pounds in a week. Given that I hadn’t done any strength training in the last week, my body had less of a reason to hold on to it. But it is quite typical when you lose weight that you might lose a bit of muscle at the same time, why it’s imperative to do strength training.
So looking at my electronic scales—and you know they’re not a hundred percent accurate when it comes to measuring body fat. I did that (mentioned it) in a previous video. I don’t trust it. But using those scales, it basically said that I lost two and a half pounds of fat in the week, and three pounds of muscle. But we were expecting it.
It’s going to get worse, because you’re not working out this week either. No exactly. So and the other thing is…then I don’t know if you know, but I’ve lost about 3/4 of an inch off my bicep. Which again, pretty sad.
One thing to note though. You get it back quick. Yes. I will get it back. Because when you’ve had muscle and you’ve lost muscle, and even George as a teenager he had a high muscle percentage and then he lost some of as we stopped exercising, getting back into the gym and reminding your body you need the muscle is far faster than building it in the first place. So we’re not too concerned.
Because, say he’s not gonna exercise next week—probably the week after, I imagine. Yeah I’ll probably take two weeks off. And then initially obviously you’ve got to take it easy back in the gym, because you don’t wanna gonna go straight in, and go completely nuts.
But basically it will come back within, I don’t know, 2 to 3 weeks. Hopefully. Well, fingers crossed. I’ll tell you. I’ll measure my bicep again and let you know how we’re doing.
One more benefit of doing the strength training I hadn’t mentioned, is not only does it increase your metabolic rate—so you burn calories while you sleep, the other thing is is it increases the glycogen storage size—so that’s the carbs in your muscles. Yeah exactly. So one of the things that creates the shape of the muscles is not just muscles, but it’s actually storage.
Think of them as a storage depot. It’s called glycogen. So it will store the energy in your muscles, and water. Because every time you store glycogen, you store water with the glycogen.
So you can lose a lot of your fullness, if you’re low carb. We used to do that a long time ago. We tried very low carb keto, and and your muscles look less full because you are glycogen depleted, pretty much the entire time.
We don’t advise you going keto. Don’t do it. We’ve done it, but we’ve gone the other way now. It’s really unhealthy. It’s gonna create bigger health problems, so just definitely don’t do it.
So (glycogen) increases the volume of the muscles. And it does it in a shapely way. So you know, it doesn’t jiggle. If it feels like muscle, it is muscle. But that’s just part of the muscles, so that means that when you eat carbohydrates and you’ve exercised, your muscles will soak it up—they’ll just suck up the carbohydrates.
So what does that mean? It means you can actually eat more. Yay [laugh]. So, an extra benefit! We like to eat. Or you can eat the same and lose fat. Correct. Which is the alternative—which is great, we don’t tend to eat hugely high calorie. But when you are eating a reasonable amount of food, then you can cut doing that without feeling very hungry.
But there’s a question…if you’re just starting out and you know you are a few stone overweight, and you’re wondering (if this is the guys) “should I bulk up or should I cut?” Go for a cut. Don’t bulk up.
If you haven’t really been doing strength training before, you will just gain muscle anyway. Because that’s that’s the advantage of the newbies. Beginners gains! You will gain muscle, so you’re gonna get that great shape, and not have to worry about trying to bulk up.
You’re better off cutting, getting to exactly what body fat you want, and then increasing your calories to build muscle. That looks much better. Because if you’re already overweight, and then you bulk, you’re just gonna get fatter—and that doesn’t look good.
Plus if you’ve got a lot of weight on you, you can actually be quite strong. You have to lift all that weight around he whole time.
So quite often we meet people who are overweight, and you can’t really see their muscles, because obviously they’re covered—they’ve got a layer of fat on top. But they’re actually very strong, and when they start first start working out it’s surprising what they can do. Because they’re having to carry that weight around with them.
So losing the fat and maintaining the muscle, and gaining the muscle is actually a better
way to go. So don’t just eat like a 400 or 500 calorie surplus trying to gain muscle, just you know eat more normally and things will take care of themselves basically.
Yeah—a big brain dump. One thing before we go, please comment on this, because obviously we’ve given you lots of suggestions. If you completely disagree with this then great—well not great, but comment below and we will answer your comments. Because we always check them. And please subscribe.
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So thank you for listening all the way to the end. And we’ll speak to you soon.
George & Sarah Choy
Vegan Personal Trainer & Nutritional Consultant