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The biggest loser?!

On Tuesday 12th April, my first client of the day produced an incredible result.

In just four months Martin has lost 13.6kg (that’s over 2 stone) of pure fat. And he did it on a ketogenic diet, in which 70% of his calories come from fat, 25% from protein and almost none from carbs.

The fat loss would probably have been greater a month ago as recent family events forced Martin to diverge from the high-fat, ultra-low-carb regimen.

The highlights of his report are:

  • Weight loss from 105kg to 88.8kg (16.5 stone to 14 stone)
  • Fat loss of 13.6kg (38% of original body fat)
  • Fat/lean loss ratio of more than 5:1
  • Visceral fat down from “increased risk” to “normal” (36% down)

Martin’s results endorse the groundswell of opinion and evidence that it’s OK – in fact, highly beneficial – to eat plenty of naturally occurring fat and that carbohydrates are the underlying cause of obesity.

If you’re interested in Martin’s information sources, he kindly points to:

We also found this very interesting 30-minute ‘Catalyst’ programme from ABC Australia, made in 2014.

Since November, Martin has consumed his high-fat diet in a time-restricted window (a version of intermittent fasting) between noon and 8pm, and also aimed to be in a calorie deficit of 30-50%. Some keto advice is that you don’t have to count calories because your hunger levels are very well regulated without carb-induced insulin spikes, but Martin says keeping a sharp eye on calories was crucial because of the high-energy value of high-fat foods – a few macadamia nuts can cause a calorie blowout.

In February, after five months of strict ‘keto’ (he began the keto journey last September), Martin moved to having a carb re-feed once or twice a week, usually the night before bodyweight circuit training (TRX, press-ups, squats and lunges). This ‘cyclical keto’ with heavy-duty carb-ups of between a few hours and two days is outlined in ‘The Best Ever Bodybuilding Diet?’. Martin’s carb content would rise to 50% in these periods.

His more than 5:1 ratio of fat-to-lean loss is excellent by any standard (especially considering the sheer amount of fat he shed) and one wonders if he would have maintained more or even all his lean mass with a lower calorie restriction and by increasing weights beyond body weight.

Martin’s lifestyle changes started last August, when he was 131.5kg (21 stone) and wore XXL shirts and 44-inch trousers. He quit smoking and sugar and began restricting carbs and calories. In September he followed the keto rules more closely and saw improved results. He then replaced breakfast with a ‘bulletproof’ coffee (coffee and coconut oil) before removing the calorie-rich oil to start the 16:8 intermittent fasting.

He’s now a medium, 32-inch waist and below 90kg for the first time since he was 12 years old. Inspiring stuff.

Martin’s says: “It’s hard to start, like any diet, but the difficulty is in establishing new habits. The biggest one is losing the starch component of most of your meals – it’s culturally ingrained.

“Once you’re used to it, it’s quite easy. Keto is challenging in that it’s a binary proposition – like being pregnant, you’re in a ketogenic state or you’re not. So you can’t cheat (except in very controlled circumstances with strategic carb re-feeds).

“Get enough salts when you start, watch your fibre intake and expect to take a few weeks for your body to adapt. Once it does there are many benefits. For me, fat loss obviously, but also the steady blood sugar, reduced hunger and mental clarity are great side benefits.”

We hope you find Martin’s story interesting.