“I want to lose fat, FAST!”
This is by far one of the most popular requests in the fitness industry — and you may be surprised by what we say next, but it’s 100% possible to do a dramatic cut rapidly.
The rules are really simple: take an aggressive approach to consume as little as possible, and increase your physical activity drastically. Boom! You will lose fat quickly.
But here’s the thing: just because something is technically possible, doesn’t mean it’s the best route to take.
For very few people, the above approach will work — and might even be somewhat maintainable. But for most people, it simply will not produce a successful, sustainable outcome!
It takes a lot to adhere to a restrictive training and nutrition regime, and it often leaves you feeling deprived, experiencing uncontrollable cravings, and finally succumbing to yet another cycle of yo-yo dieting. The resulting never ending pattern of “weight-cycling” also results in health problems, and is associated with significant weight gain over time.
These are just some of the reasons why our team here at MWU rarely recommend aggressive calorie deficit for someone — and when we do, it’s usually short-term and for a very specific reason (e.g. last couple of weeks of comp prep).
Instead, we're huge believers in the power of a gradual, steady approach!
And if you’re not convinced just yet, let me introduce you to the beautiful Soffia and her recent fat loss journey! 💖
Soffia’s fat loss journey
Have a look at the incredible results Soffia achieved with us over 14 weeks of hard work, dedication and a gradual calorie deficit! 💪
Now that I have your attention 😉, let’s chat in detail about Soffia’s journey!
Starting with Move With Us
Soffia is most definitely an experienced trainer now — but she wasn't when she first came to MWU 3 years ago! Like it is for many women, her routine consisted of enormous amounts of cardio and adhered strictly to “clean eating". She had never tracked her intake, or followed a structured training regimen.
Soffia’s motto was basically “more is better” — and yet, despite all the hours at the gym, she was never 100% satisfied with her progress.
Let’s just say that at MWU, we like doing things a bit differently! 🙊
Over the last 3 years, Soffia's learnt a lot about the principles of nutrition and flexible dieting, adhering to structured approaches tailored to her physique goals. This is what allowed Soffia to build her incredible hourglass physique, with shapely legs, a tight waist, and strong shoulders and back!
Prior to her fat loss phase, Soffia had been working on gaining lean muscle for around 8 months, working her way up steadily to 2400 calories with minimal cardio or additional structured activity on top of gym sessions.
After completing her “bulking” phase, Soffia approach us for an approach to fat loss, and we couldn’t be more excited to create one!
Soffia’s shred phase
Soffia was very clear from the get go that she wasn’t after a quick fix! Her goal was to reduce her body fat percentage gradually and as comfortably as possible while maintaining her muscle mass.
This was never going to be a quick fix, so we created a 14-week plan for achieving Soffia’s desired results!
Over the course of the 14 weeks, Soffia’s calories gradually dropped from the initial 2400 (post-bulk) to 1800. We didn’t need to go any lower than that to achieve amazing results.
As Soffia is experienced with flexible dieting, she reshuffled her macros slightly to suit her preferred menu where required, while always making sure to hit her calories and protein as closely as she could.
See Soffia’s macro targets road map below!
Soffia admits: “I did feel a little bit hungry when my targets dropped below 2000. I love food, and do really notice when my intake is below a certain level. But because it was such a slow process, overall my body adjusted to changes really well. I also didn’t start adding more physical activity until around week 10 mark, which was an additional weekly HIIT session and 2x15 min stepper finishers worked into my training week”.
All in all, there were minimal changes to Soffia's lifestyle — even the meal structure stayed pretty much the same throughout the entire 14 weeks.
“I prefer bigger meals and don’t really like snacking”, Soffia explains. “I would rather have 3 large plates, which I find keep me satisfied for longer whether I’m gaining muscle or aiming to lose fat!”
Here’s an example of what Soffia eats in a day on higher (2300) and lower (1800) calories! To feel fuller in a deficit, Soffia added more non-starchy veggies to meals and reached out for foods with more volume to keep her satisfied.
After reaching a 1800 calorie mark, we began incorporating scheduled re-feeds, and increasing calories gradually. At the moment, Soffia is maintaining her physique at around 2100 calories/day, and is planning on doing another muscle gain phase soon!
Soffia’s top tips for sustainable fat loss
Here are Soffia’s top tips for achieving sustainable results:
👉 It’s not always going to be easy! Keep your eyes on the prize, it’s so worth it.
👉 Focus on the journey, not the destination! Some weeks it may seem like you’re not progressing, but please keep going. You will get amazing results!
👉 Slow and steady wins the race! I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be able to adhere to an aggressive deficit, so I set realistic, achievable expectations and worked from there.
👉 Find an experienced coach who can provide guidance and perspective! Otherwise you may find you’re not pushing yourself enough, or the opposite, doing too much, too soon.
Biggest win: Achieving my goal physique and learning to be more in control of my training and nutrition!
Biggest challenge: Moving more while eating less can be really challenging. Did I mention I like food? 😅
Sustainability is the key to long-term results
I hope that Soffia’s story has inspired you and demonstrated that slow and steady definitely wins the race!
Remember that there's no rush! Do things correctly while working with your body, not against it. It’s much better to be realistic with yourself and set maintainable targets, than get impatient and give up before you have a chance to succeed.
At MWU, we're all about sustainable long-term results — and while this approach won't get you where you want to be within a couple of weeks, it will show you how to get there sustainably, and maintain the results.