Man, you should be so proud of yourself for making it to the end of Phase One of my Operation Aesthetic program. I know how challenging this is, so I bow down. I hope you’re seeing the results you expected.
While you still have a to-do list for today, I want you to take some time to celebrate your success. That’s true however much fat you’ve lost—discipline is its own success, and you’ve proved that by sticking to this program for 4 effing weeks!
So, hold onto that success as you go through today’s checklist. I’m making some changes to Operation Aesthetic today. Phase Two is going to further test you. We’re going to cut calories a little more while amping up exercise intensity.
DAY 28 TO-DO LIST:
Each full rest day—the 7th of each week—comes with bullet points you need to complete. Here’s what you need to do on Day 28, the last day of Phase One:
Weigh yourself upon rising.You likely have dropped a considerable amount of weight, but most of it should be from body fat at this point. My diet and supps programs are designed to spare muscle tissue. And you’ve been training like a beast to maintain or build muscle mass. Take a good look at yourself in the mirror to see how you look after all of this hard work. You should also feel some shifts in how your clothes are fitting—your jeans may be a little baggier at the waist, and maybe a little tighter in the thighs.
Take photos of yourself. Put on the same clothes you used for your beginning photos and at the end of each previous week during Phase One. Take photos in the same setup at the same time of day as you did for your “before” photos. Take shots from the same angles as you did during your “before” shots. You want to remove all the variables other than your progress from these weekly photos. That’s especially important at this midpoint in the program.
Read through your journal and make sure it’s up-to-date. I want you to really reflect on your journal at this point. Read it from start to finish, and consider what’s working best for you and what isn’t. I recommend including detailed comments about what you’ve done right and what you’ve done wrong. This will help you focus for Phase Two, and it will prove invaluable for your next fat-loss program.
Get in your cheat.As I mentioned at the end of yesterday’s notes, you can do a little more cheating today than you usually do at the end of a week. This does depend on your success to this point. If you’ve been slipping and getting in foods you shouldn’t, then this should just be a standard cheat meal. However, if you’ve been strict with Operation Aesthetic, then you can go out for a big brunch and have a big late-night meal (either the night before or tonight). But keep each of these to 4–5 calories per pound of bodyweight. If you weigh 180 pounds, then that means you can go with two meals of up to 900 calories each. Check out what that means in terms of foods in restaurants—it’s not the pig-out meal you may think it is.
Get another body fat test. Now is also a good time to get in another body fat test to see how much actual body fat you’ve lost. I recommend doing this before your cheat meals, if possible. In fact, you can do it a day or so earlier if you want, and you’re reading ahead on this program. Remember that calipers tests are an approximation of body fat. The best way to assess the effectiveness of caliper testing is to have the same person perform the test in the same way. Don’t obsess about what your body fat level is. Rather pay more attention to the change from the previous test at the beginning of Operation Aesthetic.
Keep in mind that if you’ve lost 10 pounds, and your percent of body fat has reduced, then you’ve lost even more body fat as a percentage of total weight. And even if you’ve lost 10 pounds and your body fat as a percentage of total weight hasn’t changed, then you’ve still lost body fat, comparable to the percent of weight you’ve lost. For instance, if you’ve lost 10 pounds and your body fat as a percentage remains steady, but you began with 20% body fat, then you’ve lost nearly 2 pounds of body fat.
PHASE TWO: DIET CHANGES
After this cheat period, you’re going to reduce calories overall for Phase Two. You’re going to cut calories to 13 per pound of bodyweight. Here’s the deal, though. Now you probably weigh less, so it’s a double drop.
Let’s say you weighed 200 pounds at the beginning of Operation Aesthetic and now you’re down to 190. Here’s how your daily calorie intake will shift:
200 pounds x 15 = 3,000 calories per day (Weeks 1 and 2)
195 pounds x 14 = 2,730 calories per day (Weeks 3 and 4)
190 pounds x 13 = 2,470 calories per day (Weeks 5 and 6)
So, that means we’re taking calories down about another 10 percent on Day 29. You’ll still hit the same macros that I recommended at the beginning of my program:
40 percent protein
40 percent carbs
20 percent dietary fats
50 percent protein
30 percent carbs
20 percent dietary fats
To make these changes in the quantities of the foods you consume, re-enter your bodyweight into the calculator. Then make adjustments to the amounts of each food in the sample daily plan. The foods and ratios don’t shift—just the amounts.
PHASE TWO: WORKOUT SHIFTS
Daily cardio stays the same, but I’m making some shifts in exercises, techniques, and thinking points to each of the weight-training workouts in Phase Two. Time to get serious. I’ll see you on the other side!
Research shows that carnitine, a compound derived from amino acids, helps release stored fat that you can then use for energy. You’ll perform your morning cardio before consuming calories to encourage fat release. Getting in L-Carnitine before cardio supports the release of free fatty acids, providing energy on an otherwise empty stomach. It does the latter by transporting fatty acids into your cells where your mitochondria—the engines in your cells—oxidize them to promote energy. Carnitine also promotes post-exercise recovery.
FOR BEST RESULTS: Take 3–4 servings of L-Carnitine each day—get in one before each of your cardio sessions. You can take another dose of L-Carnitine before your weight-training session or immediately after if you’re performing cardio right after your weights workout.
Send your photos of your Phase One results to me at: https://www.instagram.com/uzoma_obilor/