I decided to do a regularly monthly review, to help hold myself accountable, share my process, and (hopefully) inspire you.
I encourage all of my clients to track their progress and keep their important metrics front of mind, because it is highly motivating.
While everyone’s results may vary, here’s what I’ve been able to accomplish this month, and how I’m doing it.
DIET & NUTRITION
I started dieting the first week of September, so these were weeks 5 to 9 of my current fat loss diet.
I’m dieting to reduce my body fat and create additional runway for long-term muscle gain.
After gaining weight up to 185 lbs in August, it was time for me to clean things up a little bit.
Days I tracked my food: 31/31
Days I hit my calorie target: 31/31
(Can you spot my girlfriend’s birthday dinner?)
Yup – even that massive spike was “on track”.
I just reduced my calories in the week surrounding, so that she and I could have a fancy dinner to celebrate her birthday.
Here’s the strategy I use to lose fat without giving up the foods I love.
I use MacroFactor to log my food intake and track my bodyweight.
(Use code MARRA for an extended free trial)
Like most months, I stuck to my staple foods – aside from testing and making recipe videos for the YouTube channel.
October’s Top Tracked Food Items:
- Plain Greek Yogurt
- Fat Free Fairlife Milk
- Chicken Breast
This month I also put out a bunch of new recipe videos!
It’s so hard to pick – but here are my top 3 recipes:
Starting Weight: 174 lbs
Lowest Weight: 165.4 lbs
Current Weight: 166.2 lbs
Expected Loss Rate: 1.6 lbs/week or 6.4 lbs/month
Actual Loss: 8.6 lbs/month
Change in expenditure: + 583 calories/day
I was losing weight a little bit too quickly (not a good idea). And decided to increase my calories by 150 calories a day.
Some of the biggest changes I noticed beyond my weight moving were:
- Downsizing my shirts
- Visible abs coming back
- Seeing new veins pop up after a solid pump
*An accumulation of negative psychological and physiological side effects from dieting.
Overall, diet fatigue has been very manageable, and I still feel like I still have a lot more runway on my current trajectory.
- Lower energy – especially later in the day
- Takes a few more minutes to fall asleep each night
- Very infrequent hunger
Things I’ll look out for going forward:
- Brain fog
- Constant low-level hunger
- Inability to adhere to goals
My current training program is designed to help my body hold onto as much muscle as a I can, while I’m losing fat.
The same type of training that grows new muscle, helps retain it when dieting.
I’m training with weights, 5 days/week, at roughly 1 hour per session.
I train each muscle group at least twice a week, and am not doing any formal cardio.
Top Exercise this block: Smith Machine Skull Crusher
These give me INSANE tricep pumps without bothering my elbows, shoulders, or anything else.
On the chopping block: Assisted Chin-ups
Have been great in the past – but the machine at my gym is pretty iffy. I’ll see how they go this block.
Voted off the island: Cable EZ-bar Curls
These felt amazing for the last 3 months, but have gradually given me less bang for my buck every session.
How do I think this month went overall for training quality?
Training quality this month was very high, with tons of soreness, pumps, and progress.
Nothing at the moment is really bothering my joints, or feeling “off”.
My 150 calorie increase has also allowed me to maintain my training intensity.
STEPS & SLEEP
Sleep is a great multiplier – it either makes your results better, or worse.
Sleep Target: 8 hrs/night
Average Sleep Duration: 8.5hrs/night
Overall sleep quality: 4/10
Daily Step Goal: 10,000
Average Daily Steps: 10,317
Daily step goals are a great way to standardize your daily activity levels.
Keep your output high and dieting gets easier.
HIGHS & LOWS
Seeing Marra Strength grow has been incredible this past year and 2024 will not be the end of that.
Until now, I’ve focused my time on 1:1 coaching and now I’m exploring how I can deliver a life-changing transformation in a 1:many format.
New Followers: +901
Top Performing Post: Fat-Loss Starter Kit
Personal Fav Post: Being Overweight is a Problem
New Subscribers: +197
Top Video: Best Meal Prep Breakfast Sandwich
Personal Fav Video: Steak Fajitas
New Clients: +2
I’m excited to work with Bryan G. because he’s struggled to see reliable weight loss in the past…and I know that taking a structured approach will show him the results that he wants.
After having been out of the gym for more than a year I’m happy to report that he hasn’t missed a workout for all of October!
Also looking forward to seeing Zach’s progress as he transitions away from a more vague “eating healthy” approach, and into a more directed approach.
I wanted highlight a win for my client Brian R. who took a trip to DisneyLand with his family for a week, and managed to keep a level head.
What might have been an off-the-rails food-fest in the past, was just an enjoyable week with the family instead.
Now onto our next 20 lbs of weight loss!
My girlfriend’s birthday was this month…I gifted her a kitchenmaid stand mixer, because she’s been getting into baking more and more lately.
We now eat a pound of sourdough bread everyday between the two of us!
I have continued reading more regularly.
- The Dip by Seth Godin
- Show Your Work by Austin Kleon
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent – starring Nic Cage as Nic Cage.
Unexpected, but awesome – a definite must-watch!
Went to a Halloween party mid-month.
Managed to get matching costumes for $5 each from the thrift store.
We even stayed out “late” – okay, 10pm is late for me!
For my birthday this past August, I asked for an unconventional gift:
Three months of no obligations to attend any social events.
I’m tripling down on building my business to have greater impact and reach more people.
Some folks think that what I’m doing is extreme – but I love it.
Focused work is highly rewarding for me.
What I’m looking forward to most this month:
- Getting leaner with four more weeks of fat loss
- Creating more written and video content
- Hiring an ads pro to help me reach more people
Challenges on the horizon:
- Pushing deeper into the diet and battling diet fatigue
- Staying focused daily on activities that move me forward
- Just showing up and doing the damn work.