Lean Machine Project – Update 1 – Beginnings

What I am starting as of today is a weight loss phase in my training life, I have done quite a few in the past using a whole manner of diets and even in the past some cardio… (I know).  What I am starting today is something a bit different hopefully from what you have seen before.  I’m not going to use some weird eating rules that mean I eliminate 33% of all available foods because they spike insulin, I’m not going to not eat for 16 hours of the day because well quite frankly who the hell wants to do that.

I’m not going to start having epileptic fits on pull up bars for time nor am I going to perform random circuits every day and claim that I have revolutionised the training paridgm.  What I am proposing to do is to take a behavioural approach to my health and fitness related goals.  Before I delve into what this actually means from a practical stand point let’s look at weight loss as a topic.

Weight loss is a maths equation, nothing more nothing less.

You can listen to all of the nonsense online you want about supplements, macro nutrients, eating times, fasting, leptin or whatever people are pushing the following approach will lead to weight loss if you apply it.

Calories out > Calories in.

Anything else you are going to read from now till the end of time about weight loss or fitness is some derivative of this.  The mechanics of losing weight couldn’t be more straight forward however it is the application and practice that causes all of the problems.  You might know you should eat 60% of what you are currently eating but is that going to stop you from finishing off the last 2 slices of Dominos pizza because you have had as much as you should and no one else wants any….? If you’re anything like me then absolutely not.



Take choice out of the equation and the results from calorie restriction are astounding in 2004 Henery Buchwal et al performed a systematic review of Bariatric Surgery (gastric band) involving 136 studies and 22,094 patients.

The mean (95% confidence interval) percentage of excess weight loss was 61.2% (58.1%-64.4%) for all patients; 47.5% (40.7%-54.2%) for patients who underwent gastric banding; 61.6% (56.7%-66.5%), gastric bypass; 68.2% (61.5%-74.8%), gastroplasty; and 70.1% (66.3%-73.9%), biliopancreatic diversion or duodenal switch. Operative mortality (≤30 days) in the extracted studies was 0.1% for the purely restrictive procedures, 0.5% for gastric bypass, and 1.1% for biliopancreatic diversion or duodenal switch. Diabetes was completely resolved in 76.8% of patients and resolved or improved in 86.0%. Hyperlipidemia improved in 70% or more of patients. Hypertension was resolved in 61.7% of patients and resolved or improved in 78.5%. Obstructive sleep apnea was resolved in 85.7% of patients and was resolved or improved in 83.6% of patients.

Patients who underwent a gastric band lost on average 61.2% of excess weight, 76.8% resolved their type II Diabetes, Hypertension resolved for 61.7% of patients and Obstructive sleep apnea was resolved in 85.7% of patients.

Take away a person’s choice to over eat and the results are profound.


I can’t give you surgery over the internet so it’s not really a viable option and why have surgery when all you need is to increase your willpower and find out ways to control yourself when you are put in a situation that calls for self control.  What I propose to give you is a tool set that will allow you to look at practical exercises in self control and behaviour modification that are going to give you the resolve and will power to achieve any fitness or health goal you want.  If it’s physically possible in your body given your genetics then the only thing that is stopping you is desire.


Lean Machine the Broad Strokes

  • Know and set your goals – if you don’t set a goal how can you ever be successful?  Success is the attainment of your goal it doesn’t matter if it is flying man to the moon or eating one less slice of cake a day.  If you set a goal and achieve it you are successful.  First part of being successful is setting your goals out.  You need 3 magnitude of goals stretch goal (3 year goal – what’s your big dream?), strivable goal (year goal – what can you achieve this year to get closer to your stretch goal) and stepping stone goals (what can you do THIS week to get closer to your strivable goal).
  • Learn to desire your goals – there is no point in setting a goal you don’t desire.  Desire is more than want it you desire to do something then your need for it will be stronger than your current want for something.  Most people desire pleasure and reward more than they want to lose weight.  Until you desire your weight loss goals the temptation of life will always win through because wishing and wanting are weak.
  • Put a number and a date on it – Saying you want to lose weight is about as useful as saying you want to fly.  Without a time frame and a magnitude it is simply a wish you can’t work backwards pragmatically from wishful thinking.  Saying you want to lose 5 kg in 8 weeks gives you a time frame to work with and a tangible amount you need to work towards losing.  You need to lose 625g of body weight a week for the next 8 weeks to achieve your target now get at it.
  • Small bricks build huge walls – What we look at once you have laid out your goals is what can you do this week to bring you further to your goal.  These are the small changes on a week to week / day to day basis that are going to lead to your big successes.  In my next update I am going to lay out my stepping stones for this week and touch on the goal setting in more detail.
  • Consistency is king – We are not infallible machines.  You are going to slip up and make mistakes, it is to be accepted so what you need to do is adapt a big picture mentality if you overeat by 2000 kcal it’s cool over a year that 2000 kcal is white noise.  Stay on track and you will easily make your targets concentrate on your stepping stones for the week and focus in on them.
  • We are building habits – You will only stop paying attention to your weekly goals when you do them without thinking for the sake of argument we are going to set the number of weeks of consistently concentrating on one goal at 6 weeks.   Once you have consistently achieved one of your stepping stone goals for 6 weeks then we will remove it from the fore front of our minds and concentrate on the next goal that we need to achieve to meet our stretch goals.

So my journey begins.  For the remainder of this series I am going to embark on a weight loss journey one I hope some of those who wish for the same change in their life who read this blog will join me on.  In my next entry I will discuss in more detail my own goals for this project and what I am going to be doing about it in the upcoming days, weeks and months.


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