Brigid Miller: How I Burned 4.7% Body Fat
Written by Brigid Miller
At the start of 2017, I was coming off of a two-week bender full of Christmas cookies, grade-A Midwest home cooking, and booze. Arriving back home in San Diego after an extended visit with my family in Chicago reminded me that there was a life outside of deep dish pizza, pot pies, and breaded mac-n-cheese. I took stock of the year ahead and it didn’t look good. Seven weddings. Five bachelorette parties. Summer bod needed ASAP.
If there ever was a first-world problem, this was it.
The January P360 rundown was published, and I noticed a new nutrition program was available – the Clean Slate Club. The pitch seemed pretty straightforward – a 90 day commitment to clean eating on your part supported by 90 days of coaching, custom macro breakdown, individual data collection, tracking, and support from Nutrition Coach, Lenny.
I originally signed up in mid-January with fellow member Maddie Leppert, since her wedding is coming up and we both had the common goal of leaning out for her bachelorette party and the big day. In nutrition terms I really just wanted to decrease my percent body fat and get stronger. I was pretty skeptical at first but thought what the hell, why not give it a shot for 90 days.
By Day 2, I was ready to quit. My thoughts included:
- How the hell can anyone eat this much protein?
- There is no way I can hit this carb number (need candy) or fat number either (need cheese); this is impossible.
- I can’t just eat boiled chicken for every meal (which turned out not to be true).
Regardless, I decided to stick it out mainly because Lenny was there to provide constant motivation and to support our every question. We literally texted him pictures of everything we ate, nutrition labels, questions, etc for the first entire month and I’m pretty sure we were his all-time most high maintenance clients. He sent us videos telling us to “put down the wine,” told us how and when to adjust macros, allowed us a few cheat days (even ate soft cheese pretzels with us once), and overall made it easy for us to create a sustainable nutrition plan that included lots of foods we actually enjoy.
Before the program I never tracked how many calories I ate. I would say it would be in crazy ranges from 1,100 – 2,500 per day depending on if it was a weekday or weekend. I tracked some of my “cheat” weekends on the program and would usually be around 2,000. I think the biggest thing was the macros shifting for me. I would say on average I was previously eating 1,700/day, however it was drastically lower in protein and higher in fat and carbs.
One lesson I learned is that people with six packs don’t get them by accident. That shit takes dedication and discipline. I also learned that the answers are available if you want to figure out how to eat right and eat good foods that will fuel your workouts and take you to the next level. It’s hard to do on your own. Clean Slate Club made it easier.
Some other simple lessons learned:
– There is an elusive snack we decided to refer to as “gruel.” Gruel consists of Greek yogurt with protein powder mixed in. Depending on the remaining macros in your day, you can also mix in granola, fruit, almond butter, honey, etc. It sounds like a snack for hulked-out gym rats, but it is actually good. Fage 0% + a scoop of vanilla protein powder = frosting. Try it.
– I travel for work a lot, so airport/business travel life hacks were key. Previously my airport snacks would be a bag of berry gummy-savers and a bag of Skinny Pop white cheddar popcorn (you know, to be skinny). Turns out after putting that in my tracker I was fucked. That snack was 800 calories including 165g of carbs which put me at my entire day’s worth in one shot. Did I still eat them on that trip? Yes. But on future trips, I packed a lunch for the airport. Trader Joe’s salads are your friend and you can bring them in your carry-on. Uber drivers will let you eat a Greek yogurt on the way to the airport. You can go to Whole Foods on a work trip and eat healthy while traveling (plus, who doesn’t want to explore a new Whole Foods location on your company’s dime).
– Beware of sauces. Even “good fats” can add up quick. Measure your olive oil. Also, one of my biggest moments of devastation was looking up the nutrition facts for Ranch.
– Treat food as fuel for your workouts. Eat more to light up your metabolism. I was scared to add more calories when Lenny advised me a couple months in. I had lost some fat and didn’t want to gain it back. I finally made the change and started lifting more almost immediately. Turns out he may know what he is talking about.
I will spare you the additional details of our full 90-day quest for nutritional health, but the numbers speak for themselves. Not the most drastic transformation, but given I was at a decent starting position I am really happy with where I landed in the end.
|InBody 520 Body Composition Test|
|DATE||BW||Lbs of Fat||PBF|
- I lost 6.7 pounds of body fat.
- I reduced my body fat percent by 4.7%.
- I achieved multiple PRs in the gym, and increased working weight for every major lift in the 5×5 workouts. I also hit five strict pull-ups for Level 2!
- I feel healthier and have more energy.
This is not a Jenny Craig style program. There are not pre-made meals and recipes for you to depend upon. There is no 30-day guarantee. Your results are dependent on the effort you put in both in the kitchen as well as at the gym. At first I was a little surprised because I thought we would be getting a cook book or something. Instead, we completed a personal profile and received custom macros to follow based on our workout routines and individual goals. If you have never followed macros before, it is daunting at first. However, once you figure out what’s in the food you like, it is pretty easy to piece together meals that will get you to your goal. It does take personal commitment because you have to do some research up front.
I now look at food and nutrition differently after completing this program and feel I got a crash course in nutritional knowledge I will forever take with me. It has definitely changed my outlook for the better and that I have learned how to apply the new knowledge to my daily life moving forward. Plus, random people at the gym have told me my arms and back look muscular and that has also been great :).
This is not a program meant for people who aren’t willing to work, commit, and put in the time, but if you do, Coach Lenny will reward you with some pretty awesome results.
Brigid Miller has been a member of Performance360 since 2014. Lenny Weiner is a Certified Precision Nutrition Coach and the Head Nutrition Coach at Performance360.com