My 5-Month Body Transformation Guide

By: Jeremy Fox, CNC, CPTUpdated: February 26, 2024

Embarking on a body transformation journey can be one of the most rewarding endeavors. While the physical change is rewarding, I find the most contentment lies in a healthy lifestyle and caring for my body.

If you want to transform your body and lifestyle, this article is for you. I will outline the systematic process I used to shed pounds, maintain muscle, and build my best body. No gimmicks, just results!

5 Month Body Transformation

I’m a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach with years of experience in the fitness industry. My goal for this body transformation was to show people what’s possible with diet and exercise without resorting to extreme deprivation or drugs.

Sharing my story isn’t about boasting but rather about encouraging others who might be considering their own health transformation. It’s empowering to see how much you can accomplish when you apply yourself and stay the course, even when progress feels slow.

Five months may seem like a long time. But it’s a blink of an eye when you’re making changes that will last a lifetime, and that’s a powerful realization in itself.

My 5-Month Body Transformation

I’ll start by sharing some additional background information and the actual results of my 5-month body transformation. Before the weight loss, I spent almost a year in a bulking phase trying to gain weight and build muscle.

As a result, I was tipping the scales at 196 pounds when I stepped on the scale in the morning. That was considered significantly overweight for my 5’9″ frame.

Starting in May, I gradually changed my diet and workouts to burn fat while maintaining the muscle mass I had built. By October, I weighed 165 pounds fasted. That’s a total of 31 pounds lost.

I shared my 5-month body transformation on Reddit and was shocked at how much support I got.

As a fitness coach, I know that the scale doesn’t tell the whole story. So, I also tracked my body fat percentage throughout the transformation using an InBody scale at the gym.

This device uses electrical impedance to measure changes in body composition. It’s not the most precise method, but it’s good enough to see trends over time.

I took measurements almost every day and averaged the numbers weekly and monthly to reduce the effect of day-to-day weight variation. Here are my body composition numbers showing how much weight loss was fat and muscle.

Table 1. Actual Body Composition Changes
Month Weight Body Fat Lean Mass
May 196.0 lbs 17.9% 160.9 lbs
Jun 185.7 lbs 13.7% 160.3 lbs
Jul 181.5 lbs 12.2% 159.4 lbs
Aug 177.9 lbs 10.7% 158.9 lbs
Sep 173.8 lbs 8.6% 158.9 lbs
Oct 165.4 lbs 6.5% 154.7 lbs
Change 30.6 lbs 11.4% 6.2 lbs

This data shows that body fat accounted for 80% of the weight loss, whereas 20% was muscle loss. Unfortunately, this comes with the territory for a natural bodybuilder like myself.

However, most of the muscle loss occurred in September when I was on an elk hunting trip in Colorado. Several days of backpacking through mountainous terrain combined with minimal food intake caused me to lose significant lean mass.

Before that, I had only lost two pounds of lean mass in 4 months. Still, the overall goal was not to get “skinny fat,” which I think I did.

The video below shows a timelapse of my 5-month body transformation, where you can see the fat melting away.

Successful Body Transformation Plan

The general advice of eating less and moving more to lose weight is not wrong. However, getting the results you want requires more attention to detail than that.

An effective body transformation should include detailed nutrition, resistance training, and cardio routines. In the following sections, I will detail exactly how to adjust your diet and workouts to reach your fitness goals.

Nutrition Guide

What I put in my body is critical to optimize performance and burn fat while maintaining muscle.

As an analogy, a Formula One pit crew must fill the car with precisely the amount of fuel it needs to complete the required number of laps. Too much, and the car will be heavy and slow. Too little, and the car will sputter to a stop before the finish line.

I picture my body as the Formula One car and food as my fuel. My job is fueling my body with the right amount of high-octane foods to reach my goal.

Here are the top three priorities, in order, that I consider when dialing in my nutrition.

  1. Create a slightly negative energy balance (100-600 calories per day)
  2. Get enough protein to maintain muscle (0.8 grams per pound)
  3. Eat a balance of whole foods (fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and grains)

The first law of thermodynamics states that energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only change forms. So, I first lowered my daily calorie intake to have a negative energy balance. This creates the necessary state to change stored body fat into energy.

However, I didn’t blindly restrict calories or undereat. Instead, I took a more gradual approach and started by eating 100-200 calories fewer than I burned on a daily basis.

When weight loss plateaued for several days, I would incrementally reduce my calorie intake to continue progressing. I left my calories alone if I lost at least 1 pound per week.

The table below shows how I adjusted my calorie intake, calorie expenditure, and average deficit throughout the weight loss process. As you can see, I didn’t have to resort to extreme calorie restriction.

This moderate deficit was vital to my success because it enabled me to maintain lean mass while avoiding a metabolic crash and minimizing food cravings.

Table 2. Average Energy Balance Numbers
Month Calories In Calories Out Deficit
May 2,966 3,081 115 (4%)
Jun 2,898 3,231 333 (11%)
Jul 2,793 3,312 519 (19%)
Aug 2,721 3,183 462 (17%)
Sep 2,705 3,102 397 (15%)
Oct 2,625 3,043 418 (16%)
Avg 2,797 3,139 342 (12%)

Another key was eating enough protein to maintain muscle mass while dieting. My research suggests about 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight or 25-30% of calories.

Additionally, I fluctuated my carbs and fat intake to meet my energy and training demands, also called carb cycling. This approach provides energy when needed and promotes fat loss when it’s not needed.

Regarding food intake, I stuck to healthier meals consisting of fruits, vegetables, grains, and lean meats. I generally avoided fast food, although my diet was flexible enough to include weekly cheat meals where I could eat junk food or go out to eat with my wife.

Healthy food is the best way to ensure your body has all the proper nutrients to function correctly. However, allowing some controlled indulgence helps me stick to a diet plan and see better results in the long term.

The key was strategically planning high-carb/calorie days and not going overboard. This allowed me to maintain a calorie deficit and lose weight every week.

Refeed Days In 5 Month Body Transformation

Weight Training

You might not associate weight training with a fat loss transformation, but it’s actually a critical component to maintaining lean muscle. I have extensive experience in weightlifting, so I knew I wouldn’t gain muscle by eating fewer calories, and that’s okay.

My goal was to give the muscle a reason to stick around, so my workout program for this body transformation involved a 6-day training schedule.

Workout Split

  • Monday – Legs
  • Tuesday – Arms
  • Wednesday – Chest
  • Thursday – Back
  • Friday – Arms
  • Saturday – Shoulders
  • Sunday – Active Rest

Most sets were with a moderately heavy load in the 8-12 rep range. Rest periods between sets were shorter, at around 60 seconds, to keep my heart rate higher.

Additionally, I used techniques like drop sets and supersets to burn more calories while challenging my muscles.

Again, my goal was not necessarily building muscle but stimulating the muscle I had to avoid losing it.

Cardio Workouts

Cardio was essential for increasing my energy expenditure with activities that rely more on body fat for fuel. And I didn’t just do hours on the treadmill; I chose multiple activities I like to keep it interesting.

I aimed to do at least 150 minutes of cardio exercise spread over 5-7 days each week. That comes out to just 20-30 minutes daily.

I often used a chest strap or my Apple watch to keep my heart rate in the optimal fat-burning zone, which means most of my exercise was steady state.

Cardio Activities

  • Fasted 2.5-mile jog around the neighborhood
  • Ride bicycle to and from the gym (30 minutes round trip)
  • Stairmaster for 15 minutes after resistance training
  • Walk on an incline treadmill 10 minutes before and after resistance training

I enjoyed jogging but had difficulty keeping my heart rate in the ideal fat-burning zone. So, riding my bike to and from the gym offered a better cardio workout specifically for fat loss.

If the weather wasn’t cooperating, I also utilized the Stairmaster and treadmill at my gym. My comparison of the Stairmaster vs Treadmill for fat burning.

5 Month Body Transformation Cardio

Supplements

My approach to body transformation centers around nourishing my body with healthy food and lifestyle choices so it can to what it’s designed to do. Only after diet, exercise, and recovery are optimized do I apply supplements.

Moreover, my experience in the fitness industry has taught me that there are no magic pills or simple hacks to burn fat. There are, however, a few well-studied supplements that can accelerate the process when combined with proper diet and exercise.

Supplements Used:

  • Whey Protein Powder
  • Creatine Monohydrate
  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
  • Yohimbine
  • Ephedrine/Caffeine

For example, I used whey protein and creatine monohydrate to maintain muscle mass while cutting. And I used CLA and yohimbine to help burn fat stubborn fat cells.

The most controversial substance I used was called the ECA stack. This is a combination of ephedrine and caffeine that can increase your metabolic rate, helping you burn more calories. Read my full ECA stack guide to see the risks and rewards.

Your Body Transformation Program

When I think about transforming my body, the most significant factor is that I have a plan tailored specifically for me. A one-size-fits-all doesn’t cut it because we all have different bodies with specific needs.

If you want to replicate my results, I would first create a plan that aligns with your energy needs. If you don’t know what they are, use a fitness tracker or calorie calculator to determine your typical energy expenditure and set a calorie intake target based on your goals.

Next, use a food diary or app to track your food and hit your calorie and macro targets. Trust me, tuning into your body’s inputs and outputs is a game changer.

If this all seems like too much work, I provide personalized healthy nutrition and workout plans designed specifically for your body type, activity level, and fitness goals. 

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Custom Body Transformation Plan

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If you’re ready to change gears, my blog has over 400 fitness-related articles on topics ranging from diet, supplements, workouts, and more.

What Is A Drop Set?

A drop set is a technique that makes your workouts more challenging. Force your muscles to work harder & bust plateaus to build new muscle!

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By |February 26, 2024|Bodybuilding|0 Comments
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