Nikos – An ordinary man’s transformation
Nikos’ girlfriend at that time (December 2020) was a very good friend of mine, so when she asked me if I could help him lose some fat, I happily agreed to do my best.
When I first met Nikos, it was obvious that he had more than just a few kilos of fat to lose, but I instinctively knew I was able to help him with this. He was a 43 years old ordinary man who had tried several yo-yo diet plans over the years – after visiting some dietarians’ advice – as is the common practice for most people.
As a result, he was losing some weight while on a diet only to take it back, plus some more soon after he stopped, which was very frustrating for him. By the way, this is the most common outcome for most people who go on a pure calorie counting-based (limiting animal protein & fat 99% of the time) diet.
Because of lack of time and distance (as a salesman, he had no standard working schedule, plus he lived far away from me), we had no time for training and agreed to meet once per week for measurements and guidance.
Metabolic Balance assessment
As always, Metabolic Balance is an uber-important part of my assessment protocol for any client, especially when he or she needs to improve body composition. You cannot be sure what you’re doing unless you measure.
Even when I cannot properly measure a person in terms of body fat percentage – most often due to excess fat accumulation and/or very hard-to-pinch sites, due to various reasons (toxins, omega 3 & omega 6 disbalances, etc.)- as it was the case with Nikos, it gives me a very good and precise idea of what is happening, as long as I measure the same way every time.
During our first meeting, Nikos weighed 108,4 kg with 32% body fat and pure insulin profile, as suspected by visually looking at him. As explained earlier, I’m pretty sure his body fat percentage was way higher, but many of the sites were almost impossible to measure correctly, not even close.
Needless to say, Metabolic Balance is a great tool that enables us to accomplish fantastic but also safe results that would be almost impossible without it, at least with this precision. Literally, it’s a life changer!
I tend to set small goals every time for almost everyone because I find it is both mentally and physically easier for the person, easier to accomplish, plus it is more rewarding for both as we can see and feel progress faster.
Once we hit the first goal, we are ready for the next one, usually with more drive and dedication to the plan.
Most often than not, even someone has set an initial goal of, say, losing only 10 kilos, once he/she gets there, I find that he/she has the will and determination to lose more body fat because he/she can see and feel it is doable at the moment.
It’s the same as climbing a big mountain.
Most people cannot even dream of reaching the top because they find it out of their capabilities.
Most of them say they would be satisfied if they could reach the first camp at 3,000 meters.
Once there, after seeing it was not that hard or out of their powers, they are probably ready to try for the next camp at 5,000 meters. Again, once there, some of them will try even higher, and so on.
Of course, not everyone can and will reach the top, but even going to the first base camp at 3,000 meters is a task unimaginable for the vast majority of people who cannot even climb a 100-meter hill.
And, of course, you need to have a skilled mountain driver to get you this high with safety; there’s no point in reaching 6,000 meters if you’re going to freeze to death or lose some fingers and toes from frostbites, at least for most of us!
So, we set our first goal to break the 100 Kg point, which proved to be easier than we thought.
After only about 7 weeks, he measured 99,9 Kg with 30% body fat.
Again, because of great difficulty with measuring, the body fat percentage drop was actually way higher than this, but I cannot tell exactly how much.
As expected, his energy levels were elevated than before starting the diet, and he reported not feeling hungry most of the time, which is also expected.
Having accomplished our first goal, it was time to set the next, which was 95 Kg since this was the lowest he had ever been in the last years with all the previous diets struggling, and he felt it was the ultimate low he could reach.
Sure enough, after another 5 weeks, he measured 95,4 Kg with 25,2 % body fat.
At this point, due to the pandemic lockdown, we lost touch as he could not come to me, but I continued to guide him the best I could from a distance.
After about 6-7 weeks, he was able to come again for measurement; the results were an amazing 89,8 Kg body weight and 23% body fat (as he dropped fat, the measurements were a bit easier but not exact yet)!
In almost 5 months, he lost at least 18,6 Kg of fat without training! I’m pretty sure he also gained some amount of lean mass, but as the measurements were extra difficult, I cannot have an estimate.
How do I know this? Simply, I have tested (in some cases via DEXA scans) it on many people, and in almost every case, even without weight training, no one has lost any amount of lean mass; every last gram of weight they lose is fat.
Needless to say, he completely changed his physique to the point that all his friends had a difficult time recognizing him in the first place. And most important, he was full of energy and had no hard time following the diet plan because he was not feeling hungry, which is the key to sustaining the results long term.
Also, keep in mind that due to various reasons, he was not able to come to visit me every week as planned; we only met 8 times in these 5 months for assessment.
Also, both because there were Christmas and Easter holidays involved and because he sometimes felt “free” to eat anything because he was continuing to lose fat, he was not very compliant with the diet plan all the time, but even with those cheats, he was able to completely transform his image beyond his wildest imagination.
Unfortunately, due to summer vacations and the next lockdown, he was not able to continue with me (I think he was so pleased by the results that he didn’t care to further improve, which is perfectly fine with me, not everyone wants to own a six-pack). The best part is that after almost 2 years, he still is in great shape and is a happy guy in his “new” body.
Here are some before and after pictures of Nikos; keep in mind that in the before, he is already 5 kilos leaner (103,5 Kg), and in the after, he is 97,5 Kg because I didn’t take photos of him at his last visit (89,8 Kg), so what you see is only a mere 10,9 Kg difference of the 18,6 Kg lost!
Food Plan and Supplements
I started by eliminating all processed foods, dairy, legumes, starches, and fruit for 3 weeks in order to balance hormones.
The diet plan included the Meat & Nuts breakfast followed by two other meals consisting of a source of animal protein, vegetables, and good oils (EVOO, butter, avocados, etc.) along with spices of preference.
After the initial 3-week period, I introduced a refeed meal – usually the last meal of the day – once per week (I find this scheme fits most people’s habits) – usually on Saturday or Sunday, along with 2-3 (non-consecutive) days of 16-hour fasting per week.
I put no restrictions on the refeed meal in order to allow for greater elasticity (compliance to the plan) and mental break.
No calorie tracking, no food weighing, and only food choices were given.
There was no need for correction and/or altering the diet scheme as long as it continues to bring the desired results, which in the case of Nikos, it did big time for an extended period.
It still amazes me how effective this approach is, contrary to what we have been taught to believe you must reduce calories to lose fat.
As for supplements, because he was on a very tight budget, he was only taking 3 caps of fish oil and 2 caps (500 mg each) of carnitine per meal for a total of 3 meals per day.
I cannot even imagine what the results would be if he could afford to take the full supplement protocol!
Not everyone is an athlete; not everybody wants to be a champion.
The vast majority of people out there just need some guidance to produce some realistic, healthy, and long-lasting results, and above all, to be able to follow the correct diet for themselves – not everyone is the same – forever so that they will have the best possible health for the rest of their lives.
It gives me great satisfaction to be able to help as many people as I can; there is no greater reward than a happy person who literally changed his/her life for the better, and I hope I am able to assist as many as possible in the future.
Last but not least, I would like to thank Carlos and all the rest of the Community members for their support and help; I’m proud to be a part of this!
About me – Antonis Kakaniaris
Hoping that you will find this article interesting, I would like to briefly introduce myself to those who don’t know me. I’ve always been involved in athletics from an early age and tried quite a few different sports (running, weight lifting, martial arts, tennis, etc.).
Being very skinny my whole life, I always wanted to put on some mass but didn’t know the way (my early “bodybuilding” efforts were fruitless).
Back in 1994, I decided to give it some serious try and entered a gym near my home. Luckily for me, the owners – both great guys and competing bodybuilding champions – were more than willing to help me, and with their guidance, I managed to put on some decent weight.
I also took ownership of the gym some years later after one of the partners decided to leave.
Not long after, a trainee of the gym – a very genius guy who was also a doctor – introduced me to a magazine called Muscle Media 2000, with two of the world’s greatest gurus – as I soon found out – as contributing editors, Charles Poliquin and Dan Duchaine.
Needless to say, I sucked every article in every issue and started practicing their advice right away.
I still have written notes of almost all my workouts with all the details (sets, reps, rest, tempo) of that time!
Fast forward to 2018 in Marbella (Spain), when I took my first Metabolic Analytic course with Charles and Carlos; what a great experience! After Charles passed away,
I continued to follow and learn from Carlos, and I must say that he is absolutely amazing, both as a person and as a mentor too!
For those of you who might be interested, I am located in Athens, Greece, and you can find me on Facebook as Antonis Kakaniaris and on Instagram as antonis_kakaniaris.