Today, I want to share how my online coaching client Allyson was able to lose fat and keep it off, while consistently gaining strength.
Allyson is 29 years old and works a full-time job. She is also a 100% plant-based eater (a.k.a. vegan). When Allyson approached me, she already had years of training experience. But she wanted to take her fitness to the next level by having more effective training sessions and becoming leaner. All of this while still maintaining her plant-based diet.
The progress pictures you see in this post are taken on February 3rd, 2018 & September 11th, 2018 (about 7 months apart). Allyson’s main goals were to have a healthier lifestyle, become leaner, and improve strength.
You will read more about Allyson’s training and nutrition approach in the next two paragraphs. After this, Allyson will chime in on her fitness journey by answering a few questions I’ve asked her to answer for you all.
Even with a 100% plant-based diet, the key nutrition principles still apply. A calorie deficit will always be necessary if fat loss is the goal. Since Allyson didn’t carry a lot of excess body fat and had clear training goals, it was not necessary for us to employ an aggressive nutrition approach.
Having a moderately low calorie deficit (of around 10-15%) while ensuring Allyson had a balanced plant-based diet was our main nutrition concern. We purposely kept the calorie deficit moderately low so that Allyson had more energy to support her strength training goals and didn’t have to maintain a very low-calorie diet/do a ton of cardio to lose fat. To control her food intake, Allyson counted her daily calorie & protein intake.
We also planned 1 refeed day per week in which she ate around maintenance calories. This allowed her to plan ahead for social events that usually come up around the weekends.
Micronutrient Considerations For Vegan Trainees
Since Allyson maintained a plant-based diet, there were a few things we needed to keep in mind to prevent micronutrient deficiencies that are common amongst plant-based eaters. But instead of blindly supplementing with certain vitamin/mineral pills, Allyson had a nutrient-deficiency test so that we were able to have a more targeted approach for filling any potential gaps in her nutrition.
Allyson already had training experience before she started working with me. So she was used to somewhat intense training on a consistent basis. To help her focus more on improving the strength training side of things, we used a 4-day Upper/Lower split with 2 moderate-intensity cardio sessions per week.
Next to increasing energy expenditure, the 2 cardio sessions helped increase Allyson’s overall endurance, which was one of the training goals as well.
Throughout our coaching period, the training plan was adjusted several times, but most of the time we stayed within the 4-day Upper/Lower structure. Allyson responded well to the Upper/Lower routine and was able to successfully gain strength on almost all of her lifts while slowly losing fat.
Q: What did you like most about the way we’ve set up your fat loss phase?
Answer from Allyson: It was structured specifically for me, my goals, and my lifestyle. It was structured but not completely strict. When we talked every week, Mounir made adjustments to my plan depending on my feedback from the previous week.
Q: What are your next steps in your fitness journey?
Answer from Allyson: I recently had (non-training related) surgery so once I recover, my hopes are to slowly get back to where I was in the gym before I had surgery and then from there, we will work on gaining more muscle.
Q: How does this online coaching service compare to others you’ve tried?
Answer from Allyson: I have worked with two coaches prior to working with Mounir and he is the best coach by far. I could tell the other coaches I had in the past had a cookie cutter plan for all of their clients (I even received some emails with nutrition/exercise plans with another client’s name). Mounir is also very responsive. Other coaches used to tell me that they had 24 hours to respond to me if I had a question or concern and anytime I text Mounir, I always have a quick response, even with a significant time difference. He never makes me feel like I am bothering him and welcomes questions. Something else to add is that Mounir is both mine and my husband’s coach and our plans are very different because we have different goals and even lifestyles when it comes to fitness and nutrition.
Q: Who would you recommend this coaching service to?
Answer from Allyson: Anyone who needs structure and/or somewhere to start. I honestly think Mounir could be a benefit to anyone who has a goal to achieve when it comes to fitness and/or nutrition. The only requirement for them is that they have to want it. Results don’t happen overnight.
Q: Do you have some final words of advice for those starting a fat loss phase now?
Answer from Allyson: Ask as many questions as you need to. Make sure you understand what you’re doing and don’t hesitate to give Mounir feedback about what you do and don’t like about your plan. It’s all about balance and figuring out a plan that works for you and your lifestyle.
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