How Mark Got a Six-Pack by Eating Pizza and Ice-Cream

Though not all personal transformations are dramatic, like Vasely, Kyle or Helen, all transformations are meaningful.

We celebrate the person who’s lost 250 pounds and the person who’s lost 25 pounds. Because, for all of them, it took hard work & dedication and those things are worth celebrating.

I’ve known Mark for years and he’s taught me a lot about nutrition, training in the gym, and how to make a healthy lifestyle sustainable.

In the past 2 years Mark’s lost 40 pounds and got in the best shape of his life, all the while never having to miss out on the foods he loves.

Below he shares his story and secret.

Why did you decide to transform your body?

I’d been going to the gym for a few years, but I was NOT seeing great results. I knew there must be more to it than just lifting weights because I was looking more or less the same.

I’m always up for a challenge and I knew getting in good shape would be something of a challenge for me. So I decided to go all in, give it my best, and see what happened.

What was the diet plan or strategy that guided your transformation?

15 months ago, coming into last summer, I was using a more traditional “clean eating” style of dieting. Basically a really low carb, high protein diet, while lifting weights enough to maintain most of my muscle mass.

This time around, coming into this summer, I was eager to get lean without cutting out delicious foods and I’d heard about the “Flexible Dieting” way of eating.

Based on my goals, I started tracking my macronutrients (Protein, Carbohydrate and Fat) and found it significantly easier and equally as effective. I also started to track my fiber and ensured I was getting enough micronutrients.

Did exercise play any role in getting your 6-pack? If so, What?

Working out has been a huge part of my journey. Last summer I did a fair bit of running, mostly HIIT (High-intensity interval training) and that was cool.

This summer I thought, “stuff it!”, I will see if I can get lean without doing any cardio at all. This past year I didn’t do any cardio and was still able to reach my goals and ideal body fat percentage.

Outside of cardiovascular health, cardio isn’t a necessity. It is just a tool that can be used to get into a calorie deficit, which causes weight loss.

I lift weights, keep it heavy, allow suitable times for rest, and sometimes don’t even sweat. It seems to work well for me.

Did you find you became obsessed with food or felt like the diet was taking over your life? How did you deal with that?

When I initially started dieting I was obsessed with what I ate. My diet was so restrictive. Everyone notices when you’re the only one not eating dessert or when you refuse to eat anything but salads at a café/restaurant. I didn’t want to live like that.

When you completely eliminate things like sugar or certain foods you crave them and I found that makes me think about those foods more.

Now when I’m out, I order whatever I feel like and I just eat that stuff in moderation. If I’m going out for dinner and will be having something like pizza and ice cream, I will have fewer carbs and/or fat for breakfast and lunch.

It’s all about making it fit my macronutrient goal for the day. It’s easy and it means I barely think about food at all.

What’s one mistake you made during your transformation?

One mistake I made when I first started was not learning enough. I mistakenly believed there were certain foods that made you fat and other foods that made you skinny.

I would get to the point where I desperately wanted something sweet, so I would eat loads of dried fruit or other “clean foods” that had a lot of calories. I didn’t realize they almost have the same sugar content as candy.

What aspect of your journey has challenged you the most?

The most challenging aspect is actually living the day to day lifestyle of being healthy and fit.

Sometimes I just want to stuff my face with whatever is in front of me but learning discipline, although it can be challenging, is a necessary part of the journey.

What are your future plans with health and fitness?

When I first set out to change my body I wanted what most guys (and some girls) want: A 6-pack.

Once I reached that I had to ask myself, “Where do I go from here?”. At this stage, I’m going to continue to go to the gym, lift heavy, and track my macronutrients.

My goal for now is to get bigger (add more muscle mass), while still maintaining low body fat.

What advice would you give to others aspiring to change their body?

Getting lean and eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard and it doesn’t have to be restrictive (chicken and broccoli all day, anyone?). Learn about macronutrients and then eat the foods you love, while making sure they fit with your macro goals.

People always think, “oh you’re on a diet, that must suck.” But really, they are eating just 1 greasy sausage roll for lunch while I’m enjoying a huge cajun chicken salad with cucumber, capsicum, and toasted pumpkin seeds. Who gets to eat more?

I’ve found fresh vegetables and lean meats are the best tasting, the best for getting lean, and the best for feeling good. But allow flexibility in your diet for when you need it.

You’ll only reach your goals if your consistent and sometimes the only thing that keeps us consistent is flexibility. Understand what it means to “fit your macros” and you will never feel like you’re on a diet again.

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Disclaimer: Your results may vary and Mark’s were largely due to his dedication and adherence to his calorie/macro protocols.

Ted Kallmyer is an ISSA certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition and is our lead macro coach. If you need help reaching your weight loss/fitness goals see our personal coaching options.
Last Updated: June 30, 2019

17 Comments

  1. Unknown

    Hello, I wanted to know as to why you were not seeing results? Was it because of your diet? You mentioned that you were doing a low carb high protein diet 15 months ago. Had that not worked?

    Reply
  2. anonymous

    Question- Is the “goal” for macros something you NEED to meet or is it something you just need to stay under?

    Reply
  3. Alle V.

    Oh my god. It’s like ideal male perfection. What a hot body…especially love the chest hair. Yum.

    Reply
  4. VeggieMom66

    I have struggled my entire adult life with and extra 10-20 (and on a couple of occasions, 30) extra lbs. When you look normal in your clothes, sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated to go for that body that you really want. I am so mad at myself for how many times I’ve stopped 7-10 lbs shy of being able to wear a bikini. (I gain more belly fat than leg fat). Thus, I am happy to read “less dramatic” weight loss stories too.

    Reply
    • Dan Bolton

      Yeah, I feel your pain too. For a long time I was in that weight range and it was frustrating.

      What do you think is holding you back from reaching your goal?

      Reply
  5. LuckyK7777 .

    Mark was cute with the tummy too ( that was a little tummy). But whatever makes him happy.

    Reply
  6. mavis cruet

    This article has come at an interesting time for me, i’m on day 3 of tracking my macros. Previously i had been on low calorie diet (1200), I had been reducing starchy carbs and refined sugars, and was exercising 4/5 times a week. This has had no effect on my weight and measurements, although i do feel fitter!
    So recently came across macro goals and hoping this approach will work for me. So far i can see that i need to increase my fibre intake massively, and therefore also water, which i struggle with. My calorie goal is 1450, which is easier to meet, without having to really concentrate on them.
    Although its early days, I’m struggling with getting my protein up and fat levels down. Particularly at breakfast. Any advice?? Don’t say eggs! 🙂

    Reply
    • Dan Bolton

      Glad you found it! Have you checked this out – http://healthyeater.com/flexible-dieting-get-started

      You said your cals are at 1450, What’re your macros at?
      1450 seems like it could be a bit low. What is your height and weight?

      Reply
      • mavis cruet

        thanks for sharing the article.
        i am female, 36, 158cm, 75kg, body fat 41%.
        macro’s, by grams per day, 155 carbs, 122 protein, 39 fat. Fibre 33-41.
        calories 1458.
        i used iifym.com to calculate macros and myfitnesspal.com to track meals.
        I’m open to suggestion, if you think i’ve gone wrong somewhere.

        (forgive me if this reply posts twice, it didnt show earlier)

        Reply
        • Dan Bolton

          I’d personally say those cals are lower than the need to be, as a starting point for losing weight.
          Try the calculator at http://flexible-diet.co.uk/

          Reply
    • Markallan

      Just have a protein shake, or a steak. Or some chicken.

      Reply
      • Dan Bolton

        My life. Everyday. 😉

        Reply
  7. sweetonnh

    Excellent story! I too have kept off about 50lbs by balancing my macros. Happy he found what works for him. I really wish more people would realize there are no good or bad foods..just bad diets. You can really fit anything into your diet:)

    Reply
    • Dan Bolton

      Exactly! Happy to see the truth is spreading 🙂

      Reply
  8. dennis

    so how many calories were you eating?

    Reply
    • Markallan

      Started losing weight at about 2000. Now 2700 makes me lose weight, it helps by gradually increasing it over winter haha

      Reply