New Year 2022 Weight Loss Challenge

My Journey from 205.6lbs to 185.7lbs in

21 Days!

The two items I like about the format below is that you can see the effect of High Intensity Interval Training on my abdominal fat as well as the improvement in my posture, which has reduced strain on my lower back as well as pain.

Day 8 shows results from prefast through the Optimize phases of the program. Results will be posted on the day indicated on the timeline. I am currently on day 12 and am at 193.1lbs on target to hit my goal of 192 when I am scheduled to start implementation.

New Year 2022 Weight Loss Challenge

Written by Justin

The pandemic has been hard on all of us. It has been especially difficult for me to not be teaching outdoor boot camps on a regular basis, which has caused me to gain an incredible amount of fat since the pandemic began. I went up to 221 pounds and was at the tipping point of being considered obese. When outdoor spaces began to open up, I was able to get outdoors and be more active again but then we made a big move to Canada. This put the breaks on my workout schedule. 

My fitness activity picked up again over the summer here in Canada but I was still trying to dial in my nutrition in a new place with new costs and different quality of foods. Seafood and chicken are much more expensive but beef and vegetables, especially seasonally, are less expensive. I ended up inadvertently adding more red meat to my diet than I was used to and not eating the same amount of vegetables that I had in San Diego.

All of these changes led to a dramatic increase in body fat and a reduction in my lean muscle mass leaving me with a body composition that was on the edge of obese. Rachel got to work recreating her Transform program that we had in San Diego here in Kelowna, Canada and the results have been incredible.

She added a pre-fast guide that transitions you over the course of 7 days into the juice fast. You can follow it rather loosely in regards to the calories. I didn’t count calories but I did reduce how much I ate at each meal and I cut out my evening popcorn that I usually make. I followed the schedule of cutting out animal protein and fat, wheat, dairy, alcohol, salt and caffeine. It wasn’t tough during the prefast and I ended up dropping about 2lbs the day before I started the juice fast.

The pre-fast made the reduced calories of the juice fast more achievable. I didn’t feel hungry although I did think about food during times when I wasn’t occupied with work, my daughter or general life responsibilities. That should be expected no matter what. I had a mild headache throughout the 3 day fast, probably due to caffeine withdrawal but it wasn’t anything I could cope with. Easy walks seemed to make it better but it came back when I was done. I was lethargic the first two days but became very energized the 3rd day. 

I usually follow an intermittent fasting schedule of 16:8. I don’t eat after 8pm and then I start eating at noon the next day. I didn’t follow this schedule during the juice fast as it was not necessary and might have been detrimental to my goals. 

The first day of Optimize, I ate according to the schedule, starting with the wild blueberry oatmeal for breakfast. I found that I was very hungry before lunch. When I do follow the intermittent fasting schedule, I often find that I don’t feel hungry until 11 or 11:30, so I switched back to the 16:8 schedule for the 3 remaining days of Optimize and felt like I had enough food.

In 9 days I have lost 11.1 lbs. Half may be water weight but the other half is fat weight, which is significant. If I don’t resume my prefast dietary habits, all the weight will stay off. Poor nutrition leads to excess water weight that isn’t necessary.

1/3 of the way into the 21 day program and I have already dropped a ton of belly fat and am feeling incredible.

If you are interested in trying out intermittent fasting, I’d recommend starting during Optimize. I no longer felt hungry by 11 during this phase and almost had to force myself to eat before 1pm. There are a lot of health benefits to IF but that is for another article. IF did get me from my highest weight of 221 down to 206 but I got stuck there and it took the prefast guidelines to get me below that weight. 

I increased my workout intensity and added resistance training every other day to my daily walking/hiking schedule. I use a fitness tracker called Whoop that measures daily strain on a scale from 1 to 21. During the juice fast I had a daily strain of around 7. When I started optimize my strain started at 12 and increased to 13.6. This indicates two important things, one, it is unlikely that I am losing lean muscle mass while I am able to increase the intensity of my workouts and two, I am burning fat at a fast rate. My caloric intake is far below my caloric expenditure so I’m either burning muscle or fat and based on my increased energy levels, it is likely I have been slipping into a state of ketogenesis (converting stored fat into energy) as muscle catabolism would cause fatigue and weakness.  

The past 4 days of the Discover phase have been very interesting and educational. I added animal protein back into my diet during the first two days of Discovery. The first day I felt very energetic and had a great strength/endurance workout. The second day, which is just a long hiking day, I felt tired and heavy starting out but gained energy throughout the 90 minute hike and ultimately finished feeling strong. This is very different than the feeling I had during Optimize, however, my workout intensities continued to go up but my weight leveled off at 195lbs.

During Discovery you add a food group back in then take it out. I am off animal protein now and on my second day of a vegetarian diet with dairy added back in. It caused some bloating but the weight loss returned and I dropped more than 2lbs and I am now down to 193.1 lbs 3 days before I hope to hit my post discovery goal weight of 192lbs. I have to assume that the leveling off of my weight during these two days  is essentially due to  animal proteins taking longer to digest than plant based foods. The fat weight was still coming off but I was slow to digest the two days of animal protein. 


Well, we are all caught up now. I’m a little tired today as I didn’t sleep very well last night. I don’t think it has anything to do with the diet right now, just a stressful time of year. I am going to do my daily hike, no resistance training, before my first meal to maximize fat burning while on the fasting phase. If I feel my performance is lacking then I will stop as I have been in an extended period of caloric deficit. I will update this article after I have finished Discover and let you know if I have hit my goal. 

After 11 days of the Transformation nutrition and fitness program I have lost 13 pounds of body fat and the intensity of my workouts is going up every day!

-Justin Fassio

I will keep updating this blog as I go. It is an exciting journey that I am enjoying sharing with you.

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