Today is the second re-evaluation day on Operation Aesthetic. At this point, you should really be settling into my fat-loss program. You should have a fairly good sense of what’s working best for you, and where you need to apply more discipline.
You won’t perform cardio or weight-training today, but you can add a recovery activity such as yoga, a massage, or even a foam-rolling session. Here’s what you also need to do today:
DAY 14 TO-DO LIST
Each full rest day—the 7th of each week—comes with bullet points you need to complete. So think of that as your workout or discipline on Operation Aesthetic for these days.
Weigh yourself upon rising. You likely have dropped some weight, but keep in mind that your goal is to lose body fat while maintaining muscle or adding it. It’s possible that you’ve gained weight and lost body fat, so you need to compare your current weight with your appearance in the mirror. Make adjustments based on your weight and appearance.
Take photos of yourself. Put on the same clothes you used for your beginning photos and at the end of the first week on Day 7. Take photos in the same setup at the same time of day as you did for your “before” photos. Take shots from the same angles and using the same lighting as you did during your “before” shots. You want to remove all the variables other than your progress from your weekly photos.
Read through your journal and make sure it’s up-to-date. It’s important that you record everything you’ve done on this fat-loss program. It’s easy to forget to record a meal, a supplement, or some adjustments in your workouts. At this point, you may remember these shifts, so make sure they’re in your journal. Fill these in to make sure your journal contains a full record of all your workouts, meals, and supplements.
Get in your cheat meal at the end of the day. Remember, you’ll consume a meal that’s equivalent in calories to about 4 for each pound of bodyweight. So, if you weigh 200 pounds, your cheat meal should be about 800 calories. This will refuel you for the upcoming week, and we have legs up tomorrow. Don’t treat this as a free-for-all where you eat everything you want. Pick your cheat foods and stick to the calories I recommend. If you’re losing more weight than you want, you can add just a bit more (100–200 calories). I like to eat a cheeseburger with sweet potato fries, but choose the meal that works best for you.
PHASE ONE: DIET CHANGES
After this cheat meal, you’re going to reduce calories overall for Phase Two. You’re going to cut calories to 14 per pound of bodyweight. Here’s the deal, though—now you probably weigh less, so it’s a double drop.
Let’s say you weighed 200 pounds at the beginning of Operation Aesthetic, and now you’re down to 195. Here’s how your daily calorie intake will shift:
200 pounds x 15 = 3,000 calories per day (Weeks 1 and 2)
195 pounds x 14 = 2,730 calories per day (Weeks 3 and 4)
So that means you’re reducing calories by almost 10% beginning with Day 15.
You’ll still hit the same macros that I recommended at the beginning of my program:
40 percent protein
40 percent carbs
20 percent dietary fats
50 percent protein
30 percent carbs
20 percent dietary fats
If you made changes for Day 8 as compared to my beginning recommendations, then you’ll still drop calories by 1 calorie for every pound of bodyweight, wherever you were for the second week of Operation Aesthetic. For instance, if you already dropped down to 14, then you’ll take it a notch lower down to 13. However, if the beginning calorie intake of 15 was too little for you and you needed to ratchet that up to 16 calories per pound for the second week, then now you’ll drop back to 15. The bottom line is that you need to do what’s logical for your body to support fat loss without losing weight (and thus muscle mass) too quickly.
To make these changes in the quantities of the foods you consume, re-enter your bodyweight into the calculator. Then make adjustments to the amounts of each food in the sample daily plan. The foods and ratios don’t shift—just the amounts.
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