Body transformation for women can be a challenge. It’s easier for men than it is for women and the fact that men can eat more is only one of the reasons why. But astonishing body transformations for women are possible and the success story you are about to read is another inspiring example. Sarah’s body transformation photos from the Burn the Fat Feed The Muscle Challenge were so astonishing, it made everyone’s jaws drop when she did the big reveal and posted her after shot.
That’s especially true considering that the results you see in these photos were achieved in only 12 weeks during the Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle body transformation challenge.
This before and after body transformation contest was open to men and to women, and there were two divisions:
- Weight loss/fat loss division
- Muscle/physique division (new this year).
The results you see above won Sarah first place for the best women’s weight loss transformation.
How did she do it? You can learn more in Sarah’s own words by checking out her Burn the Fat Challenge essay below. Here it is in a nutshell:
Her plan involved multiple elements:
- Resistance training
- Cardio training
- Mental training.
None of these components were neglected. But according to Sarah, it was that fourth element – the mental training – THE MINDSET – that was the key factor.
In Sarah’s case, “mental training” was not simply about setting goals, repeating affirmations, or visualizing success, though all those tools are valuable for everyone who enters these transformation challenges.
For Sarah, “mindset” meant more. It included her belief systems. For example:
- She thought being overfat was due only to genetics. She realized this was wrong and that she had more control than she previously believed.
- She thought the only way to lose belly fat was to go on a low carb, or even close to zero carb (aka “keto”) diet. Then she realized all she needed was a calorie deficit so she burned the fat on balanced macros that included carbs and didn’t banish entire food groups.
- She thought that you had to train in a gym with a huge amount of machines and equipment to build muscle, gain strength, and transform body shape. Then she realized she could do it at home with nothing but the most basic equipment like dumbbells.
These were all shifts in mindset… changes in beliefs.
Below you can read Sarah’s challenge essay where she shares, in her own words, how she changed her mindset and what she did for nutrition, resistance training and cardio training.
It’s a short essay, but you will learn a lot when you read this. Women might appreciate this the most, but most of the strategies will work for men too (one difference is most women have to eat fewer calories than men).
We hope as you read this body transformation success story it does two things: informs you, and inspires you.
We also hope that perhaps you will join us for the next Burn the Fat Transformation Challenge. Now that we have both a fat loss division and a muscle division, even people who are already in shape and don’t have much fat to lose can enter in a class just for them: (Challenge Schedule).
– Tom Venuto, Burn The Fat Inner Circle Founder
SARAH’S BURN THE FAT FEED THE MUSCLE TRANSFORMATION CHALLENGE ESSAY
When I started this challenge, I thought I knew how to lose weight, as I have been trying to do it for years. The problem was that while I had ‘tried’ to lose weight, I never actually lost weight!
The turning point came in week 3 when I started listening to The Body Fat Solution by Tom Venuto.
This book gave me a new understanding of why I was fat and how to lose it. I consider this book to be ‘THE MAP’ that guided me on my fat loss journey.
To many, it may seem logical that one should read/listen to this book before taking on this particular challenge, but my mind is not always logical. Instead of accepting new information that challenges long-held beliefs, it clung to old, unhelpful beliefs.
I can say that my biggest accomplishment these last 12 weeks has been the change in my fat loss mindset.
MY NEW MINDSET
I thought fat loss success depended on genes, access to a well-equipped gym, the magic diet, living in a stress-free environment, and taking the right supplements. So when I took on previous challenges and things got difficult, or I did not get the right results, I gave up and blamed things that were out of my control.
The wisdom I have gained over the past 12 weeks has made me realize that losing weight is all about my choices. Life is hard, and things happen, like a broken arm at week 10, but I still have the power to choose how I respond to those difficulties.
I can let those difficulties derail my fat loss journey, or I can keep going forward. So I replaced dumbbell training with walking for the last two weeks. With this new mindset, I believe I can achieve my medium-term goal of weighing 58 kg and having a body fat percentage of 20 percent on January 1, 2024.
I struggled with the quick fix disease for years. I focused on short-term weight loss goals, but as soon as I achieved them, I fell back into old habits and gained the weight back. Today, I am focused on my long-term goal of entering my golden years fit, lean, and with the vitality of a thirty-year-old. This challenge is just the first step on that path.
I believed in the myth that carbohydrates make you fat, and that being fat means I have a slow metabolism. So my original plan was to do a ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting and eat no more than 1200 calories a day. When I realized that losing weight means maintaining a calorie deficit, and that low calorie diets lead to non-adherence and bingeing, I changed the plan.
Instead of skipping entire food groups and eating only at certain times, I focused on maintaining a 20% calorie deficit. I increased my daily calorie intake from 1200 to 1650, using the Harris Benedict calorie calculator for women. I then calculated my macros based on 40% protein (123 g), 30% fat (55 g), and 30% carbohydrates (165 g). As my weight dropped, I focused on increasing my daily step count rather than decreasing calories.
Planning meals, meal prepping, and using a scale to measure portion sizes of certain food groups was another big mindset change. My lack of planning always led me to eat the wrong foods because I was too tired to cook or did not have the right foods on hand. Meal planning is tedious, but it’s worth it.
I planned meals two to four days in advance. And when I went out for the day, I took my meals with me. When planning meals for the day, I followed Tom’s advice to start with proteins, then vegetables and fruits, then fats.
I made sure to include any ‘unplanned indulgences’ so I could take calorie reduction measures the following day (s) to make sure my ‘weekly calorie deficit’ was maintained. (Learn about weekly versus daily calorie deficits here)
Years of overeating had caused my eyes to no longer be an accurate measuring instrument. My eyes underestimated portion sizes of food (120 grams in my eyes were 230 grams on the scale). So for this challenge, I used a food scale when preparing meals. Now my eyes are getting better at estimating portion sizes.
I always thought strength training required a well-equipped gym with specialized weight machines. This challenge taught me that strength training can be done at home with a few dumbbells. Since I had no idea how to use dumbbells, I trained with a personal trainer on YouTube for the first 6 weeks of the challenge.
Then, starting week 7, I started using Tom’s strength training split for beginners. I noticed a significant increase in strength in all areas, but most noticeably in my core. Thanks to my love of walking, it was easy to incorporate 5 days of cardio into my daily routine. I walked 8-10 km three times and two 40-minute HITT-style cardio workouts a week.
Growing awareness of the role of Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) in calorie burning motivated me to walk 16,000 steps each day. I started doing step-ups while brushing my teeth, walking in place while waiting in line, doing rebounds while watching TV, and sweeping the house every day instead of every second or third day. (Learn more about NEAT).
In the beginning, I measured my progress by percentage fat loss. Since the scale showed only 2.3 percent for the first five weeks, I was initially depressed about my progress. But by focusing on my centimeter loss, I stayed motivated. To make sure I could visually see the difference, I regularly took updated photos and compared them.
And the last big change is that I write my goals in pen, but the date in pencil. (Which means, if I didn’t reach my goal by my initial deadline, I did not fail, I simply under-estimated the time needed. I set a new, more informed deadline and get back to work).
I can not wait to start the next leg of my journey.
Resources mentioned in this post:
The Body Fat Solution Book
A Book About The Mental (Mindset) And Emotional Side Of Fat Loss. An Oprah and Men’s Fitness Magazine pick: CLICK HERE
Fat Loss Transformation Book
Burn the Fat Feed The Muscle (Official Guide To The Burn the Fat Challenge) CLICK HERE
Fat Loss Transformation Audio Book
Burn the Fat Feed The Muscle (Official Guide To The Burn the Fat Challenge) CLICK HERE
Burn the Fat Challenge 12-week body transformation for women and men
For details about upcoming Burn the Fat Challenge events that you can enter, CLICK HERE
Burn the Fat Inner Circle
The Support Community For All-Natural, No-BS Body Transformation CLICK HERE
Keywords: body transformation for women, Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle, Burn the Fat Challenge, mindset for body transformation