As a coach data collection is essential for us to monitor the progress of our clients and to assist us with providing the best possible advice, feedback and coaching approach for them. Samantha removed over 10kg from her frame, tracking the entire process, allowing us an in depth look at how her results were achieved. We are sharing this today as our goal is to provide an accurate representation of what is required in terms of adherence and compliance from a client, but also the time frame that is required to create long term, sustainable changes to your physique.

Samantha’s transformation spanned from 2017-2019 (18 months in total) and at no point did her energy intake dip below her Basal Metabolic Rate or was her health negatively impacted.

To achieve these results Samantha went through multiple phases of focus with her nutrition. These included 2 reverse diet phases, 3 deficit phases and a maintenance phase.  Her current physique is the results of these phases combined, not just a single deficit phase.


Reverse 1

Duration: 16 weeks
Start Reverse: Sep 18th 2017
End Reverse: Dec 30th 2017
Start Reverse Body Weight: 68kg
Start Reverse Body Fat: 27% BF
End Reverse Body Weight: 64.5kg
Total Body Weight Loss: 3.5kg
Activity P/W:
4 x strength training sessions each week, totaling 60 minutes per session
1 x walk with the dogs each week, totaling 45 minutes per session


Start Reverse Diet (1) 68kg to End Reverse Diet (1) 64.5kg

Samantha began a reverse diet phase prior to a deficit phase despite having the overall goal of fat loss. Reason being her energy intake was moderate for her output but to achieve the body fat loss levels she desired her intake would have to drop significantly. If her both maintenance intake and metabolic capacity could be increased, prior to commencing a deficit, she’d be able to be in a deficit on a higher energy intake overall.

Over the 16 week period Samantha increased her intake to the following:

Start Macros: P120 C190 F60 | 1780 cal

End Reverse Macros: P130 C225 F80 | 2140 cal

Samantha actually saw body fat loss during this time dropping 3.5kg total over the 16 week reverse phase. Her caloric increases each week was very conservative, around 30-100 calories each time. If her body weight dropped or remained stable for that week, she would increase her intake again.

To assist with adherence Samantha allowed herself some flexibility in her targets, ensuring she hit her protein target daily but allowing some flexibility in her intake through her carbohydrate and fat targets. She would meet her protein intake and then meet the remaining caloric total through either fats or carbohydrates depending on her daily preference. Protein was prioritised as adequate protein consumption is essential for lean muscle development. Even more so when the client has a fat loss goal as the goal is to minimise lean muscle mass loss during a deficit phase. Protein not only aides in lean muscle mass development and muscle protein synthesis, but also has a higher thermic effect (30%) compared to carbohydrates (5-10%) or fat (0-3%), meaning it requires more energy to digest.

Now, this method of tracking is not something we recommend for the majority of clients due to the discrepancy between meeting macro targets and the overall caloric intake. This approach leaves room for variables to enter the equation, which we aim to remove as much as possible to ensure the final outcome for our client. We only implement this strategy with clients who are highly experienced with tracking, are in a build phase and have enough self discipline to stay focused and meet the prescribed targets.


To find out more about why hitting your macro targets may create a discrepancy in your caloric intake check out our video on the subject.


Over the 16 week period Samantha lost approximately 100g – 200g per week equating to 0.1-0.3% body weight loss per week. We recommend anywhere from 0.3-0.5% maximal loss per week to minimise both lean muscle mass loss and metabolic adaptation as well as create a sustainable outcome. While her goal was to increase her overall caloric intake, it was her metabolism that adapted which increased her total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) resulting in her overall body weight loss. This is how she was able to increase her maintenance energy intake and still drop body fat.


Deficit 1

Duration: 16 week deficit
Start Deficit: Jan 1st 2018
End Deficit: Apr 22nd 2018
Start Deficit Body Weight: 64.5kg
End Deficit Body Weight: 62kg
Total Body Weight Loss: 2.5kg
5 x strength training sessions each week, totaling 60 minutes per session
2 x walks with the dogs each week, totaling 45 minutes per session

Start Deficit Diet (1) 64.5kg  to End Deficit Diet (1) 62kg


Samantha increased her training output from four 60 minute strength sessions per week to five, and moved from one 45 minute walk per week to two, increasing her overall energy output each week. The goal was to maintain an overall energy intake above her initial starting intake prior to her reverse phase.  Therefore, increases to her deficit were kept conservative.

Keeping at a loss rate of approximately 0.3-0.5% or less per week was prioritised to minimise lean muscle mass loss and minimise metabolic adaptation. Samantha dropped a total of 2.5kg with a total caloric deficit of 280 calories over the 16 week deficit phase.


Deficit Start Macros: P130 C200 F80 | 2040 cal

Deficit End Macros: P130 C175 F60 | 1760 cal



Reverse 2


Duration: 16 week reverse diet
Start Reverse: Apr 23rd 2018
End Reverse: Aug 12th 2018
Start Reverse Body Weight: 62kg
End Reverse Body Weight: 63.3kg
4 x strength training sessions each week, totaling 60 minutes per session
1 x walk with dogs each week, totaling 45 minutes per session

Start Reverse Diet (2) 62kg to End Reverse Diet (2) 63.3kg

Start Reverse 2 Macros: P130 C180 F60 | 1780 cals

End Reverse 2 Macros: 1P30 C265 F85 | 2345 cals

Samantha’s second reverse was undertaken in a similar fashion to her first reverse. She also decreased her training output during this phase. During this second reverse Samantha was also able to increase and surpass her intake from her initial reverse phase by 245 calories per day. She gained a total of 1.2kg during this 16 week phase.

Again, Samantha’s increases were conservative each week, at less than 100 calories per day. Energy intake and macro targets would remain the same if average body weight went up for the week and would be increased if body weight remained stable.

End Reverse 1 Macros: P130 C225 F80 | 2140 cal
End Reverse 2 Macros: P130 C265 F85 | 2345 cal
End Reverse 1 Body Weight: 62kg
End Reverse 2 Body Weight: 63.3kg


Deficit  2


Duration: 10 week deficit
Start Deficit 2: Aug 13th 2018
End Deficit 2: Oct 21st 2018
Start Deficit 2 Body Weight: 63.2kg
End Deficit 2 Body Weight: 58.9kg
4 x strength training sessions each week, totaling 60 minutes per session
1 x walk with dogs each week, totaling 45 minutes per session

Start Macros: P130 C260 F85 | 2325 cal
End Macros: P130 C215 F76 | 2064 cal

Start Deficit Diet (2) 63.2kg  to End Deficit Diet (2) 58.9kg

Samantha was able to complete this deficit consuming over 300 calories more, per day, than her first deficit, due to having increased her maintenance intake and her metabolic capacity significantly throughout her reverse. She was also training less than her previous deficit phase. Again, changes were minimal aiming to keep Samantha between 0.3-0.5% body weight loss per week and a deficit increase was only implemented when body weight stagnated.


Deficit 1 End Macros: P130 C175 F60 | 1760 cal
End Deficit 2 Macros: P130 C215 F76 | 2064 cal
End Reverse 1 Body Weight: 63.3kg
End Reverse 2 Body Weight: 58.9kg


Overall, Samantha was able to drop 4.4kg during this deficit with a total of 261 calories per day reduction.




Duration: 4 weeks
Start Maintenance: Oct 22nd 2018
End Maintenance: Nov 17th 2018
Start Maintenance Body Weight: 58.9kg
End Maintenance Body Weight: 59.7kg
4 x strength training sessions each week, totaling 60 minutes per session
1 x walk with dogs per week, totaling 45 minutes per session

Maintenance Intake: P130  C265  F85  | 2345 cals

After nearly a year of concentrated effort to her nutrition approach, Samantha was very much in need of a mental break and implemented a maintenance period where her intake would maintain the same throughout. During this period her training was also maintained. Maintenance periods will allow your body to maintain relatively close to its current body composition point as long as output and intake remain the same. A maintenance period post deficit and fat loss allows the body to set a new body fat set point. A diet is only successful if the fat loss is maintained and not regained, so allowing the body time to readjust it’s ideal body fat set point is paramount to result in sustainability.



Deficit 3

Duration: 15 weeks
Start Deficit: Nov 18th 2018
End Deficit: Feb 3rd 2019
Start Deficit 3 Body Weight: 59.9kg
End Deficit 3 Body Weight: 57.9kg
4 x strength training sessions each week, totaling 60 minutes per session
1 x walk with the dogs each week, totaling 45 minutes per session

Start Deficit: P130 C268 F87 | 2375
End Deficit: P135 C195 F100 | 2220 cals

Start Deficit Diet (3) 59.9kg to End Deficit Diet (3) 57.9kg


The primary difference between Samantha’s third deficit phase and her two previous ones was the inclusion of diet breaks. Diet breaks are described as intermittent periods of caloric deficits and maintenance periods longer than just a day or two, by the 2017 MATADOR Study. These are generally planned in advance by a coach and for Samantha we utilised an approximate 3-4 week deficit followed by one week at maintenance energy intake. Her current maintenance intake was calculated using the Muller equation and then adapted slightly to fit her preference for higher fat over carbohydrates.

Diet breaks can be utilised within a deficit for two primary reasons: to help prevent the metabolism slowing from metabolic adaptation; and also for a mental ‘break’ from being in a deficit. The metabolism slows and adapts during a deficit due to a loss of overall body mass. Diet breaks assist with slowing down this process and minimising the amount of lean muscle mass lost. Samantha had been focusing heavily on her intake for the past 15 months and the inclusions of diet breaks also allowed her to maintain her high adherence to her targets as she had higher energy intake weeks to look forward to.

Body Weight Tracker Deficit 3



During this final deficit phase we tracked her daily body weight, and graphed her weekly averages. We have included it here and it’s a fantastic example that no fat loss journey is linear and bodyweight will fluctuate daily. Food volume, digestion, sodium intake and menstrual cycles can all impact bodyweight on any given day and we focus on using it as only one point of data collection.


Start Macros: P120 C190 F60  | 1780 cals
Start Body Weight: 68kg
Start Date: 18th Sept 2017

End Macros: P135 C195 F100 | 2220 cals
End Body Weight: 57.9kg
End Date: 3rd Feb 2019

From Samantha’s initial start point she removed 10.1kg of body weight, significantly changed her body composition and was able to increase her metabolic capacity dramatically in the process.

In fact her starting energy intake was 1780 calories per day and by the end of her third deficit, during her lowest intake she was able to drop body fat consuming in excess of 2200 per day.

Her results took 18 months of effort and commitment. However her results are certainly sustainable as she is on a comfortable energy intake even whilst in a deficit, and is now able to approach another reverse phase with the goal of maintaining her current body composition.

Please note these macros ratios are relevant to Samantha and Samantha only. If you’re interested in finding out the optimal macro intake for yourself we strongly recommend working with a qualified coach as all ratios and amounts are specific to the individual and replicating someone else’s intake won’t guarantee the same results.


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Pathways to obesity 2018 – NCBI from
What is the Required Energy Deficit per unit Weight Loss? 2007 – NCBI from