A 45-year-old father of three is living proof that you can completely transform your body in as little as 12 weeks — even if you are middle aged. Ben Jackson, from Warrington, U.K., was never what you’d call “obese” — but at 190 pounds and 20 per cent body fat, he had what he described as a typical “dad bod” with unflattering extra weight and a flabby mid-section.
Three months ago, Jackson was approached at the gym by reps from an online sports nutrition brand called My Protein to participate in a 12-week total body transformation.
“Apparently they were looking for a ‘fat’ 40 to 55-year-old,” Jackson explained in his transformation video. “And I fit the bill.”
Just to be clear — Jackson is your average middle-aged man, with a family, kids and a full-time job at a ready-mix concrete company. Just like most people, he didn’t have extra time to exercise or tons of extra money to spend on health food. With a combination of tailored exercise (guided by personal trainer Tom Pitfield), supplements, and a simple diet plan, Jackson documented his stunning transformation on a weekly basis to prove that anyone can look and feel good, regardless of their age.
He says that when he started the program his main goal was to lose weight.
“Obviously I was picked for a reason,” he joked. “I was slightly overweight to say the least. And I just wanted to get back to a good level of fitness. “My initial thoughts were, ‘what have I done here? I maybe shouldn’t have gotten involved in this.'”
On day 1, Jan. 16, 2017 — Jackson weighed in at 190 pounds. According to My Protein, he was immediately placed on a diet that allowed him to lose fat, gain muscle, and recover properly, while integrating important nutrients, vitamins and minerals into his daily lifestyle. Before his weight loss journey, Jackson would reportedly down energy drinks and bacon sandwiches for breakfast, pie and coke for lunch, fish and chips for dinner, chocolate bars as a snack and a few beers after work.
His new dietary plan now involves six to seven smaller meals per day (including protein shakes). Here’s what a typical day’s worth of meals looks like for Jackson:
- Meal 1: 3-egg omelette with 25g of cheese and 50g of non-starchy veggies, 1 slice of Rye bread
- Meal 2: Vitality complete shake (1 scoop mixed with water), 1 large banana, 25g of mixed nuts
- Meal 3: 1.5 oz. chicken breast (grilled, baked or steamed), 150g mixed non-starchy veggies, 50g rice (dry weight)
- Meal 4: 100g prawns (grilled, baked or steamed), 150g mixed non-starchy veggies, 30g couscous (dry weight)
- Meal 5: Vitality Muscle shake, 1 scoop mixed with water
- Meal 6: 100g lean steak, 1 baked sweet potato, 150g mixed non-starchy veggies
- Meal 7: 1 scoop Myprotein Micellar Casein mixed with water
Jackson documented a detailed weekly diet plan here. His dietary requirements were based on how much calories he needed to consume per day, based on his basal metabolic rate (BMR) — this is the amount of energy used by the body while resting and is typically calculated with the Schofield equation:
- Men between the ages 30 – 60: 11.472 × weight (kg) + 873.1
- Men over 60: 11.711 × weight (kg) + 587.7
The average BMR for men between 30 and 60, who weigh about 198 pounds, is 1,905 kcal per day. His’s BMR was 1,871 kcal per day (again, these are the calories needed per day while resting to maintain weight). After taking into account his total energy expenditure, the calorie deficit to lose weight, and the protein, fat and carbs he should consume — Jackson’s calorie requirement to reduce fat was settled on 2,680 kcal per day.
And no, he didn’t have a cheat day — well, not until after he completed the program.
With his dietary plan on track, Jackson tackled his workout regimen with personal trainer Tom Pitfield. According to the Daily Mail, a typical workout for Jackson included:
- Leg press (4 sets of 8 reps)
- Barbell up right row (4 sets of 8 reps)
- Walking lunges (4 sets of 10 reps)
- Seated plate loaded shoulder press (4 sets of 10 reps)
- Leg Extension (3 sets of 12 reps)
- Dumbbell Laterall raises (3 sets of 12 reps)
- Lying Hamstring Curl (3 sets of 12 reps)
- Barbell lying Front Raise (3 sets of 12 reps)
“The thing I enjoyed most about the 12-week program was the actual physical training at the gym,
Jackson said. “We had a lot of fun along the way and when i’m at the gym it clears my head and energizes me for the rest of the day.”
“As the weeks progressed, my energy levels have noticeably increased. I feel a lot fitter, brighter, mentally and physically,” he added. “When I started I had no idea what sort of progress I was going to make. I was going into new territory and I’ve been happy with the progress from week one.”
About halfway through his journey (Feb. 27, 2017) he dropped to 187 pounds. By the end of his journey (April 10, 2017) Jackson dropped to 174 pounds, lost the beer gut and had a six-pack.
“Overall mentally, I’ve just been a different person, with the training program, the diet and the products i’ve been taking,” Jackson said. “I’ve just been so much more bright, and alert and ready for things that life throws at you.”
He notes that he’s also been sleeping much better and has more patience with his kids. Problems at work don’t seem to get to him as much.
“I’m a happier person,” he said.
Does Ben Jackson’s weight loss transformation inspire you?