On day 1 my goal was not to lose weight or get skinny. I wanted to feel better, get stronger, build muscle, and burn fat. I can tell you, those goals are fulfilled. But, I lost less than five pounds. I still have a long way to go, but here's 3 ways i changed my body composition (not my weight) in 30 days.
1. I didn't starve myself. Instead, I ate the right foods at the right times for my goal
I Stopped consuming excess evening carbs. You need carbs to function, but the ample energy they supply can easily be stored as fat. This is especially true in the evening and night when your activity level is at its lowest.
Getting rid of bread, pasta, and rice can be a challenge, but here's a trick I love:
Prepare your food in advance. My resolve is weakest when I am hungry, so I make sure to have plenty of healthy food ready to eat. There are many low carb recipes out there, but I tend to eat foods like squash, eggplant, leafy greens, chicken, fish, and beef. I always have cottage cheese in my fridge too, just in case dinner didn't quite fill me up.
2. I started doing a sport that I love, religiously.
You have to burn calories to lose fat, and enjoying that calorie burning activity (One that increases your Heart Rate and breathing) is crucial for long term success. It could be walking, running, kickboxing, yoga. Whatever it is, find something you think looks fun and do it. For me, It's Brazillian Jiu Jitsu.
Brazillian Jiu Jitsu is both an aerobic and an anaerobic workout that can burn up to 1000 calories per class. When you train BJJ nearly every day as I was, the fat burning hours can really add up. (allowing me to eat whatever I wanted to at lunch)
3. Strength Training 2 days a week
BJJ has definitely put muscle on my frame over the years, but for serious size and strength, there is no substitute for resistance training. I like to emphasize Muti-joint free-weight exercises: Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press, Bent over Row, Military Press etc.
The Squat is especially useful. Squatting has been shown to Increase free testosterone and growth hormone more than any other exercise. There's no need for TRT and its possible adverse effects! http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2427630
On Strength training days, I would immediately follow my workout with a whey protein shake containing at least 10 - 15 grams of quick digesting carbs. I did this to illicit the insulin response, getting glucose into my muscles and getting me into a muscle building state as soon as my workout was over.
4. (Bonus) I got 8+ hours of Quality Sleep every night
When you break your body down, you need time to build it back up.
Though there are some great tricks you can use, making rational choices over taking a hard line approach to dieting will serve you better in the long run. Good luck, and may you meet your fitness goals!
P.S. Let me know what you guys would like to hear more about in the comments below. I want to share the stuff that's been working for me!