Body Transformation: Paul DeVito Lost 60 Pounds In Only 12 Weeks

Categories: Articles Motivation
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Before Stats
  • Weight
    225 lbs
  • Start
    May 2011
  • Bodyfat
After Stats
  • Weight
    165 lbs
  • End
    September 2011
  • Bodyfat
Editor's Note: Everyone is different and these results may not be typical for the average person. To achieve these results you need to be willing to put in the work both in the gym and in the kitchen. Use this transformation for motivation for you to make the changes you want!
Feeling like he had become a fat mess, former athlete Paul DeVito lost an amazing 60 pounds in only 12 weeks, completely shredding his physique.

Lifestyle Prior To Change

What was your lifestyle like prior to your transformation?

I have been a competitive athlete my whole life with dreams and aspirations of one day becoming a professional baseball player. At a young age nothing but training and education consumed by daily life. I ate, slept, and dreamt baseball and excelled at it with ease. As I grew my training evolved and my talent, hard work, and dedication awarded me a Division I baseball scholarship.

Paul DeVitoI thought my dreams were coming true as I left Michigan to travel south to compete against the nation's top talent. That dream came to an abrupt end after multiple shoulder surgeries to my throwing arm. In an instant, I was told in the nicest way possible I was damaged goods and was no longer needed. For the first time in my life I no longer had athletic direction and had nothing to fill that competitive drive that fueled me every day.

I always trained in the weight room, but never at a bodybuilding type level. I soon turned back to the gym in hopes to take out my frustrations and anger. As time progressed I found a new love and a new dream in the weight room. There, I was able to lose myself in the moment and not rely on anyone else. I controlled my own fate in the gym and could not get enough of it.

Instantly I read and researched everything possible. I continually came across the same quote "To get big, eat big" and I took that advice to the next level, and not in a good way. I wanted to get as naturally big as possible, so to transform my frame I force fed 8-10 meals per day, spread out every two hours.

These foods were all healthy, but were consumed in absolute mass quantities. Eating became harder than the workout because I simply hated eating chicken and brown rice multiple times a day. Nothing was measured or weighed out and no cardio was performed to preserve calories. I gave myself a "bulking cut off" point and did not care what I looked like up until that point.

I realize now that what I was doing was completely ridiculous, hence, the giant fat whale you see in my picture. Once I got to that point, it was time to get serious. I wanted to attain that ripped-up, veiny look, and to get there, I knew it would require more dedication and willpower than anything I have ever done before.

What was your low point or turning point?

I would say there were several low points that were quite depressing. I constantly flexed my “abs” in an effort to hide my enormous gut. Simple things like walking up or down stairs would leave my breathless. I could no longer wear any clothing I once fit into before.

The absolute lowest point though was looking at my before pictures after taking them and realizing I was a slob. It did not matter how strong I had gotten, I looked like a fat mess that never even thought about the gym.

Were there any unique challenges or circumstances that made your transformation particularly difficult?

Incorporating the cardio was probably the most difficult. Not too long ago I was a Division I baseball player who was recruited based on his speed. At 225 treadmill walking for 15 minutes was now the hardest thing in the world!

I was also discouraged when I cut down to 180 because I thought that was the weight I would be at to achieve the look I wanted. That was not the case simply because I had more fat to lose.

Paul DeVito

Please provide a timeline including when you started the transformation, and include major milestones:

  • Transformation Start: There were multiple factors that triggered my transformation start. The most important were the simple facts that I could no longer climb stairs without becoming winded, fit into size 36 pants and realizing how fat I had become after looking at my before pictures. 
  • Milestone: My first milestone was to incorporate steady state cardio into my daily workouts. I wanted to build up my cardiovascular endurance and start to shed some fat. I began my journey with 15 minutes of interval incline treadmill walking at 4.0 mph and max height. I also began getting my nutrition in check. I no longer ate mass quantities, portion control started to emerge. 
  • Milestone: Each successive week time was added until I reached 30-40 minutes per session.  
  • Milestone: Pounds dropped by soon I reached a plateau. I was not where I wanted to be so I decided to calculate my exact macronutrient breakdown per BMR and weight lifting sessions. I incorporated the use of a scale and each meal was weighed out.
  • Transformation End: To put the finishing touches on and really get cut up I used the help of a book I purchased titled “Better than Steroids”. I followed the advice from Dr. Warren Willey. I followed his food plans and after 12 weeks I finally where I wanted to be; veiny, vascular, and cut up. 

Paul's Training Approach

What was your weight training approach and split during your transformation?

I am a huge believer in bringing up the weak points in one's physique and prioritizing specific body parts. I love training back more than any other muscle group and found an old Rich Gaspari back attack workout that specializes in width and thickness that I tweaked with the remaining body parts.

Paul DeVito

Here's a 4-week sample of a specialization I followed and found most beneficial for bringing up the entirety of my back. I usually stick with a workout for 4 weeks max, because I always like to mix it up and keep my muscles from adapting.

I love being sore and once I stop being sore after completing a workout, it is my body's way of telling me I need a new routine or a change of specific sets/reps or exercises. I often incorporate "advanced techniques" as well to mix things up.

This usually includes drop sets, pyramiding, heavy negatives, rest-pause, and FST-7's.

Please add a workout that worked best for you:

Week one:

  • Monday - Back Thickness and Biceps
  • Tuesday - Shoulders
  • Wednesday - Back Width and Triceps
  • Thursday - Legs
  • Friday - Back Width and Thickness - Supersets
  • Saturday - Chest
Back Thickness and Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlift 5 10, 8, 6, 6, 10
Bent Over Row 4 8-10
Seated Cable Row 4 10-12
Weighted Hyperextension 4 10-12
Spider Curl 3 8 + 4 Partials
Barbell Curl 3 8
Machine Curl 3 10-12
Standing Concentration Curl 2 12-15
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Side Lateral 3 10-12
Seated Dumbbell Press 4 10-12
Upright Row 3 10-12
Reverse Pec Dec Flye 3 10-12
Bent Over Reverse Dumbbell Flye 7 10-12
Barbell Shrug 3 8-12
Prone Incline Dumbbell Shrug 3 8-12
Behind the Back Barbell Shrug 3 8-12
Back Width and Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Wide Grip Pull Up 4 Failure
Wide Grip Pull Up Behind the Neck 4 10-12
Close Grip Pull Down 4 10-12
Straight Arm Pullover 4 10-12
Close Grip Bench Press 3 10-12
Tricep Extension with Rope 3 10-12
Seated French Press 3 8-10
Skullcrusher 7 10-12
Exercise Sets Reps
Leg Extension 4 10
Leg Press 3 15-20
Hack Squat 3 8-10
Smith Machine Squat 4 10-12
Smith Machine Lunge 2 8 per Side
Stiff Leg Deadlift 3 10, 8, 8
Leg Curl 3 12-15
Seated Leg Curl 2 15
Back Width and Thickness
Exercise Sets Reps
Wide Grip Lat Pull Down 4 8-10
T Bar Row 4 8-10
Close Grip Lat Pull Down 4 8-10
Seated Cable Row 4 8-10
Lat Pull Down Behind the Neck 4 6-8
Incline Bench Prone Dumbbell Row 4 6-8
Hyperextension 4 8-10
Exercise Sets Reps
Incline Bench Press 4 10-12
Dumbbell Bench Press 3 8-10
Dip 3 Failure
Machine Chest Press 4 10-12
Incline Hammer Strength Press 3 12-15
Uneven Push Up 3 Failure

Sunday and Monday off and repeat. If I felt I needed rest in between I would substitute an off day in the middle of the workout week and continue the next day.

Paul DeVito

Please detail your cardio approach during your transformation?

In the beginning cardio was performed 5 days a week. As a baseline I established a 15 minute mark and progressively increased as time weight on. I eventually would cap it at around 30-40 minutes but would sometimes increase up to 60 minutes on off days.

I used each piece of cardio equipment and found incline treadmill walking to be my favorite. The Stair Gauntlet would be a close second by that would bring on some minor knee pain. I would perform intervals on max height and alternate the speed from 3.5-5.0 mph. You have to make a strong conscious effort to not hang out or you eliminate the full potential to the exercise. 

Please list 3 things you learned about exercise, weight training and/or cardio during your transformation that helped you succeed:

  1. A food scale is the most important tool in a weight lifter's life
  2. Find something you love to watch while performing cardio to eliminate boredom. I highly recommend LOST! Time flies when you are not watching the counter on that cardio equipment
  3. Keeping log books. Track everything you do; weight lifting stats (poundages, weights, sets, reps), cardio schedules, food breakdowns. If something is off you have solid evidence why. Also, by keeping a log book you are always able to beat your last workout in some way or another. Whether that be more weight, increased reps or sets.

How are you currently training, and has your training changed since the completion of your transformation?

Once I got to where I wanted to look I became almost addicted to it. The lines, the cuts, the veins…everything! I was finally happy with my body and the look I portrayed. Due to this I have stuck to similar training and have made minor changes to increase LEAN mass. Not that fat I was putting on before.

Another addiction is the use of the food scale. To this day, every meal I make and eat is weighed out specifically. Sure there are times when I go out to eat, but I am cringing to not know how many ounces of protein, fat, or carbs are in the meal I eat.

Paul's Diet And Supplement Plan

Paul DeVitoWhat was your diet/nutrition approach during your transformation?

Now my diet is pretty complicated. However, I found it more beneficial than any other fat burner on the market. The information below is found in a book that highlights 12 week nutritional breakdowns. Here is how it starts:

Step 1: Each week is different and adjusts according to your bodyweight at the start of the week. I take into account my BMR through a calculation. Then add the additional calories that I will burn during my workout and combine that with my BMR.

With that number, I have the total number of calories I will need. Then depending on my goal, whether it be to decrease fat, maintain, or increase muscle, total calories are added or subtracted. That's just the first step.

Step 2: Each week consists of a different meal plan with its own guidelines. This way my body does not have time to adapt to a certain routine so it is constantly forced to change. These meal plans consists of Moderate Carb Days (High/low), Keto-runs, Zig-Zag, and Isocaloric. Depending on the meal plan you pick for the week your total macronutrient breakdown changes whether that be increasing your percent of healthy fats, proteins, carbs or decreasing one or the other.

To accomplish this feat I purchased a scale that measures out macronutrients specifically so I would not always have to calculate the count of proteins or fats in a specific food. Below are sample days for each of the meal plays I have completed. 

Can you give an example of what your daily meal plan looks like?

Zig Zag high calorie day:

  • Meal 1: ¾ cup oatmeal, 1 banana, 2 tbsp peanut butter, ¾ cup strawberries, 37 g whey protein, 13 g pecans
  • Meal 2: ¾ cup oatmeal, 2 tbsp peanut butter, 15.7 g pecans, 4.38 oz chicken
  • Meal 3: ¾ cup oatmeal, 2 tbsp peanut butter, 15.7 g pecans, 4.38 oz chicken
  • Meal 4: ½ cup oatmeal, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 15.7 g pecans, 4 oz tilapia
  • Meal 5: 7.3 oz chicken, mixed greens
  • Meal 6: 7.3 oz chicken, mixed greens

Zig Zag even calorie day:

  • Meal 1: ½ cup oatmeal, 2 tbsp peanut butter, 1 cup blueberries, 34.5 g whey protein, 3 egg whites
  • Meal 2: ¾ cup oatmeal, 1 oz almonds, 3 egg whites
  • Meal 3: ½ cup oatmeal,  4.6 oz chicken, .5 oz pecans
  • Meals 4-6: .6 oz pecans, 4.6 oz chicken, mixed greens

Zig Zag low calorie day:

  • Meals 1-3: ½ cup oatmeal, .4 oz almonds, 2 egg whites
  • Meal 4: .4 oz almonds, 3 egg whites
  • Meal 5-6: 2.52 oz chicken, .4 oz almonds

Keto Run days:

  • Meal 1: 3.8 oz tilapia, 1.1 oz pecans
  • Meal 2: 4 egg whites, 1 whole egg, 1.1 oz pecans
  • Meal 3: 4 oz turkey burger, .67 oz almonds
  • Meal 4-6: 4 oz chicken,  1.1 oz almonds   

Paul DeVita

Were there any diet/nutrition mistakes you made that you learned from?

Eyeing out portions is not enough. If you really want to dial it in, you have to use a scale or else you leave a lot up to chance. How is it possible to eye 4 oz chicken? Once you do that, you eliminate guess work and mistakes!

Please list 3 things you learned about diet & nutrition during your transformation that helped you succeed:

  1. A scale is your best friend! 
  2. Always make adjustments to your diet. Keep your metabolism guessing just as you do with your body in regards to the strength training program
  3. Keep it simple. The less ingredients the more natural and whole the food is. Even is something is 100% natural or contains whole wheat, look to see what else is in the ingredient list. For example, look at whole wheat pita bread and compare that to brown rice or oatmeal. You will easily see that the pita bread contains 6+ ingredients while brown rice or oatmeal is as natural as you can get.

Did you allow yourself cheat meals?

One meal a week I would consume a “cheat meal”. This consisted of a meal larger in size and quantity. Instead of eating a schedule 4-5 oz of protein, I would eat 6-8 oz.

The same would go for complex carbs as well. I stayed away from sweets because they contain almost zero nutritional value and knew they contributed in no way to my goal.

What supplements did you use during your transformation?

Throughout my entire transformation I kept my supplementation minimal. This consisted of whey protein, dextrose, multivitamins, L-glutamine, and L-Leucine.

Advice For Others

What are your best 3 tips for someone looking to make their own transformation?

  1. Never give up. Even when you think you cannot achieve that look you desire or that last rep, dig deep and push through. That is what separates you from everyone else that settles for mediocre and ends the set before true failure. 
  2. Do not put it off. The longer you wait to begin your transformation the longer you must wait for results. Why start in a “couple days or weeks”? If you want what you desire, start right now! No one but yourself can tell you when to train and eat besides yourself! You are the one to blame for your failures and you are responsible for your success. 
  3. Do only what works for you specifically, everyone's body is 100% different and adapts and grows differently than others. What works for your best friend or a specific routine you read about may or may not work for you. The trick is to make that mind-muscle connection with your body and really tune in to what works best for you and apply it to your workouts.

How do you stay motivated? What advice would you give to someone who’s having trouble staying on track?

My motivation comes from my competitive athletic background. I would like to compete one day and become a true bodybuilder or physique model. Additionally, but examining pictures I am able to work on lagging body parts and make the changes I desire. Arnold and Kai Greene said it best by stating that weight lifting is like sculpting your body. You are the artist, and the work you put everyday gets you closer to that ideal look.

My advice for staying on track absolutely nothing is immediate, and nothing is easy. If you put the time and energy into it, you can accomplish anything. You can either keep your head down and work towards your goal today or look back and regret quitting for the rest of your life. Again, you are the only one to blame for your failures and are solely responsible for your successes. 

Your Life Now

What is your life like now that you’ve made a transformation?

One word: healthier. I feel great. My knees and joints no longer hurt carrying around all that extra weight. I am finally happy and comfortable with taking off my shirt in front of others. I no longer have to actively work to hide my gut! I feel like I can accomplish anything to be honest, just as long as I put the time and work into it.

Lastly, I finally love eating again and enjoy the meals I eat. When I was force feeding myself I hate the thought of another meal. Now, I look forward and enjoy the taste of everything I consume.

What motivates you currently to keep improving yourself?

I hope to one day achieve a physique close to Frank Zane’s. In my mind he had the perfect look, a look I strive for everyday. I also make a conscious effort to always beat my last workout. That in itself is purely motivating.

How Can People Contact You?

How can people contact you?

Posted on: Tue, 04/05/2016 - 06:00

Hey Paul,
Your transformation is really amazing. I find myself in the same shoes you were in before your transformation (by that I have similar story and exactly same height, weight and fat%). I also have a fast metabolism. I have planned to seriously follow your diet and workout plans.
Can you please guide me with supplement intake (what,how much and when) and diets you followed (in the same order)?

Posted on: Tue, 04/05/2016 - 05:14

Hey Paul,
Your transformation story is awesome. I find myself in the same shoes you were in before your transformation. I am really inspired by you and plan to seriously follow this plan.
So can you please guide me on supplements intake(quantity and time of the day in which it has to be taken) and which diet plan(out of the diets mentioned) you followed in those 12 weeks(please mention in order)?

Paul D
Posted on: Wed, 04/03/2013 - 23:43

Hey Adam,

After I hit my first plateau I tried some thermogenics (Roxylean and Oxyelite) and I have mixed reviews overall. I think they helped slightly but the big time changes did not come until I actually started weighing out all my food and calculating my specific needs. Other than that I kept it so just protein, glutamine, and l-leucine - which I would mix in my pre-post workout drinks. Looking back on it, I would have been much better off just saving my money and buying chicken instead of those thermo's haha

Posted on: Tue, 04/02/2013 - 10:59

Hey Paul, great job way to persevere and over come bro. I totally understand where your coming from with the over weight issue. I was 6ft 277lbs at my heaviest and I needed a change so I got myself down to 214lbs under 6 months. Thankful to be blessed with a super active metabolism otherwise could see myself well over the 300+ lb range. Anyways, I know you used whey protein but were you supplementing anything else, if so what were you using? thanks

Posted on: Tue, 04/02/2013 - 10:59

Hey Paul, great job way to persevere and over come bro. I totally understand where your coming from with the over weight issue. I was 6ft 277lbs at my heaviest and I needed a change so I got myself down to 214lbs under 6 months. Thankful to be blessed with a super active metabolism otherwise could see myself well over the 300+ lb range. Anyways, I know you used whey protein but were you supplementing anything else, if so what were you using? thanks

Posted on: Fri, 03/01/2013 - 17:00

Hey Paul! Did you really do that transformation in just 12 weeks? Awesome! What should I do if I can only work out 3-4 times a week, because I got soccer 3 times a week. I really want a transformation, but soccer alone does not help me at all.I have 16%-18% of body fat (not really sure) and I want to go down to 12% or ever more. Please help!

Paul D
Posted on: Sat, 03/30/2013 - 21:04


It sounds like your making your way to the gym and hitting cardio at least 3 x per week with soccer which is great. If your looking for extra burn you have to increase that intensity in the gym and with your cardio sessions. However, no matter how intense, how long, or how frequent you workout - a weak nutritional program will get you nowhere. Feeding your body like a machine is what will get the results you seek. I can speak from my own personal experience that just working out can only get you so far. Once you bring that solid nutrition program into your life you will be amazed!

Paul D
Posted on: Mon, 02/18/2013 - 12:34

Hey John,

I completely understand your concern and believe me I have had talks with pretty much everyone who stated losing that much weight in that amount of time is not healthy. Even throughout my kinesiology classes at Michigan State you constantly read 2-3 lbs per week is what is recommended for the average person. What I was doing to my body was in no way average. Additionally, this is also recommended by the CDC :

I am 100% positive that anyone serious about weigh lifting or competing thinks these are minimal at best and would provide little to no increase in size or strength.I went from eating absolute massive amounts of food basically force feeding myself (very stupid, I realize that) while at the same time performing no cardiovascular work. Once I brought that into my routine and brought down my food intake more specifically tailored that to my body needs and exercise demands the weight came off. This was in no way easy and I am sure I lost some muscle along the way. If I were put into that situation again I would probably have extended the time and tried to hold onto some of that muscle. I have had zero health problems during or after the entire process. If you would like more details about how I did it shoot me an email.

Posted on: Wed, 02/13/2013 - 22:20

Hey Paul D i do not understand how you lost 60 pounds in exactly 12 weeks and get ripped (Great results btw) but i just thought i mean isn't losing 60 pounds in 3 months very unhealthy? I mean most is 2-3 pounds per week but you how the hell did you do it? Please respond I am very dumbfounded and lost. I need to lose exactly 60 pounds aswell to get ripped.

Paul D
Posted on: Thu, 01/31/2013 - 23:22

Hey Brandon,

Each week the breakdowns would change. The breakdowns were specific to the goals I had at hand. So if I was trying to cut body fat I might one week start with a mini ketogenic run where my fat ran around 60%, protein 35 % and carbs 5% or lower. This could shift into a week where I run high, lower, and moderate calories days where I keep my macro's at 33.333% each and make sure to consume my carb meals (roughly 3-4) as soon as possible making sure to taper each successive carb feeding. On low days I would multiply my bmr by 0.8 and add the calories needed to sustain a weight session, high calories days i would multiply my bmr by 1.2 and again add the calories needed for a weight session. Moderate days I would just add my calories from a weight session to my bmr. Additionally I would throw in a couple high carb days where my carb intake could shoot up to 60% with proteins making up 30-35 and fat taking the rest.

Right now though I am trying to put on some lean mass so I am keeping my macro's at 33.3333% and multiply my bmr by 1.2 and adding the calories to sustain my weight session.

Let me know if you have any more questions. Hopefully that wasn't too confusing or boring!

Posted on: Wed, 01/09/2013 - 16:37

Hey Paul D, So what was your macronutrient ratios on each day of the week? I see you carb cycled. How do you approach this??

Paul D
Posted on: Thu, 11/01/2012 - 20:55

Hey Robin,

I tried sprint intervals or HITT but found that interval max treadmill walking worked best for me. I did not walk on max incline the entire time, just at specific intervals per-determined by the treadmill.

Posted on: Tue, 10/09/2012 - 11:53

Dude, great call on watching LOST!

To clarify - your go-to cardio was just walking at max incline?

Anyway, nice results man! Congratulations!

Paul D
Posted on: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:30


I am 5'9" or 5'10" with shoes on haha. I started at 225 and in those after pics I range from 160-165 judging from the pictures your looking at.

Let me know if you have anymore questions!


Posted on: Fri, 09/28/2012 - 18:57

Awesome article again Muscle & Strength. Paul, thanks for sharing your secrets to success with the many of us who aspire to lose weight and obtain a muscular, fit physique like yourself. The only thing I wish Muscle & Strength had included in this article was your height and weight to give that hope to us who may happen to be the same height and weight you were before you started your journey. Nonetheless, awesome article!