Body Transformation: Katie Cates Dropped 64 Pounds And 22% Bodyfat

After the birth of a child Katie Cates struggled with post-partum depression. She hit the ground running, and never looked back - losing 64 pounds.
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!

Before Stats

  • 24
  • 190 lbs
  • 5'7"
  • 37%

After Stats

  • 27
  • 126 lbs
  • 5'7"
  • 15%

Lifestyle Prior To Change

What was your lifestyle like prior to your transformation?

I was very much a couch potato.  My husband and I went out for dinner and drinks at least twice a week and most nights I ate fast food because I was too lazy to actually cook something.  When I did cook it was always a casserole and of course the casserole had tons of cheese.

Katie CatesWhat was your low point or turning point?

During my pregnancy we moved to a new town for my husband’s job.  This move took me 5 hours away from my family and 2 hours away from my in-laws.  I was pregnant and had no family or friends.  I would stay at home all day and try to figure out how I would make our move work for me, but during the many hours alone all I could think about was how I really wanted to use this time to change myself.  Change the way I thought, the way I ate and the way I looked.

It wasn’t until 5 months post partum that things started changing and not for the better.  I was crying day in and day out.  Waking up late at night to cry alone, weighing every second I could get to the scale.  I decided to speak to my doctor and it was then I found out I was battling PPD (Post-Partum Depression).  Once I got the helped I needed I hit the ground running and never looked back!

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

Being away from family and friends when I may have needed some support or workout buddy.  I faced all my challenges alone.  Yes my husband was there and he was very supportive and would listen any chance he could, but sometimes you just need family and friends and that I didn’t have.

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

  • Transformation Start: May 2009.
  • Milestone: My first goal was to be at my pre-pregnancy weight in 9 months or less and I accomplished that!
  • Milestone: The 2nd goal I set for myself was to shed another 10lbs to reach 150lbs and wear a bikini to our 1st beach trip after our son.  I reached that goal!
  • Milestone: My 3rd goal was a jean size.  I hadn’t been a size 6 since I was in High School so I set the goal and I wanted to reach it in 2010.  I wore a size 6 by my 25th birthday, April 2010.
  • Milestone: My last goal was to compete in my first ever bikini competition and I will be competing this year in May (May 19th, 2012).
  • Transformation End: I am now a size 2, 126lbs and 15% body fat.  I couldn’t be happier!

Katie's Training Approach

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

Because I was so use to the out of breath feeling cardio gives you I found that traditional weight training wasn’t for me.  I needed something that made me sweat, breath heavy and something that was fast paced.  I personally like super-setting or drop sets.  They keep things intense & quick.

I also switch up my sets, reps or time resting or working ever 3-4 weeks.  I created a no plateau guideline that hits all phases of lifting and I follow that 90% of the time.

Katie Cates

Please add a workout that worked best for you:

Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 4 12-15
Reverse Barbell Lunge 4 12-15
Stiff Leg Deadlift 4 12-15
Leg Extension superset with Leg Curls 4 12-15
Bodyweight Jump Squat 3 12
Calf Raise 4 30
Treadmill   25 Minutes
Shoulders and Abs
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press 4 12
Barbell Upright Row 4 12-15
Seated Alternating Dumbbell Press 4 12-15
Dumbbell Lateral Raise w/Drop Sets 4 10
Front Dumbbell Raise 4 12-15
Bent Over Dumbbell Reverse Flye 4 12-15
Abdominal Medley 2  
Steady State Cardio   30-40 Minutes
Chest and Back
Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Bench Press 4 12
Dumbbell Flyes 4 12
Push Ups (As many sets as needed)   100 Total
Wide Grip Lat Pull Down w/Drop Sets 4 12
Reverse Grip Barbell Row 4 12
Seated Cable Row w/Drop Sets 4 12
One Arm Dumbbell Row 4 12-15
Back Extension 4 12
Treadmill HIIT   20 Minutes
Biceps and Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Alternating Dumbbell Curl 4 15
Incline Dumbbell Curl 4 15
Cable Curl 4 12-15
Barbell 21s 3  
Overhead Dumbbell Extension 4 12
Bench Dip 4 12
Cable Tricep Extension with Rope 4 12
Dumbbell Tricep Kickback 4 12
Steady State Cardio   30-40 minutes
Hamstrings, Glutes and Abs
Exercise Sets Reps
Close Stance Leg Press 4 15
Reverse Barbell Lunge 4 15
Barbell Hip Raise 4 20
Plank Cable Leg Curl 4 12
Standing Cable Kickback 4 20
Leg Curl w/Drop Sets 4 12
Stiff Leg Deadlift 4 10-12
Bench/Box Lateral Step Up w/Kickbacks 4 20
Abs Medley 2  
Stepmill - 60 secs 85% MHR, 60 secs Recovery   20 Minutes

Katie CatesPlease detail your cardio approach during your transformation?

When I started I would run 3 miles every day.  My results were the scale moving down, but my body didn’t look great, at least in my mind it didn’t.  So with research and discussing with my mentor & friend he told me how you need cardio, but not every day and it doesn’t always need to be steady state.

After 3 years of working and figuring out my body I finally know the key to my personal cardio.  I perform 2 days of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) either on the stepmill or treadmill.  I have about 2-3 days of stead state cardio too.

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

  1. Cardio - You need it, but you don’t need it every day and if you perform cardio to often it can actually have a reverse side effect to your fat loss.
  2. Weight Training - I have never had my body look the way it looks until I started lifting weights and I am not talking about 5lb dumbbells either.  I lift as heavy as I can with proper form.  The biggest fear many women have is that they will turn into the Hulk by picking up anything heavier than a 3 or 5lb dumbbell.  Truth is they won’t.  What they will do is sculpt an amazing body and build tight beautiful curves!
  3. Your body needs a rest day and I personally give my body 2 rest days.  I have reached my goals by staying on track with my nutrition, but giving my body off Saturday and Sunday.

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

My training in weight lifting terms has not changed, but my cardio plan changes weekly since I am prepping for my  first show.

Katie's Diet And Supplement Plan

What was your diet/nutrition approach during your transformation?

When I first started I used Weight Watchers.  I thought what better way to enjoy weight loss while still getting to eat what I want.  Truth of the matter is weight watchers works, but you aren’t sure what type of weight you’re losing.

The way the point system works, it allows you to eat anything and yes you will lose weight, but it might not be fat weight it may be muscle weight.  Once I figured this out I hired a sports nutritionist and my results have been outstanding and much faster!

Katie Cates

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

  • Meal 1: Oatmeal & egg whites w/ peanut butter.
  • Meal 2: Quest Bar.
  • Pre Workout: 1 scoop of whey protein, 2 scoops Amino Energy.
  • Post Workout: One scoop of whey protein, 1/2 cup berries.
  • Meal 3: Chicken breast, asparagus, and spinach add lemon juice to taste.
  • Meal 4: One scoop casein protein and one tbsp peanut butter blended into a smoothie (mixed with water).

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

YES!  Trial and error all the way, but not actually reading my labels and checking my macros was my mistake.  I just assumed because something appeared healthier that it was.  The biggest nutrition tip I can push is to read your labels, know your basal metabolic rate & keep track of your calories, protein, carbs, fats and sugars!

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

  1. Macronutrients mean A LOT!
  2. Always weigh or measure your foods.  Don’t leave it the good ole’ eye/hand test.
  3. Cook your foods in bulk and prepare for your day or week.

Did you allow yourself cheat meals?

When I started out I allowed myself one cheat MEAL a month, yes I said a month.  I was interested in actually losing my weight sooner than later.  When I did cheat I didn’t count calories, weigh or pre-plan the foods.  I just ate my meal until I was satisfied.

Katie Cates

What supplements did you use during your transformation?

Advice For Others

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

  1. You need to be mentally prepared with how you will handle your accomplished goals, challenges and negativity.
  2. Keep healthy foods as convenient as chips and candy.  This way you create a no fail situation
  3. Have a small support group, even if it’s just one person.  But that person is someone you can vent to, cry to and share your accomplishments with.  Not everyone will understand why and that is ok.  Just make sure someone does so you can share your joy!

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

My results!  I treat my body like a canvas and if I work hard enough I can create a beautiful piece of art.  I have always believed there is room for improvement.  You can lift heavier, jump higher and run faster.  Why not focus on being the best you, you can be?

Your Life Now

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

Confident.  I have always lacked in that department.  I actually want to go to the beach, wear shorts and enjoy life to the fullest.  This new found confidence has helped me in so many ways!  Nothing I can say or do can express how amazing it is to love yourself.

What motivates you currently to keep improving yourself?

My goals.  If I don’t keep pushing I will never reach them.  The last thing I want to do is look back on my life and think “What if.”

Anything else you would like to share?

If it wasn’t for my husband I am not sure where I would be today.  He has been my backbone and biggest supporter.  He is my rock!  My friend & mentor CJ Woodruff for helping me start my own business as a personal trainer and sports nutritionist, thank you - PFTA San Antonio, TX ROCKS!  Jose Luis Studios thank you for taking amazing pictures of me and allowing me to see myself in a different light.

Ruben w/ Fit To Be In Your Kitchen thank you for helping me build the best body for my show with your nutrition guidance and last but not least I want to thank Christine Anderson for all the help she has given me in my posing to be prepared for my very first show!

How Can People Contact You?

How can people contact you?

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19 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Sat, 06/06/2015 - 00:54
Whodar

Great Work Katie!!

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Posted Tue, 07/08/2014 - 14:20
Allison

You look .. wonderful! Awesome!

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Posted Mon, 05/25/2015 - 08:46
Katie

Thank you!

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Posted Mon, 05/25/2015 - 08:50
Katie

Thank you, Allison!

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Posted Wed, 05/28/2014 - 18:36
Heather

How did you calculate your calories and break them down for macros?

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Posted Mon, 05/25/2015 - 08:46
Katie

You need to know your BMR 1st, then go from there. Here is a great tool to get you started.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-calculator

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Posted Mon, 03/31/2014 - 18:19
jessica

Hey! I love your exercise routine. I started today! Please explain adominal medley or provide some exercises?

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Posted Wed, 08/28/2013 - 05:32
Reyanrdt

Sorry I didn't read the story, just looked at the pictures. Grrrowl! Very inspiring. Wish my wife had time to get into this, she's naturally well built and could look like this very easily, but with two kids, nah!

Inspiring tranformation, well done!

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Posted Sat, 05/04/2013 - 13:37
Audrey

Looks like she got implants.

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Posted Sat, 11/09/2013 - 09:57
Katie Cates

Had the implants prior to my weight loss, thank you

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Posted Tue, 11/19/2013 - 16:08
Jujube

Even if you did get them afterwards, you deserve whatever you want after a transformation like that!

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Posted Fri, 04/12/2013 - 18:27
Joseph

Looks like 2 different people, the one on the right looks like a plastic life size barbie doll

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Posted Mon, 05/25/2015 - 08:47
Katie

That is due to the heavy spray tan and being extra lean for the fitness competition.

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Posted Wed, 10/24/2012 - 04:13
Kirstin

My role model :)

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Posted Mon, 05/25/2015 - 08:47
Katie

Thank you! :D

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Posted Thu, 10/18/2012 - 19:23
Tab

Wow! What a hottie! Very motivational :)

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Posted Mon, 05/25/2015 - 08:49
Katie

Thank you, Tab

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Posted Fri, 07/27/2012 - 17:18
Tim

She looks amazing!

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Posted Mon, 05/25/2015 - 08:49
Katie

Thank you, Tim!