THE TALON

How to Get Fit with Stuart Philp

AMHS's biggest glo-up icon shares his story of success.

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How did he do it? A question that everyone has been asking since Stuart’s return to school in 2017. Stuart Philp, a current senior at Academic Magnet, has consistently left a good impression on his peers and teachers for the past four years. Not only is he someone that you can quickly connect with, he is also incredibly talented. With a proficiency in photography, theatre, and musical instruments, Stuart presents himself as an amazing, well-rounded individual that possesses just the right amount of sarcasm. Despite everyone’s positive regard for him, he was not fully pleased with his own self. In sophomore year, Stuart began putting on more and more weight, until he finally decided to put an end to the binge-eating and make serious efforts into getting in shape. Such efforts were not in vain, as his fellow classmates quickly began to take notice of his weight loss. Within a span of 7-8 months, Stuart Philp lost 50lbs. And here’s how he did it.

You literally feel lighter walking around.”

— Stuart Philp

When Stuart sat down for this interview, he was incredibly relaxed and confident. With a casual tee that hung loosely off his newly-lithe frame, he leaned back, assumed a comfortable manscaping position, and patiently waited for the questions to roll in.

“What inspired your weight loss journey, and was there a specific catalyst for it?”

Stuart seemed to jump at the word catalyst, cracking a smile and beginning to laugh to himself. “Where do I start?” He asked as he leaned forward in his seat. Stuart then began to delve into his hard time spent in 10th grade, in which he was interested in an unnamed girl. “She said, ‘maybe if you were a little bit skinnier’,” he stated, explaining his primary motivator for the weight loss. “That was probably why I did it for the first month.” Fortunately, after that initial month, Stuart realized that, as he kindly put it, the girl was “not nice”, and the weight loss became a personal goal in order to “get healthier, and to feel better about [himself].”

“When you first started out, did you try any popular diets? Like Atkins, Paleo, or Keto?”

“So, I didn’t do that,” he began. Stuart then went on to provide his reasoning. In his previous attempts to shed pounds, he had looked into the “fad diets”, but they have never worked. “I also have migraines that are really bad, so I’ve done a lot of different fad diets because they ‘claim’ to help that, but they never helped,” Stuart added, suggesting that such popular nutrition plans feign actual results and are simply intended to attract weight-conscious individuals.

“For getting healthier and losing weight, would you say diet or fitness plays a larger role?”

Pullquote Photo

I ran track freshman and sophomore year, and I was working out at the Citadel, but I still looked fat because I was eating terribly.”

— Stuart Philp

Before the question even got out, Stuart knew his answer immediately. “Oh, diet 100%.” He said confidently, once again leaning back into the comfort of his seat. Stuart elaborated on his previous years, in which he gained strength from workouts, but was not losing any fat due to his poorly planned meals and generally unhealthy diet.

“So give me a typical day of what you would eat.”

For Stuart, his breakfasts typically consisted of fruit. On days on which he was lifting and working on resistance training, he would also include a serving of MuscleMilk. In regards to lunch, he would often rotate between salads and sandwiches. “The big thing about sandwiches and salads,” he began, “is that you have to be sure to measure out the components that you’re adding.” With salads, for example, Stuart factored in the amount of dressing that he poured on top. In addition, Stuart avoided cheese (simply because he’s not a fan), so the detrimental effects of dairy did not affect his newfound diet. To pair with his nutritional lunches, Stuart often ate popcorn as a snack. He paused for a moment before delving into the importance of portion control. “It was a lot about, y’know, if you’re going to eat something unhealthy, then make sure it’s in smaller quantities.” In contrast, he would eat a lot of healthy foods, such as fruits.

“What would be your typical exercise routine?”

“While I was losing weight,” Stuart began, “it was pretty intense.” Every day during the summer, he would run for about 30-40 minutes, typically using intervals of jogging, running, sprinting, and walking in order to get optimal results. Every other day, he would follow a weight lifting routine, gaining muscle while simultaneously losing fat. In addition to home-based cardio and lifting, Stuart emphasized the effectiveness of Tony Horton’s P90 Workout program. “I’m actually starting my second round of [P90X3] in the beginning of October,” Stuart shared with a smile. “I’m super excited about that.”

It was a lot of free weights; I didn’t really use machines. I did a lot of my exercises at home.”

— Stuart Philp

“What type of exercise worked the best for you and gave you the most results?”

When he first began trying to lose weight, Stuart credited his physical progress to cardio, but not simply running a mile or two every day. “Intervals, specifically, is what really did it,” he clarified, “and is much more effective than jogging.” Stuart also stated that HIIT (high-intensity interval training) significantly impacted his appearance.

“When selecting your diet and picking out meals, did you focus on your macros?”

With a mother who constantly professes her love for nutritional guidelines, it seemed Stuart would follow suit. “Throughout the weight loss, I had been doing that without realizing,” he said. Initially, Stuart couldn’t have cared less about measuring macronutrients. In fact, he only focused on “looking skinnier”. However, further into the process, Stuart began “getting into” the nutritional science behind fat burning. “When trying to build more muscle mass, it was really important to see how much protein I was taking in.”

“What mobile apps, if any, would you recommend for getting in shape and managing diet?”

  • Weight Watchers: based on a “point system”, which also provided nutritional information of certain foods. For example, the sodium and potassium content of 1 serving of popcorn. Stuart said that it was easy to start out with, but it is typically calorie-based and does cost money.
  • My Fitness Tracker: an app made by Adidas, Stuart swore by it for tracking calorie/nutrition intake.
  • Running for Weight Loss: provides a daily “cardio plan”, featuring intervals of running, walking, and sprinting. “It becomes more and more challenging every day. There isn’t a workout that doesn’t challenge you,” he said.
  • Run Keeper: intended for general running.
  • Sleep Cycle: Stuart strongly emphasized the importance of a healthy amount of sleep, especially when trying to lose weight. This app monitors sleep movement, along an individual’s levels of REM sleep throughout the night.

“Do you have any additional advice or motivation for those trying to begin a healthier lifestyle?”

Stuart wanted to clarify that shedding pounds will not alter who you are as an individual. “You’re still going to be you,” he insisted. “I would definitely say that my quality of life is better, but your grades aren’t suddenly going to change, and you’re not going to suddenly become popular.” In terms of personal motivation, Stuart was very straight-forward. “If you really want to change something about yourself, then do it … It’s really about sticking to it. If you can stick to something for about three weeks, then you’re going to keep that habit forever.”

 

If you want to lose weight, then do it; you’re going to feel amazing.”

— Stuart Philp

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