8 Week Shred Challenge - IB Edition

COVID has hit all pretty hard in terms of health and weight, analysts have gained 2x the weight we normally would have working in banking without COVID. 

I want to know if anyone has a routine they use/used in IB to drop a lot of the weight they gained in an 8-12 week span. What challenged did you boys follow when you were actually going into the office. 

I'm also down to propose an 8 week challenge with anyone who wants to. Just post your stats on this thread, goal and plan. 


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Comments (81)

Most Helpful
Mar 24, 2021 - 1:05pm

I gained ten pounds in quarantine last year. This is the diet which helped me lose it back and more:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with almond milk and protein powder 

Lunch: Grilled chicken with kimchi, veggies like Broccoli and grilled peppers

Dinner: More grilled chicken with sauerkraut and more veggies

Snacks: Mango flavored 4 mg nicorette and cold brew (stimulants help suppress appetite) 


For meals out, get salads or Chipotle with no rice or cheese or sour cream and extra meat and have some good steak or another good "healthy" treat every so often so you don't go insane. Change your meat up every so often too, tuna and salmon steaks are great in moderation. Not nutritional advice, try to avoid stimulant abuse if you can, but hey it got the weight off ridiculously quickly for me.

Mar 24, 2021 - 1:10pm

That's solid man, I am currently working at the office, so I am limited what is in the food court. Lunch is typically a salad (kale, spinach, spring mix) with carrots, chick peas, avocado, eggs, bacon, chicken and Caesar dressing. 

I will order the Chipotle bowl for dinner from now on, do you know the caloric content? 

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Mar 25, 2021 - 12:21am

I just get CVS brand Nicorette 4 mg in the biggest package but I would definitely not recommend starting nicotine unless you've done it before. I brew my own cold brew for the most part, I got a $20 cold brew maker from takeya on Amazon and I really like it 

Apr 7, 2021 - 9:37pm

Kind of, but not really. As long as you don't go too crazy it's fine. Compared to vaping or cigarettes, the buzz or hit is not strong at all. Nicotine by itself is bad for you but nicotine gum is the least harmful way of ingesting it by far. If you wanted to, it's a decent way to lose weight / nootropic but just having self control and restricting your calories will get you there without the potential for addiction. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Mar 24, 2021 - 1:18pm

Pre IB I was 235 6'5. Now I'm 275 and I hit the desk 8 months ago.

goal is 220 by end of my program but dam does McDonald's hit the spot after getting fucked by my team all day 

Mar 24, 2021 - 2:22pm

That juicy soaking quarter pounder with cheese and bacon really pulls me back outta my grave

  • 1
  • Intern in IB-M&A
Mar 24, 2021 - 6:21pm

Calories in vs. calories out. Track your food and you'll see an instant difference. If you don't have time to do that, try and move more. 1-2 walks a day add up quick!

Mar 25, 2021 - 1:59pm

Morning workout - Doesn't have to be long to be effective.  HIIT is a godsend for the time-starved desk monkey.  

Breakfast: Protein shake (I like Vega One since it has a ton of extra healthy add-ins and is vegan) 

Lunch: Salmon/Chicken with as many low-glycemic vegetables as you'd like and 1 carb (brown rice or sweet potato) ***Do not overdo portion size with carb

Dinner: Same as lunch.

Would also recommend incorporating yoga to fight the afternoon lull and going for fast pace walks if possible.

Mar 25, 2021 - 3:59pm

Used to lift a lot during high school, stopped during college and just recently got back into it. I'm not working so I have a good amount of time to dedicate to the gym but I've been following a hybrid ULPPL (upper/lower/push/pull/legs) program that has been great. I could post it if anyone is interested.

Mar 26, 2021 - 10:26pm

I'll reply to your comment and tag whatisatarget420 so both of you get the notification. I based this program off of the Reddit push/pull/legs program but didn't want to work out 6x/week so got rid of the second push/pull/legs cycle and replaced it with upper/lower, making it ULPPL. Hope you find this helpful


Barbell Row 5 x 5

Dumbbell bench press 5 x 5

Lat Pulldown 8, 10, 12

Face Pull 3 x 8-10 SS (superset) Dumbbell Curl 3 x 8-12

Lateral Raise 3 x 8-10 SS Overhead Tricep Extension 3 x 8-12


Romanian Deadlift 3 x 6

Leg Press 4 x 6-8

Lying Leg Curl 8, 10, 12

Dumbbell Lunge 3 x 10


Bench Press 5 x 5

Overhead Press 8, 10, 12

Incline Dumbbell Press 8, 10, 12

Tricep Pushdown 8, 10, 12 SS Lateral Raise 3 x 15-20

Overhead Tricep Extension 8, 10, 12 SS Lateral Raise 3 x 15-20


Barbell Row 5 x 5

Lat Pulldown 8, 10, 12

Seated Cable Row 8, 10, 12

Face Pull 5 x 10

Hammer Curl 8, 10, 10, 12

Dumbbell Curl 8, 10, 10, 12


Back Squat 4 x 8

Split Squat 3 x 10

Leg Extension 8, 10, 12

Seated Leg Curl 8, 10, 12

Mar 25, 2021 - 6:30pm

run for an hour in the morning, only eat once a day during the lunchtime, only drink water, work out with weights in the evening and after that run for an hour.

that's what I do except for running cause I'm already in a good shape.

Mar 26, 2021 - 4:01pm

wait wait wait

you run 2 hours a day every day

lift weights daily

eat one meal

and you're still alive?

couple Q's

1. how much weight you throwin around?

2. how fucking huge is your lunch and what is it comprised of?

not throwing shade I'm legit impressed. I have no clue how you could make up for the massive amount of calories you burn with one meal

Mar 26, 2021 - 4:53pm

I'm not running at all, but everything else yes. I'm eating only lunch. For breakfast and dinner I have a protein shake (with one scoop of protein) and one banana. I work out ~5 times per week (sometimes 7, sometimes 3, depends on work etc., but on average 5). But I'm already muscular and ripped, so I don't need to shed any weight, I just need to maintain my body.

For somebody who's overweight, you need to add 2 hours of running to my routine: 1 in the morning and 1 in the evening after the workout with weights. And work out with weights every day, and not 3-7 times a week like me.

I've been overweight before. I had an injury long time ago and put on ~70lb while not moving much and eating a lot to heal faster. After I recovered from the injury, I've been running and working out with weights and cutting on food and I lost these 70lb within ~2-3 months.

Answers to your questions:

1. I'm ~180lb (pure muscle)

2. My lunch is normal. I just order food delivery. Every day it's different, and I don't measure calories or pick any particular food. Sometimes I add desserts if the restaurant has nice desserts. I get pizzas, burgers, etc. But it is always one meal per day. So it's either one small pizza. Or one big burger with a side. Or couple of burgers, if they're small, and without any sides then. Today I had enchiladas. And that's all for today, I'll eat a banana later in the evening and finish the protein shake from the morning.

Once you start eating less, your body adapts and doesn't ask for food as much. And even when it does, it's all in your head: for example, when I feel hungry, I just enjoy the feeling because I know that it's a feeling of burning fat.

I don't believe that you can properly eat 3 times a day as an office worker sitting the whole day and be ripped, unless you have crazy metabolism, but then you're probably an ectomorph, and shredding is not something you're concerned about, but on opposite gaining.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Mar 25, 2021 - 10:19pm

I compete in strength competitions so I'm used to gaining and losing weight pretty quickly, but during covid I broke my heaviest weight record. Previously I had never weighed more than 230.

Started quarantine at 220lbs, now I'm at 290lbs. I was/am super depressed so I just kinda let myself go. I'm starting 75 hard on Monday though - will keep you all posted if you're interested. 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Mar 26, 2021 - 2:37am

For sure. It's pretty simple - it's a hard plan but I personally LOVE strict plans where I can't eat much/where I work out a ton. Everyone talks about how you are destined to fail if you don't do X, Y, or Z thing to make it easier on yourself, but I gain satisfaction in the achievement of hitting a certain goal and that's enough for me to not need cake every now and then. 

My BIGGEST problem is eating out. If I eat out I can't control myself - I'll eat anything in sight. If I don't eat out then it's easy for me to weigh out the exact proportions I need and just drink tons of water when I get bored. So my rules are centered around not eating out.


2000 calories/day max

Minimum 150g protein daily

Minimum 30g fiber daily 

No added sugars (as a blanket rule)

No candy

No soda - diet or not diet

No eating out

75 hard rules (everything else): 

- Two 45 minute workouts a day, one has to be outside (I plan on walking for 45 minutes in the morning and then doing a strength training workout in the afternoon. I focus on compound movements and add in a couple accessories each day)

- follow a diet (posted above)

- no alcohol or cheat meals

- drink 1 gallon of water daily

- read 10 pages of a nonfiction book every day

***zero promises, zero substitutions. Must do it for 75 days straight, take a before and after picture.

If I do it for 75 days though then it'll be just as easy for me to do it for a year or more. Once you get the ball rolling it's easy to stay active like this. 

Mar 25, 2021 - 10:58pm

Hustling to burn calories and eating food you hate is a sure fire way to lose your will power and get fatter.

Calories are energy. Caloric surplus = storage of energy in the form of fat.

Exercising and eating salads has an effect. Of course. But the weight loss game comes down almost entirely to CALORIES.

Track the calories on everything. Get a food scale for accuracy. You cook with oil? Track that too. Weigh yourself every morning. Find your maintenance calories, then subtract a couple hundred calories from that. Set a target and adjust accordingly. 1lb a week, half a lb a week, whatever.

Vegetables and fruits are good for weight loss primarily because they are low calorie density. Filling your stomach helps with the cravings and makes it easier to be at caloric deficit.

You can't consume 2400 cals a day and burn 2400 cals and expect to lose weight. Adding kale and oatmeal to your diet doesn't change that fact.

  • Associate 2 in IB - Ind
Mar 25, 2021 - 11:04pm

I think there are two things people should follow when it comes to working out and dieting:

1) Carbs are not the enemy

     Carbs give you strength. No, I am not giving you the excuse to eat pizza, ice cream, etc. What I'm saying is there is nothing wrong about eating rice, tortillas, corn and a tiny bit of sour cream with your chipotle. Your body uses carbs as fuel, which allows you to feel better during the day and lift harder at the gym. Carbs like brown rice, oatmeal, help your body perform different functions such as pooping. Cut out all carbs, and just like magic, you won't be able to poop for 1 week +.

The key is to monitor your calorie intake. Some carbs like white bread have a lot of calories, so I recommend trying to eat carbs that provide maximum utility for your body and are in line with your caloric intake. However, nothing bad will happen if you decide to eat white bread...

2) When planning a diet, think about long term sustainability.

This ties in with the above. Cutting out carbs is not sustainable for many, and will lead to mood swings, problems with the stool, feeling weak, and potentially huge cheat binges. Think realistically about your cravings, and try to set boundaries but also allow yourself to indulge to prevent burn out. Being consistent for a longer time is better than doing a complicated super strict diet that you will greatly cheat on.

Anecdote: Was WFH from parent's house, gained a whopping 24 pounds in 4 months. Got back to my home city, through working out and dieting (I ate carbs, had occasional cheat meals, and eat chipotle and panda express all of the time) and have lost 10 pounds but also gained lots of muscle. My body looks a lot better at 174 where I am mainly focusing on lifting vs when I weighed 160 and only did cardio. I accomplished all of this in 3 months of hard work.

Mar 25, 2021 - 11:28pm

Got pretty cut up in the span of a month doing the following:

  • cranked 2 big cups of water first thing in the morning
  • extend my morning walk to get a coffee (large black of course) as much as possible. Aimed for 10-15 minutes and would keep going listening to a podcast if not busy
  • spinach & arugula salad w/ grilled chicken for lunch @1
  • ate fruit & deli meats when the ~4pm hunger came around
  • 6-7pm cardio then weight training (even if this meant I had to stay up late to finish work)
  • sausage/chicken/steak peppers and onions. Had to eat a bunch to quell hunger without any carbs

Disgusting amount of water throughout the day & would try to go on a walk and listen to a podcast if time allowed

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Mar 26, 2021 - 12:08pm

1) Need to be lifting for maximum fat loss. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. You can easily squeeze weights into a 30 min time frame and then cardio in a 10-15 min timeframe. That's less than an hour a day. 

2) Drink a ton of water. Aim for a gallon a day or something. Your muscles need it to grow, your skin will look better, you'll have more energy without having to pound coffee. It will also help you curb cravings.

3) 80% of abs are made in the kitchen. We've all heard the saying, but it's true. You might be able to outwork your eating habits down to like 15% body fat but you'll eventually plateau until you get disciplined with your diet. There's no hard rule for diet either, everyone has different genetics. The key is finding something that works for your body that you can sustain long term. For me that's low carb/high protein. Others do well with high carbs. You should test out different macros for 6 week intervals until you find one that works for you. Also you should aim for .8g-1g of protein per lb of bodyweight. So a 200lb guy would eat 160-200g protein each day. Download Myfitnesspal or LoseIt and track your calories for a month so you can get an idea of how much you are/should be eating. Make sure you're at a caloric deficit. 

It'll be hard for the first month but once you cut your sugars, seed oils, and junk to a minimum, your body will will feel and look so much better that you'll find it worth it. Also you said you wanted an 8-week shred- cutting alcohol will help a lot with that. I know things are opening up though so maybe you cut alcohol for April and then start sending it again in May. I did 6 weeks no alcohol from January 1st - mid february and it helped a lot. I'm still making progress just drinking Friday/Saturday now though. Try to stay away from beer unless you want a dad bod.

Mar 26, 2021 - 12:41pm


1) Wake up as early as you can (while still getting 6-7 hours of sleep) and crush as much black coffee as your heart desires. If you get less than 6 hours, I'd probably skip #2.

2) Since no gyms in quarantine, do a variety of body weight exercises or weights for 30 mins (I use dumbbells). If you can access a gym, by all means go.

3) Don't eat until 12pm each day. If you get hungry mid-morning, have a diet coke or something.

4) When you do eat at 12pm, aim for as much protein as possible. I have the same lunch every day: 1 Huel protein shake (40g protein) + 8 ounces of lean turkey lunch meat (~40g protein) + an apple/banana. If I'm extra hungry I have 2-3 scrambled eggs.

5) I get snack cravings ~4-5pm each day without fail. Instead of acting on those cravings, I go for a 3 mile run. When I come back the cravings are gone.

6) Life's short. Don't go overboard, but eat something that makes you happy for dinner, otherwise you'll obsess about food the rest of the night. My go-to dinners are spicy Asian food, hearty meat-based Italian pastas, fajitas and anything Greek.

7) Repeat.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Mar 26, 2021 - 4:38pm

A diet coke bro???? Brutal advice. Either drink water, green tea or coffee. The whole point of not eating until 12pm is for IF purposes and a diet coke would break your fast. If you have to break your fast early, do it with something healthy like eggs or other protein.

Also on #6, I get people's thought process around "life's short" but on the other hand shouldn't you be thinking "life's short- I need to max out my potential and stop being mediocre". Over the long term I think you are correct that we should enjoy things like pastas and other foods that might not fit our macros, but maybe only have it 1-2x/week instead of every night. OP said he wanted an 8 week shred though which to me means balls to the wall, highly disciplined, maxing out his potential in this time frame. This would mean minimal, if any cheat meals during these 8 weeks.

Mar 26, 2021 - 5:07pm

Dude, who said I am doing IF? I don't care about fasting / feeding windows - just trying to make the point that people shouldn't shovel calories down their windpipe the first half of the day if they are concerned about losing weight.

Regarding Diet coke - it tastes great, period. And it is good on an empty stomach without having too much caffeine. Water is boring. Green tea makes me nauseous on empty stomach and coffee has too much caffeine for mid morning. Boom - diet coke is perfect choice.

Mar 26, 2021 - 6:50pm

When I came into banking and had the money via Seamless allowances, I started eating salad/salad bowls for lunch and sashimi/sushi for lunch every night (low calories, high protein so filling for a while) and lost 20 pounds which is a lot for me lol. Exercised like 1x a week. 

I basically just made a list of meals I could order and just stuck to those, so no matter what, I was eating healthy.

Mar 26, 2021 - 7:16pm

6'0 190lbs, I will be below 180 in 8 weeks and 175 in 12 weeks. Hold me accountable if I'm not.

Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.
Mar 28, 2021 - 10:13pm

For anyone going on a shred, would highly recommend making sure you cover your micronutrients - later in the cut, you can easily find yourself in a steep caloric deficit without any further weight loss. Best thing to do, would be to eat fruits and veggies raw, don't stir fry, don't smoothie, just eat it. (sources: More Plates More Dates on Youtube)

Best to have most of your calories from fats and protein, your body works harder to digest these (vs. carbs), and they're far more satiating. Don't completely stop eating carbs, you need them, but its best to eat potatoes, fermented breads (sourdough), any and all sprouted grains, fruits, and rice vs. refined sugars and white bread.  

Honestly might be doing this anyone when you're getting fucked in the mornings, but intermittent fasting can help keep off the pounds, so restricting your food consumption between like 12pm to 10pm. Any sort of sub-5 or 10 calorie drink or food consumption shouldn't break your fast so coffee is fine. (source: 

and other shit from Dr. Rhonda Patrick) 

For anyone that's been losing their muscle mass, taking 5 minute cold showers or ending your showers cold can help (source: some podcast by Rhonda Patrick)

If you have time to workout, pushups/chinups (with proper form) go a long way or go for a 30-60 minute walk (you don't really need to run, and running on concrete is just not good for your knees/ankles)

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Mar 29, 2021 - 1:29am

would highly recommend taking on a diet that doesn't require you to work out in order to lose weight, especially considering the IB schedule. I haven't really had time to work out lately, but I'm already down 10 pounds from 5 weeks ago and it's been pretty easy. I basically started eating a lot more plant-based, with chicken and fish mixed in here and there for dinner. The beauty of it is if you get some of the better plant-based products, and swap out higher calorie carbs for lower calorie carbs, you can easily be in a huge calorie deficit while still eating three meals a day, getting lots of protein, and eating dessert. The only way to really replicate the same protein for calorie ratio on a meat-based diet is to do something like eat chicken and raw veggies all the time, which I personally have always hated. Some products I've really taken to over the past few weeks (all super low effort): 


  • Daily 365 veggie patties (WF)
  • Egglife wraps (bristol farms/sprouts) --> holy grail product 
  • Egg white bites (ralphs)


  • Seitan traditional earth (WF/Ralphs)
  • Healthy choice power bowls (walmart neighborhood, ralphs/vons) → good for taking to work
  • Cauliflower mashed potatoes (WF)
  • Egglife wraps 
  • Lavash bread 70 calories (amazon, maybe also WF)Joseph's flax,oat,wheat


  • Lavash bread with cheese for pizzas 
  • Gardein dinners (whole foods) 
  • chicken/ fish of some kind in the oven 
  • baked potato 
  • cauliflower mashed potatos (WF)


  • Low 30 calorie bread (walmart neighborhood) 
  • PBFit powder (amazon)
  • Fudge pops (anywhere) 
  • Smart Kettle corn / popcorn (amazon) 
  • Ginger chews (amazon)
  • 100 calorie snack packets


  • Arctic zero pints → the holy grail 
  • Fiber one brownie bars (chocolate flavor)


  • Low calorie 365 ranch (WF)
  • Sriracha sauce
Mar 29, 2021 - 4:25pm

Gained a good clip of weight working from home and felt like shit.  

Started keto and drink 1 liter of water before every meal and drink a lot of water in general.  Banned wife from buying cereal, candy, ice cream, etc for kids bc my sugar tooth came back with a vengeance.   I haven't felt that addicted to anything in ages, including alcohol, cigarettes.

I try and avoid eating savory, very flavorful foods.  I notice I eat less when the food I am eating is more boring.  So stuff like Mexican, Korean, etc. I try to limit.

  • Intern in Consulting
Mar 29, 2021 - 8:58pm

I'm in college so disclaimer since I fortunately haven't experienced crazy long work days yet. Someone mentioned More Plates More Dates, which is a great resource and so was Dr. Rhonda Patrick (watched her on the Joe Rogan Experience). If you have time, doesn't hurt to watch some nutrition and fitness based youtubers. I personally do 0 cardio (other than maybe like daily walking, which is optional). Just 30-45 minutes of powerlifting every day and assistance exercises. No weak shit though I'll do my powerlifting sets and then 4 assistance exercises (like hack squat, dumbbell incline chest press e.t.c.), 2 sets each. Those 2 sets are to complete failure. I'll hit legs 3x a week right now where I do heavy hack squats for 2 sets of 20. That's all the cardio you'll ever want or need. 

I like my recommendation because it's literally 30 minutes for a push movement (chest, triceps, shoulders) and 45 for back or leg days. I'm confident you could get those down to 30 minutes ish if you're a real sadistic bastard who enjoys torturing himself. 

Definitely drink water. I have 2 water bottles (32 ish fl oz) every morning before my 7:30am workouts and every night before bed (anywhere from 11pm-12:30am) like it's my religion plus the water I drink throughout the day. Gets you refreshed in the morning although the issue is I always pee at night which I need to figure out how to fix soon.  

I don't eat after 8:30pm. Someone mentioned the intermittent fasting from like 10pm-12pm. That works, but given you're probably too tired to workout at night anyways, I'd suggest getting up in the early morning. Therefore, push that period to something like 8:30pm-7:30am. I'll eat an apple before working out. Protein shake (gainz) AND a big meal (usually a plate of turkey, half an avocado, cup of rice, egg salad). I'll have that like twice a day. Get rid of egg salad, stick to half a cup of rice, and you should be good on the meals. Not sure how difficult it would be for you to meal prep but that would probably save years on your life as opposed to eating out. 

LASTLY, SLEEP! Sleep is arguably more important than even working out consistently. If you get 5 hours of sleep, you'll have a shit workout and day. Period. Push for 7-8.5 hours (7 on weekdays, 8/8.5 on weekends). I don't know how difficult this is yet, but whenever I get less than like 7 I feel like ass and my workouts are garbage. I'll still go workout, but I take into account its an off day and lower the intensity by a little in terms of %. Not going all out on my sets those days because that's asking for injury. 

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