FitView #1 | Drop those pink dumbbells...
26 February, 2019

FitView #1 | Drop those pink dumbbells...

...and pick up the barbell ” is what Serdar Tuncali said when asked for a fitness pro tip.

Taking the path to fitness may be the most trending choice people are making these days. However, there are only a few who genuinely want to help others through their own journey. I did happen to come across such a person on his inspirational journey to the lean and healthy body.

Meet Serdar - the fitness and diet geek, with university degrees in Pharmacy and Clinical Research Management. His number-based approach and years of experience in science, lead him to become the successful weight-loser. On the own example, he shows us the most efficient and scientific way to get in shape.

What was your trigger to start an intensive fitness journey full of hurdles, failures, recovery and finally sweet success? How did it all start?  

Since childhood, I was always the "skinny kid". Being overweight never seemed possible to me, so I never cared about my nutrition. After I moved to the US 10 years ago, changes in my lifestyle and the foods I ate caused me to gain a little weight. One day I hurt myself playing soccer, and when I went to the doctor, they asked me to step on the scale. I weighed 230 lbs which put me in the obese category. That was a shock and a wake-up call. I had to do something about it.

How do you set your fitness goals?

My initial goal was to get into a healthy weight. It was a modest goal and all I wanted was to be able to play soccer without hurting myself.  Now that I "cracked the code" so to speak, I set my goals in 3-month increments to reach my ultimate goal of a strong, muscular, and a lean body.  
My goal for the day is to eat 150g protein and 2,000 Calories and take 10,000 steps.
My goal for the week is to lift weights 3 times.
My goal for the month is to stick to my daily and weekly goals at least 90% of the time.
If you reverse engineered the process correctly, the weight loss will happen by reaching your little goals.

What would you advise our readers?

I would advise your readers to have a vision of an end goal and create bite-size goals to reach their end goal. Have a goal for the day, then for the week, then for the month, and so forth. Make sure your goals are actions that are in your control. Weight loss is a result, not an action.

Do you think we could apply the idea of splitting the big goal into a set of small ones to the calculator helping people to set and maintain their weight-loss goals?

I see people setting unrealistic goals such as losing 30 lbs in a month. When you actually break it down to weekly and daily goals, you quickly realize it is an unrealistic goal.
I think having a calculator that can break down your long term goals into short term targets would be very useful. It might help people to set more realistic goals.

Talking about goals, I would like to ask how they should evolve in time? Shall we move forward with equal pace or is there any verified dynamics to follow?

In terms of weight loss, it's been shown over and over again that the weight loss is not linear. I have experienced that myself. Some weeks you lose 2-3 lbs, some weeks you don't lose any. That's why I like looking at weight loss over the course of several weeks and take an average to assess how fast you are losing weight. Weight loss of 0.5-1% of total body weight is an ideal pace to lose weight.

What to change if you regularly fail to reach your goals?

If you are regularly failing to reach your goals, first you should see if your goals are realistic. If your goal was to work out 3 days a week, but you can only workout once or twice, you need to prioritize your life. You will reach your goals when you are ready. If you think you are doing everything you can, but still failing, seek help. Maybe we can troubleshoot and help you reach your goals.

And what to do once you reached your big goal - "is this the end my beautiful friend"?

Once you reach your big goal, you just set up another goal. Even if your goal is to maintain your physique for a year, that is a big and challenging enough goal. Maybe reaching your physique goals will free your mind to allow you to reach other life goals. We are never done.

What does the ideal body mean to you?

To me, the ideal body is the body that allows you to live a healthy and productive life. The ideal body is a body that doesn't get in the way of your life and you don't feel the need to hide it.
It is different for everyone. If you are a fitness model or a professional athlete, your ideal body is different than a mom who wants to be able to play with her children.

Is it possible to describe the ideal body in numbers? Is there any equation or metric that you consider most trustworthy?

Numbers to look at for ideal body would be your lean body mass, fat percentage, waist to hip ratio, shoulder to waist ratio, etc. There are always genetic factors that affect these numbers, but these are the measurements I would look at for ideal body goals.

Generally speaking, how important are the numbers in your diet/fitness routine? Which are worth to be monitored and how to tackle them? Can they be helpful or even misleading sometimes?

As long as you use the numbers as a guide, they are very helpful. If you go through your diet and exercise haphazardly without any reference numbers, you are leaving things to chance. I like to be more methodical about it. I track to total calories and specific macronutrients I eat. I track to weights I lift along with reps and sets for each exercise. I also track my weight, body fat percentage, and body measurements.
It is important to look at these numbers in context. If you only track your weight, you may not realize the changes in your body.

Let me give you an example of two people. Let's call them John and Steve.
John and Steve decide to get in shape. John starts tracking his macronutrients and starts a weightlifting program. Steve, on the other hand, decides to eat as little as humanly possible and he never has enough energy and motivation to workout. At the end of a month, John loses 8 pounds of fat and gains 5 pounds of lean tissue. Steve loses 5 pounds of fat and 5 pounds of lean tissue. If these people only track their weight John only lost 3 pounds and Steve lost 10 pounds. Steve seems like the winner! In reality, John is in much better shape, whereas Steve has a lower metabolism because of the lean tissue he lost. Besides, John will look much better than Steve.

Is there any of Omni Fitness Calculators that you like the most? Or would suggest using to our readers?

I like the BMR calculators on It helps you to calculate how many calories you burn so you can calculate how many calories you eat.

I like your Macro Split and I would like to enrich our Calorie Calculator with the additional formulas. Are those rules universal and scientifically proven to be right for everyone?

There's no universally accepted and scientifically proven macro split.
The most important macro is protein and it should be around 0.8-1g/lb or 1.6-2.2g/kg of body weight.
Once you know your calorie target and protein target, you can set your carbs and fat
according to your personal preference.
I would say the minimum amount of fat is 0.3g/lb or 0.66g/kg of body weight.
I would recommend the high-carb, low-fat diet for people who work out often at a high intensity. If you are sedentary or don't do well on carbs, you should follow a high fat and low carb diet.

What would be your final single golden tip for our readers to make their weight battles easier and more successful?

If I could give just one tip, I would say lift heavy weights. It makes the weight loss much easier and helps you transform your body instead of just turning into a smaller version of your old self.

Your golden tip is great for men. Do you think it is also worth practicing by the girls?

Lifting heavy weights is definitely beneficial for women as well. Most women are scared of getting big muscles and "looking like a man”. However, that is not true. Men and women have different hormones. It makes it almost impossible to get huge muscles for women. Lifting heavy weights will ensure women to have the toned, tight body once they lose the weight.
So, I would say drop the pink dumbbells, pick up a barbell and learn how to perform compound lifts with good form.

I hope you enjoy the interview with Serdar. That was a huge amount of practical and proven methods as well as knowledge  that may lead you into successful fit-transformation. It is a great start for Omni FitViews  - interviews with people who well know how to do fitness math in daily practice. We’ll come back to you soon, with another insight.

Read also What is FitViews?