So I’m beginning a cut. I’ve done a few successful “cuts” throughout the past few years, but this time is a bit different, as it is in preparation for my first bikini competition.
I decided in designing my cut I’d give some tips that anyone can utilize to shred unwanted fat. Keep in mind, in losing fat you might lose some muscle. There are ways to prevent this, which I will write a post on, later and link here.
Without further rambling, here are my 5 tips to get shreddy teddy.
1. Eat carbs around your workout
In a cutting phase, you will most likely be eating less food, or doing some cardio to burn off the extra calories and carbs to create a deficit.
However, without energy to complete workouts at 110%, it will be very difficult to shed fat, especially at the end of a cutting phase.
I eat a plant based diet, but during cutting I try and eat my complex carbs around one hour before my workout. This gives me the energy to go HAM in the gym. Thus, burning more calories, and burning more fat. I am able to do more, with more energy.
A good general tip is to eat most of your food around the most active part of your day, whenever that may be. This will help keep you full, energized, and functioning.
2. Keep your cardio separate from your lifting sessions
Keeping your cardio separate from your lifting sessions had mang benefits. First, you have more energy for your lifts, which means better form, more energy, and more time to focus on your lifts.
Second, when you do very long strenuous workouts, you risk catabolizing muscle tissue in the process.
If you can help it, keep your sessions at least 20 minutes apart, and do cardio after.
Eat a snack in between sessions if they are not too far a part, a protein shake or bar would help refeed your muscles.
Although not necessary, I would also recommend drinking a BCAA suplement to help with recovery after any lifting session and after cardio. This will help your muscles recover better, use your fat stores as energy, and minimalize muscle loss.
3. Stay Hydrated
The very, typical tip of them all. Water. We need it, but if you’re anything like me (addicted to caffeine), you need more than you think.
Also, when your body is not adequately hydrated, it stimulates a “fight or flight” type response and holds on to what water you do have in your body. In addition, your body is less able to let go of fat while dehydrated.
Not to mention, when you’re thirsty, you’re likely to mistake that thirst for hunger. Thus, possibly consuming more than you need to lose fat.
Being dehydrated also makes you feel sluggish, and tired. Not the best combination for completing any type of workout.
An average female needs 2.2 liters if H2O a day. That’s the average female, so if you’re an athlete or gym rat, expect to drink a bit more.
Drink a glass of cold H2O with lemon in the A.M. to wake up your digestive system, and sip on it throughout the day to allow your body time to absorb and utilize it.
4. Don’t cut calories or carbs too fast
This is my most important tip. I will say I am not a carb cutter. I just won’t go a day with 20 carbs, or even 50,75, that’s crazy to me and my body does not like it. I see people go from a full on bulk to cutting down to 1400 calories a day, carb cycling and fasted cardio… STOP!
Start cutting slow. This gives your metabolism a chance to do work, and gives you room to cut further as you start to lose fat.
Cutting to fast puts you at risk of plateuing, losing muscle mass, and burning out.
5. Keep a food journal|use a food tracking app
This to me is essential. Not just utilizing #myfitnesspal, but actually writing down what I eat and how it made me feel to make note of what is working and what is not.
Every body is different, it is important to listen to it. Our bodies do not like to be in a deficit of anykind or lose fat. Sometimes things need to be changed up to make a cut more manageable, but how will you know what to change if you aren’t tracking?
Tracking your macros, being able to be more precise on you numbers, and identifying foods that give you energy (and noticing those that don’t) will lead to a better outcome and a smoother cut. MyFitnessPal is so easy to use, and takes little to no time at all to log your meals.
In addition, please remember to get a good amount of sleep and have at least one rest dat a week to recuperate.
Happy shredding 🙃😘