After brushing your teeth you won’t have any immediate desire to eat which is a great way to tie you over between meals or wrap up the day (as drinking coffee or a green tea immediately before bed isn’t going to do you any favors when you’re trying to fall asleep).
Out and about and can’t brush your teeth? Carry a pack of spearmint gum around with you.
Not only does chewing gum give the same effect of surpressing your appetite and eliminating the desire for junk food that brushing your teeth does, chewing gum also gives your body the illusion of eating food – through a combination of coffee/green tea and chewing gum as necessary I’m able to eliminate essentially all cravings when I’m out and about.
3 - Drink Green Tea & Coffee
When on a cutting diet I drink black coffee several times a day, this assists with not only boosting my energy levels and focus while I’m low calorie it also eliminates any desire for junk or calorie rich foods.
Green tea essentially has the same effect, however green tea is extremely low in caffeine, so if you’re after the energy boost and mental focus that go along with an appetite supressing beverage (and have a high caffeine tolerance like myself!) you’ll probably opt for the black coffee over the green tea.
It’s also worth noting that both coffee and green tea have been proven to assist burning fat.
4 - Slowly Decrease Your Caloric Intake (Not All At Once!)
Decreasing your calories to a ridiculous number from day 1 is not sustainable.
Your body is smarter than you think – as you’re essentially in starvation mode your body will quickly begin to slow down your metabolism as a means of survival, leaving you with a slow metabolism and no weight loss – reversing your metabolism by slowly introducing additional calories again is a timely process.
The trick is to only reduce your caloric intake as little as required.
Remeasure your caloric intake goal using a calorie calculate once a week or once per fortnight based on your new scale weight and the speed of your results.
Great, now it’s time to lower your calories – not beforehand.
Not only will making regular, small adjustments to your caloric intake assist you lose fat in a healthier, more consistent way but you’ll also find yourself able to enjoy more calories, not suffering from the hangry side effects of a ridiculously low calorie crash diet that’ll test the discipline of even the strongest willed athletes.
5 - Perform Cardio To Allow Yourself To Eat More Calories & Remain Sane
There’s a big misconception that to burn fat you have to perform cardio.
Cardio is merely a tool used to burn MORE calories.
Excess calories you’ve eaten can be offset with cardio.
For example, when you’re in the final stage of your cutting phase on a relatively restrictive caloric intake, say 2,200 calories instead of only eating those calories and struggling through the rest of the day you can eat additional calories to maintain your sanity, upping to 2,700 calories for example.
“But SJ, I’m 500 calories over my daily intake! I’ll never lose fat this way!”
By performing 500 calories of cardio (a decent high intensity interval sprint session will do nicely) you’ll counterbalance these additional calories.
Some people like to perform no cardio at all and just restrict their calories, however I find myself getting burnt out when doing so, if you’re in the same boat I highly recommend upping your calories a bit and burning them off with cardio.
6 - Follow An Intermittent Fasting Diet
Fasting through the morning has been the #1 way I’ve been able to ensure I don’t exceed my caloric goal when I’m following my cutting diet.
When cutting I’m generally aiming for around 2,800 calories per day.
If, like previously I had a big breakfast I’d be down to 1,400 by mid-day.
With only 1,400 calories to tie me over between mid day and when I’d go to bed at around 11pm at night I’d often find myself giving in, I ate the bulk of my calories too early and couldn’t resist fasting through the rest of the day when I was hungry.
By fasting ’till mid-day this gives me a full 2,800 calories to work with for the afternoon and evening, this way I’m able to ensure I’m only hitting my goal and not exceeding it daily.
If you’re used to eating breakfast every morning you’ll find it takes a bit of time to adjust – the first few months I was able to fast until 9am, 10am, 11am and finally 12.
7 - Remember, Caloric Intake Is Everything
When you understand caloric intake manipulation (surplus and deficit) you’ll find getting shredded effortless, there’ll no longer be any guesswork whatsoever.
Getting shredded comes down to manipulating your caloric intake to ensure your body is in a deficit (consuming fewer calories than it needs to maintain it’s current condition on a 24 hour basis).
Fat burner supplements, cardio workouts, low carbohydrate meals… these are all tools in your arsenal to place your body into that caloric deficit.
Supplements aren’t necessary for fat loss, cardio isn’t necessary for fat loss…
The only thing necessary for fat loss is a caloric deficit and there are a number of ways to induce this.
8 - Prepare Your Meals In Advance
Failing to prepare your meals when cutting is a recipe for disaster.
Skipping meals leads to either binging later or substituting poor foods in place of your regular meals, not to mention getting (decent) food on the go is expensive.
Choose a day during the week and prepare 80% of your meals for the week so they’re good to go as soon as you need them.
Here’s an example of my last meal prep:
Measured 5x 1 cup of oats, handful of almonds & assorted seeds + cinnamon seasoning into zip lock containers.
Prepared 5x chicken breasts with baby spinach & basmati rice.
Prepared 5x serves of extra lean beef mince with sweet potato & broccoli.
Preparing my breakfast, lunch and dinner for Monday through Friday took me all of 1 hour, the remainder of the meals I eat throughout the day are quick and convenient requiring essentially no preparation (e.g. almonds, protein bar, greek yogurt).
I will hit my exact macronutrients this week because I prepared in advance. All it takes is an hour. Don’t try and get your meals in on the fly besides it never turns out how you envisioned (or intended!), I know because I’ve been there.