Are You Struggling To Cut?
Cutting down, particularly into the single digit body fat range is never easy.
Having to deal with a decrease in energy, lowering your calories and adding in cardio to your regime is often too much for many gym-goers, they abandon hope of attaining the physique of their dreams and give up.
As much as the supplement and fitness industry would like you to believe - there's no secret pill, potion or workout regime to get you ripped to shreds in a couple of weeks.
The secret to getting ripped to shreds (that anyone can do!) is the daily exercising of your discipline.
Anyone can eat a heap of food and lift heavy weights to build muscle and superhuman strength - not being dismissive of powerlifting however getting shredded is a completely different beast.
After going through many, many cutting phases I've found 4 things that make cutting that much easier, if you're struggling to stay on course with your fat loss I highly recommend you implement my 4 tips below.
Here Are My Top 4 Tips To Make Your Cutting Phase Easier!
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.
Perform Cardio To Allow Yourself To Eat More Calories
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.
Slowly Decrease Your Caloric Intake As Necessary... Not Beforehand
Crash dieting - eating a very minimal amount of calories for a short period of immense weight loss.
TV shows such as The Biggest Loser utilize crash dieting techniques to get their contestants as light as possible in as short of a timeframe as possible.
Not only will this cause damage to your metabolism (which takes a substantial amount of time to reverse) but you'll also find that there's no longevity.
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.
Up Your Water & Fiber Intake
You're most likely to sabotage your cutting diet when you're hungry - if you've been grocery shopping before when you're hungry you'll know exactly how destructive this can be.
Getting a relatively full, satisfied feeling will stop the thought of binge eating and going over your caloric intake.
How do you get this feeling without devouring a load of calories?
Increase your water intake - aim for between one and two gallons per day.
Increase your intake of foods high in fiber such as green vegetables and fruits such as the apple, foods high in fiber have been proven to increase satiety.
Foods high in fiber when combined with an intermittent fasting diet have vanquished my cravings for cheat meals.