After the holiday season has passed, most of us are left with a few extra pounds, or a little bloat. There is a fair amount of comfort eating and being less then 100% consistent with workouts and diet. Throw some seasonal colds in there and you have a less than stellar record. That's okay. Balance is a see-saw, not a tightrope. Hell, I'm a little puffy, too
Am I upset at how I look? NO! The past year of serious training in the gym and on the mat has afforded me the luxury of looking pretty good, even if things weren't on point the whole time. But I do want to shed some of this winter fluff so this summer I can concentrate more on my conditioning and jiu jitsu training without feeling like a winded sack of partially-dissolved french fries.
So, how am I going to do that? More importantly, how are you going to do that?
This is a document series of my summer cut. A cut is when you lose bodyfat, while retaining as much muscle as possible. The point isn't just to get "skinny," it is to become more defined and less bogged down with the extra layer. For more on bulking and cutting, CLICK HERE.
You can follow along and tailor this process to suit your own needs.
Slashing calories in May, in a desperate attempt to be swimsuit ready by June, is a one way ticket to failure and major rebound binge-ing. I don't like slashing calories as much as I like playing with my macros and eating whole, simple foods. The farther out you start, the better, to ensure you are where you want to be. This is why I start long before summertime.
I recommend before photos, with weight and bodyfat percentage (approximate is fine, but be honest if you use a caliper.) These never need to see the light of day if you don't want them to, but they are excellent for reference and marking your progress.
Week one : Get a grip.
This week should be dedicated to finding out where you are at and what you're eating. If I had a dollar for everyone who said, "I'm really not eating much...." but doesn't realize they are having a few drinks a night, or hitting the office candy bowl every time they walk by it, or perhaps haven't adjusted their intake to match their lax workout schedule... I'd be able to buy myself a power rack and a set of barbells and fancy plates.
I am going to measure my food, count my calories and track my macros this week. That means, I am logging into myfitnesspal again to see what I am really eating. Everything. Did I eat a few chips off of my kid's unfinished lunch plate? That is going on the log. Did I have a glass of wine? How many ounces? (we all know it wasn't a 4oz pour) That is going on the log. How much chicken did I put on my plate? Did I eat the whole Chipotle burrito? (The answer is always "yes.") Did I sneak an "inconsequential" 3 M&Ms out of my kids Valentine jar every time I walked through the dining room? Well, how many times did I walk through the dining room? It is getting logged.
Some people may balk at this level of fanaticism, but it is the absolute best way to find out how much you are consuming and get a baseline. You will find your weak points. You will be surprised at how many calories certain foods have. You will see how your diet breaks down in terms of protein, carbohydrates and fat. All will be laid bare.
This will only work if you are honest and eat exactly like you normally would. If you cheat, or eat less because you are being tracked, you only hurt yourself. No one is watching and one more week won't break you. Promise. If you keep it 100, you will know how many calories are contributing to how much extra weight you are carrying. And you will know exactly where they are coming from. You will be in a much smarter position when we work our new plan next week.
Maybe you wanted a secret? Or a starter "cleanse" of some sort? You won't get that from me. The way I cut down and maintain my shape isn't a quick fix, it is a lifestyle, rooted in reality. And reality isn't ripped year-round. But it can still maintain great shape.
So, get started. Write it down and think about your habits with me. We will sort it all out next week!