Right, almost one week down on the mini-cut – i.e a calorie restrictive diet to burn fat whilst having a long term goal to pack on extra lean mass. Honestly, and a little surprisingly, it’s been without drama. If anything, I’ve enjoyed eating less and demanding less from my digestive system. Also, with eating less, my belly is less full all the time and the odd emptiness looks and feels good.
Here’s What I Am Doing:
- My TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) is approx 3,200 calories. When on a slow bulk, I eat 3,500 calories. For this mini-cut, I am dropping to 2,700 calories – 800 calories less than I am used to, and 16% under my TDEE.
- I am eating EXACTLY THE SAME foods as per my normal tasty diet, but just needing to dial down the volume and calories. Check out the AdapNation Food Diary to see what these meals are.
- Intermittent Fasting – For me, I find the easiest way to reduce my calories, control my cravings and maximise my mood is to Intermittent Fast (IF) most of the days whilst on a calories restricted diet. Different ways to play it, but the way I do it is to have my last meal at about 7pm, skip breakfast completely and have my first meal be a late light lunch at about 1-2pm. Otherwise known as an 18h Fast, with a 6h feeding window.
- Big Dinners – Intermittent Fast as above allows me to have a big normal dinner, as this meal is the one I value most and I like to feel at night. Even allows 200-300 calories for some dark chocolate and almond butter – so yum!
- Eating Out – Had a Lunch and Dinner out last week, but was able to keep within my daily restricted calorie budget by using the approach outlines in the Dieting & Eating Out article.
- My Strength Training Programme is EXACTLY THE SAME as I would when bulking – see the AdapNation YouTube Channel for Mar-18’s Training Block. This is so important. I will not be able to gain muscle when in a calorie deficit, I will in actual fact lose muscle as well as fat. So, training hard forces my body to cling on to as much muscle as possible.
- I consuming as much water as possible, in addition to low calorie liquids such as protein shakes, green drink, bone broth and tea/coffee. This keeps my hydrated, helps with washing out the waset and helps with hunger.
To learn about calculating TDEE, setting calorie targets and getting an idea on macros and food choices, check out Want to Lose Body Fat for Good? [Part 2 of 3].
To get some ultra practical Top Tips on how to best manage weight loss, including Intermittent Fasting, check out Want to Lose Body Fat for Good? [Part 3 of 3].
- Weight – I started at 191.6lbs. My weight deviates as per normal, but clocked in at 189lbs on my lowest day. I can live with the for week one.
- Strength – It’s a known fact that when you are in a calorie deficit, you performance in the gym will suffer. You need lots of carbs and more calories to fuel strength gains. However, as it’s the first week transition, I was able to get a couple of incremental PR’s in my lifts – a little extra weight or a few more reps. This won’t continue.
- Energy Levels – Been alright, but a little lower than I’d like. In part due to the calorie restriction, but also due to the hard work and insufficient down time and high quality sleep. Rest is my nemesis, but at least I can check myself when I causing myself harm.
- Body Shape – Nothing much to report, but think I look a little more muscular due to a slight body fat drop. Minimal to be honest, and perhaps just in my head. If I am honest with myself, looking at the pre-cut pics above I am looking a bit too bulky around the waist and is given the look of being top heavy in comparison to my legs. Leaning out should help with this, but need to dial up my leg volume I think.
What Coming Up?
- 3 weeks to Australia! Woo Hoo! As big a motivation as any to be as lean as possible. So much of the same in terms of diet and training
- Will attempt to keep up the Progressive Overload (more reps, sets or weight than last week), but that may be a challenge with less glycogen in my muscles
- Mothers Day fun (+ Roast), and two nights of having friends over for dinner. Will need to use one of the approaches laid out in the Dieting & Eating Out Article.
- Rest & Downtime – I HAVE TO make more effort on shutting down the laptop earlier in the evening, getting some proper downtime where I am not thinking, and going to bed without work on my mind.
I’ll let you know how I get on… 🙂
Follow Steve’s Body Progress Journal as it unfolds. Comment if you have questions, ideas or motivation to offer, and please keep me honest to the above.