T Nation

Cutting Advice


#1

How can I cut faster/better without having to count calories, and preferably while making some strength gains too. Other tips would be appreciated too.


#2

Why is counting calories not warranted? IMO if you want something you do what it takes, and it seems to me you arent willing to - Count calories, if you arent losing weight increase workload, or reduce calories from carbs/fat. Simples (in theory).[quote]

I add milk to to my protein powder (tastes too bad with water, imo)[/quote]

Dropping fat isn’t as much about tantalizing your gastric delight, it is about function - eating for function, in fact bodybuilding is all about eating for function/nutrition rather than taste IMO, although that doesnt mean there are not low fat ways to spice up a lean meat portion with veggies.
NB. Use water and use whey isolate, not concentrate.[quote]

I’m getting so sick of chicken with vegetables that I seem to be eating a lot less[/quote]

And is eating less counter productive to your goals? It can be actually, although i suspect with you it isnt. But if the amount you are eating is a massive drop from your required intake - you will stimulate the body to store fat when you do eat… but with regular protein shakes and a few handfuls of nuts or a small portion of oats post WO or after morning cardio, this should be a non-issue.[quote]

but they (cardio workouts) would have to come at the expense of lifting[/quote]

Early morning cardio is a good tool - not just because of the fasted condition (except 10g of BCAA and black coffee), but because it opens up your day earlier making room for MORE exercise. Cardio isnt the best fat loss exercise but it does burn calories, making it possible to eat a little more when highly restricted - its a psychological thing. It is more than possible to get to 10% with no added cardio.[quote]

I’m about a week into a cutting cycle, and I could use some advice. I should mention upfront that I’m trying to drop from 16% body fat to 10% body fat.[/quote]

  1. You are asking for advice after a week? That suggests to me that you expect some kind of noticeable difference after this time and now you have been as strict as you want to be, you are feeling stuck.
    1 week is shit. Sorry man.
    That said, if your carbs are much lower than they used to be, you should have noticed a drop in weight from a little fat loss but mostly water from the reduced glycogen storage.

  2. To drop 6% bodyfat - which on a 200lb man is around 12lbs of pure fat, that is a few weeks of dieting, highly depending on your bodies metabolic profile (endo/meso/ecto-morphic) and thus its tendancy to hold onto fat or muscle.

All in all i see that you want quick results and want to do as little as possible to get them.
I take the same line with any clients who came to me wanting the hottest body with the least effort - i am not saying you are of that level, but you are not giving 100%.

For me the small things add up, the extra cardio, the low GI carbs with plenty of proitein, the restriction on calories from fat and carb sources - depending on your diet.

It took me about 2-3 weeks to drop from around 15% to 10% recently, but i am naturally slim and had not been training/eating well prior to the drop anyway, so when i started it came partially naturally. I am ‘lucky’ in this regard, although it makes building muscle harder.

As for your training, other than the fact you may not be giving your muscles enough recovery time (dependant on the design of the split), it shouldnt be a problem as long as you are training for muscle and training hard as you can.
I might suggest a 4-5 day split with cardio on the off days, this will vary the work intensity levels throughout the week and do wonders for muscle recovery - it is possible to lift too much.

And the cycle is fine, there is nothing wrong with cutting on test E and Nandrolone, in fact i find it a good cycle to drop fat on as it is so effective at protein synthesis - therefore retention.
Make sure you use letrozole (IME it is more effective than adex for the following) as it will reduce the water retained from the cycle massively, and allow you to have a leaner bulk cycle - not that anyone with an appreciable amount of muscle looks bad at 10%BF, water or not. In fact, it is a look i prefer and wouldnt wish to be below 8% for everyday life, as some are.

Just my 2 pence, but trust me, the small things count.


#3

Brook said it pretty accurately. You have to sacrafice what you consume for the sake of being in shape. It is difficult at first counting macros but after a few weeks of doing it, you tend to figure out the amounts of everything and you can guage it. I Still log every one of my meals on a computer program so I don’t have to keep labels to record everything.

Milk has sugar. I’m with you on it tasting so much better than water but, so would ice cream. You have to decide how dedicated you want to be and set your goals.


#4

eating for performance over taste takes a bit of getting used to but i find if you enforce it for awhile it come a bit more “natural” for want of a better word

i wouldnt dream of eating some of the things now that i used to eat daily

i obviously dont sacrifice everything but ive erradicated most of the complete garbage from my diet in favour of better alternatives

still dont eat perfectly but a damn bit better than i used to

the funny thing about it is your taste changes after a while and your old favourites dont have the same appeal anymore


#5

You’re right. I never liked green beans, broccoli, or many other veggies but, after forcing myself to eat healthier than before, I eat raw green beans and broccoli as a snack.
It just takes time and a bit of dedication. Before you know it, it’ll be second nature.


#6

You’re right. I never liked green beans, broccoli, or many other veggies but, after forcing myself to eat healthier than before, I eat raw green beans and broccoli as a snack.
It just takes time and a bit of dedication. Before you know it, it’ll be second nature.


#7

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#8

Tell me about it - chicken and tuna for so many years has me sick of the shit.

Turkey is my main white meat, and i love minced turkey breast in low fat bolognaise with wholewheat pasta.

And i agree totally with the points that you can FORCE your tastebuds to change, to a degree.

I hated oats and bananas, but can eat both regularly now, due to the macro and micro-nutrient contents.

Asparagus is my favourite green veggie. :slight_smile:


#9

[quote] Brook wrote:
Why is counting calories not warranted? IMO if you want something you do what it takes, and it seems to me you arent willing to - Count calories, if you arent losing weight increase workload, or reduce calories from carbs/fat. Simples (in theory).
[/quote]

I just wanted to make the simpler changes to my routine first. If I don’t get good enough results, I’ll start keeping a log of everything I eat. Currently, I just keep a log of the calories I eat in my head, which is good enough for me now.

Ok, I’ve switched to mixing water with my protein powder rather than milk. Now that I’ve been doing this for a few days, I can see that milk has too many calories.

Unfortunately now that it’s been at it a little longer, I’m starting to get used to chicken & veges rather than getting sick of them. So I need to keep myself from eating too much. Ok, may be it’s time to count calories more seriously…

No, I had no such expectations. I’ve been lifting for 15 years now, so I understand the rate at which these kind of changes occur. But I’m new to dieting/cutting, so I wanted to make sure I wasn’t overlooking any good techniques. All the literature about carb cycling and albuterol made me wonder if I was overlooking important techniques.

My weight has gone up a couple of lbs, because of the test/deca. I haven’t gotten too good at taking skin fold measurements yet, so I can’t be sure I’m losing fat. My abs measurement has dropped by 5 to 10 mm, but my thigh measurement has stayed the same. And the abs measurement seems to vary a lot if I use a slightly different location.

Well, most of my time and effort go to family and career. I can give about 20% of my time/effort to fitness, so I try to make the most of it.

That’s impressive. How many calories were you eating each day when you did this?

I’ve been at 16% (and above) for awhile, and I’ve always maintained a relatively good diet, so I think loosing fat is going to be difficult for me. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks for all the advice.


#10

[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:
Make sure you marinade your chicken. It’s the ONLY way I can eat the stuff. [/quote]

Yeah, good idea. I’ll have to start doing this.


#11

postal88:
I just wanted to make the simpler changes to my routine first. If I don’t get good enough results, I’ll start keeping a log of everything I eat. Currently, I just keep a log of the calories I eat in my head, which is good enough for me now.

Hey Postal,
With dieting or cutting, some people plan all their meals,write everything down and some people successfully “wing it” with some general guidelines in mind. Kinda depends how serious one is about it. For sure it is best to measure everything you consume and track it so it is easier to make changes. Fitday is a free service online.
http://www.fitday.com/
However, if realistically that is not going to happen you should try something like the Anabolic diet, basically a keto diet with a carb load/cheat weekend (though I would recommend only 1 day or 1/2 day and not the original 2 days of free eating). Tons of information on the Anabolic diet to be found with the search engine.