T Nation

The Cutting Thread

Ahh spirng. The time of year when damn near everyone who lifts starts busting their ass to get those abs by summer. Which got me wondering what each t-person does when they have to shed bodyfat? What schemes do they use in regards to lifting, cardio, and diet. I’ve got my formula and my cutting phase began today at 12% bf and I hope to get it down to 8% within the next four months. So i ask the rest of T-Nation to share with me, and everyone else, what you do to shed the flab.

Hey, Jake, since you didn’t get much of a response, I’ll throw out a few of my tricks:

  • Calculate my protein & fat requirements based on weight and make sure I meet those numbers. Carbs I’m willing to manipulate and juggle.

  • Track what I’m eating in a food log. It’s the only way I’m able to get results. This entails weighing, measuring and counting, of course.

  • Making sure I eat on time. If I’m cutting and run late on a meal, I’m likely to lose it and start eating anything available.

  • Definitely carrying my food with me where I go or have a plan. I can fit a MacDonald’s chicken salad into my plan or a small chili from Wendy’s when I’m on the run. Deli meat (Boar’s Head) works great for me in a pinch.

  • Making sure I have some flavor and taste in my meals. I can’t tell you how boring oatmeal and chicken breasts get after awhile. For flavor I use spices, onions, green peppers, salsa. Waldens Farms Dressings are 0 calories, 0 fat, 0 carbs, 0 protein per serving (2 Tbsp.); great taste!

  • Dieitng tightly all week long, but allowing myself a “free” meal that I don’t have to count, weigh or measure on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Allows for family reunions, wedding receptions, dates, etc. I’ll have a glass of wine or a dessert if I’m so inclined.

  • Cooking ahead in bulk and measuring everything out so that I can grab a couple of Tupperware containers of food as I’m running out the door.

  • As a lifestyle, not as part of a short-term diet, I believe in eating green veggies, fruit and beans/legumes to meet my carb requirments. I will only eat starchier carbs PWO.

  • Definitely optimize PWO nutrition; i.e., Surge.

  • Also a lifestyle, long-term thing is that I eat less calories on days I don’t lift weights and more calories on days I do. The spread between the two is about 300 calories.

Okay. I shared a few of my tricks. What are yours? (grin)

My cutting routine?

I do what Tampa-Terry says!

(Oh, and I throw in a little more cardio.)

I am currently followinf a diet at my-lowcarbdiet.com.It is a 10 week diet, starting with 200 grams of carbs (low Glycemic Index) on training days, and around 100 grams of carbs on non training days. The carbs is beeing reduced every two weeks. At the end of the diet you eat zero carbs.

The diet also consist of p+c, and p+f meals. Carbs on only breaksfast and after training. The protein intake is around 220 grams for me on non training days, and around 280 on training days.

So far so good!

This is the year I’m going to get my cutting done right! In the past I’ve always gotten anxious and end up reducing calories too much or doing too much high intensity cardio. I end up getting lean, but also lose a lot of lbm in the process. I like that you’ve given yourself 4 months to reach your goal. Now just mark out your weekly goals, measure your progress, and adjust accordingly.

Tampa-Terry, great suggestions!

WJust curious…what is everyones opinion on Hoodia. is it all that it is cracked up to be?

Right now i am in week 3 off of the V-Diet and i am using a low carb, carb cycling diet similar to the one CT used in his “The mutation series”. i eat 6 times a day on training days and 5 times on non-training days. i have protein with every meal (obviously) and have my P&C meals in the morning and close out the day (meals 3-6) with P&F. i am using CW’s “Lift Fast, Get Big” program with a slight modification to add some olympic lifts and i am reducing sets in days 2 and 3. Supplements are as follows: HOT-ROX, M, flax oil, Grow!. i feel awesome and plan to continue cutting into the summer. oh yeah, and i run every non-training day in the morning before eating. so far, so good.

jerryiii reminded me of another of my “tricks.”

The closer you get to your goal of a low BF%, the more precise you have to become with your diet. At higher BF percentages, 2 pounds of weight loss per week is a good number. The lower your BF% drops, that number should go to 1.5 pounds a week and then 1 pound a week, till eventually you’re only losing a half pound a week.

It goes without saying that you should be doing everything possible to preserve LBM while dieting. That means optimizing PWO nutrition, getting enough protein, frequent meals, resistence training, etc.

Getting to a low BF% requires precision and discipline – even more than it requires deprivation.

Jake, I’ll be interested to see if anyone has tried hoodia. For those who aren’t familiar with it, it’s an herb that’s supposed to help with hunger/appetite.