Would like advice on my cutting
- 04-23-2011, 12:48 PM
Would like advice on my cutting
I have been cutting for the past 45 days. I started at 28% BF and 185. I'm now 21% BF and 168. I need help because I haven't dropped BF in about a week and a half. I am less concerned about the scale and more on my BF. I am 5'8 and 35. Here is what I did on Thursday, which is a typical day.
GNC Pro Performance Amp--280calories, 1 fat, 250 sodium, 7 carbs, 1 fiber,
60 protein, 2 sugars
Lunch: 2 chicken breasts, 1 grapefruit, 1 romaine salad with 2% fat chz and
fat free italian
Dinner: Egg Beaters with fat free chz, slice tomato, 1/4 green pepper,
Snack: 1 baby bell chz--64 calories, 4.8 fat, 136 sodium, 0 carbs, 0 fiber,
4 protein, 0 sugar
Totals: 895 calories, 13 fat, 2000 sodium, 39 carbs, 5 fiber, 148 protein, 9
This week I did add fruit back into the mix for the first time. This caused my carbs to go from around 20g to 40g. I also started with a cycle of clen (which greatly increased my appetite). I know clen is for 2 weeks, but I am too hungry on it. Today, I switched to ECA--I hope it helps.
Cardio--P90X Kempo--burned 700 calories
Weights--burned about 400 calories.
I am shocked that I didn't lose anything with this program for the past 10 days. The only thing different is the clen, oh and burning 1000 calories per workout is new (a week ago I was only doing 600 per). Any suggestions? I am being told I should cut back to 700 calories of food, only 1 gallon of water, under 100g's of protein, 20g's of carbs, and work out less (that one made me laugh). Thoughts?
- 04-23-2011, 02:05 PM
As far as plateauing, if you only started training 45 days ago, then you would have made rapid progress being a newbie. If not a beginner when you started 45 days ago, then you could have still made rapid progress with following a new training programme, but more importantly, by dieting - which most people end up doing, dieting.
If you plateau, then you need to look at changing things up - the most important being your NUTRITION, since looking at what you have listed, this is WHY you are no longer making progress!
Look at nutrition - you have been dieting ridiculously low calorie (895 calories is VERY low re calories for fat loss - see my notes on calories further below - and I would never go so low and I am only 5'1.7" at 115 pounds!) and it's most likely that your body has stalled, thinking that you are "starving" it (which you essentially a re); low carbohydrates is not great over a long period of time, and your body may need more (despite what people will tell you, one can very effectively and successfully lose bodyfat whilst eating carbohydrates); look at calorie and carbohydrate cycling (the best nutritional method re fat loss, IMO); etc.
Look at training - your training programme should be changed (no matter how slightly) every 4-8 weeks (period before change depends on the individual), and you might want to consider changing your resistance training and cardio, etc. Supplements if you are a beginner (if applicable) are not what you should be focusing on.
Also, don't focus on how many calories you burn during your training - it is kind of irrelevant, and as long as you know what your MAINTENANCE calories are, then you can adjust and manipulate your nutrition from that.
Whoever told you to cut back to 700 calories a day is an idiot - you're NOT eating ENOUGH as it is and you'll only end up losing precious muscle mass doing that, not to mention likely to go into starvation mode and then you won't be making any progress. I would never recommend going so low, even for a FEMALE, and for a male, no less than ~1,500 calories at a MINIMUM (and even then, not likely to ever be so low). Find out what your CURRENT MAINTENANCE calories are (there are many equations and calculations you can use for this - the best should take into account age, sex, height, body mass, and activity level; you can find one such Energy Expenditure Calculation here - but remember that they are only estimations and guidelines, so I recommend adjusting your nutrition and/or training weekly based on your results that week) and then have slightly less than that - or, as I said, CYCLE your calories by having 2-3 days lower than Maintenance and then 1-2 days either at or above Maintenance.
One galleon of water a day is fine - you should be having this at a minimum anyways, IMO.
As for the carbohydrate recommendation, I don't agree with low carbohydrate (or low calorie) diets, and anything less than 50-100 grams of carbohydrates daily is completely UNnecessary, IMO - even 50 grams is low, and I would not recommend maintaining that for too long.
Training less I can agree with, since more training is NOT always better. You might not be giving your body enough recovery time, and if you haven't been consuming enough calories, then cutting back training time will help.
Re supplements, as I said earlier, if you're new to training (those 45 days ago), then you should stick to the basics and change your nutrition and/or training - nutrition is the usually the key though, so make sure you are actually doing it right and not doing yourself more harm than good. If you're not a beginner, I'd be surprised if you weren't making progress with either Clen or ECA - if you're not making progress, then your NUTRITION and/or training needs serious looking at!
I recommend reviewing The 3 Keys to Fat Loss for more comprehensive advice and information on nutrition, supplementation (only the basics required), and training for effective and successful fat loss, and apply those principles to yourself if you have and are not already.
04-23-2011, 02:16 PM
Gaining Lean Body Mass and Losing Fat
By Gregory Alexander Smith
Section 1: Basal Metabolic Rate
In this section you will learn what BMR is and the steps taken to calculate your BMR. The first step in setting up any diet plan is to figure out your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). Your BMR is the amount of calories expended by the body at rest each day. Your body requires calories for respiration, to keep your heart beating, and to maintain body temperature. Several different things can affect your BMR such as exercise, age, weight, height, gender, and environmental temperatures all of these need to be taken into consideration when figuring out your BMR for instance people living in very hot and cold environments have a BMR that 5-20% higher than people who live in more temperate climates.
In order to figure out your BMR you will need to spend the night at a hospital and be tested after 8 hours of sleep in a dark room while sitting still and not moving this is the only true way to accurately get your BMR but there is also a formula that you can use to get an estimate of what your BMR is, you will need to know your current height and weight, I suggest weighing yourself as soon as you wake up because food and water consumption will add extra weight to the scale. Once you have figured out your current weight and height you will need to use a simple formula that I firmly believe in and have always used to figure out my BMR and my daily caloric needs.
English BMR Formula
BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) - ( 4.7 x age in years )
BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) - ( 6.8 x age in year )
Metric BMR Formula
BMR = 655 + ( 9.6 x weight in kilos ) + ( 1.8 x height in cm ) - ( 4.7 x age in years )
BMR = 66 + ( 13.7 x weight in kilos ) + ( 5 x height in cm ) - ( 6.8 x age in years )
I have a friend named Ben who is 5ft 6 inches tall and weighs 180lbs and he is 21 years of age by using the English BMR formula for males his BMR would be 1883.2 calories each day to maintain his current body weight by doing absolutely nothing. It is very important to know your BMR prior to setting up any diet plan because if you do not eat above your BMR it is extremely unhealthy and dangerous, loss of muscle, your body will not have enough energy to burn fat, you will be unable to build muscle, and you will be starving your body of much needed nutrients. In this section I have explained what BMR is, how to calculate your BMR and the importance of figuring out your BMR prior to starting any diet plan. In the next part of this section I will explain how to take your BMR and calculate your daily caloric needs
Section 2: Daily Caloric Needs
So you now have figured out your BMR and we are ready to move on to the next step in setting up a successful diet plan, we need to figure out how many calories your body burns per day to maintain your current body weight while conducting day to day activities and exercise. The easiest way to estimate how many calories your body burns a day is by using a formula known as the Harris Benedict Formula, but remember this is only an estimate you may need to raise or lower your calories based on you goal but I will cover that later on in this section.
Harris Benedict Formula:
1. If you are not active (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2
2. If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375
3. If you are moderate activity (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55
4. If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725
5. If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9
Remember Ben lets go ahead and use him for this example as well, his BMR was 1883.2 calories per day. Letís say he exercises 6-7 days a week, he would take his BMR (1883.2) x 1.725 = 3248.52 calories per day to maintain his current body weight of 180lbs but remember this is just an estimate you will have to watch the scale closely and constantly keep a log of your weight to see if any adjustments need to be made. So far in this section you have learned how to calculate your BMR, how to calculate your BMR, the importance of calculating your BMR, and figuring out your daily caloric needs based on your activity level now we will move on the next part of this section and I will teach you how to properly fuel your body throughout the day and how to properly breakdown your calories.
Section 3: Macro Nutrient Breakdown
So not only have you figured out your BMR but you have also estimated how many calories you burn per day to maintain your current body weight, now I will teach you how to properly breakdown your calories into three different categories: proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids (fats). Your body will be the deciding factor on how many grams of each work best for you and how your body reacts to different breakdowns, you will need to constantly log your weight and adjust as needed I will teach you different methods of adjusting your caloric breakdown later on in this section. First we need to figure out how many calories will come from protein, carbohydrates, and fats. I suggest starting with a 40/40/20 breakdown or 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates, and 20% from fats if your body type is a mesomorph, however ectomorphs may require more carbohydrates and endomorphís may require something like a 40/30/30 breakdown.
Now to figure out how many grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fats you will eat per day you will need to know that for every 1 gram of protein and carbohydrates it equals 4 calories and for every 1 gram of fats it equals 9 calories so to calculate how many grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fats you will consume you need to take your daily caloric intake and multiply it by .40 for protein, .40 for carbohydrates and .20 for fats. So once again I will use my buddy Ben, his daily caloric intake was 3248.52 so he would take 3248 x .40 = 1299.2 this is how many calories he will consume per day that will come from protein now he will take 1299.2 divided by 4 and that would equal 324.8 and this is how many grams of protein he will need to ear per day also since he is using a 40/40/20 breakdown his carbohydrates will be the same as his protein so he will be consuming 324.8 grams of protein and 324.8 grams of carbohydrates. Now he must figure out how many grams of fat he will need to consume per day so he will do the same thing but this time take his daily caloric intake multiplied by .20 and that will equal 649.6 now he will divide that by 9 and it will equal 72.17 grams of fat per day. So Ben will consume 324.8 grams of protein, 324.8 grams of carbohydrates, and 72.17 grams of fat per day, this sounds like a lot but the key is to split up your meals into 5-6 meals throughout the day feeding your body every 2-3 hours this is a must your muscles need the nutrients and when you donít feed yourself your muscles will go into a catabolic state and begin eating away at muscle proteins.
Section 4: Bulking/Cutting Phaseís
So far you have learned how to calculate your BMR and how to calculate your daily caloric expenditure based on your activity level, now in this section I am going to discuss what you need to do in order to gain weight or lose weight at a healthy rate. First I will discuss how to gain lean muscle mass with little fat gain. The basic rule is to eat 500 calories above your maintenance caloric intake, however you may require more but this is a good starting point, like I discussed earlier in this chapter you will need to consistently check your weight each week to see if you have made any progress in this case if you are not gaining at least 1lb a week increase your calories by 100 to 200 more calories this is also called a bulk phase, you also want to make sure you are doing some type of cardio 3-4 times per week to keep your bodyís cardiovascular system in shape but remember the more calories you burn per day the more calories your body will require to gain weight, I normally stick to walking at an incline during a bulk phase except after a leg day and its less catabolic on your muscles and it will keep your cardiovascular system in shape. During this phase you may experience some fat gain, I will use myself as an example when I start a bulk phase I am usually around 9-10% body fat when I end a bulk phase depending on how long I bulk for I will be around 15-16% body fat this is perfectly normal some of the excess calories will end up getting stored as fat but itís not a big deal and nothing to freak out about like most people do that is why you have a cut phase and that is what I will discuss next in this section.
So you have learned how to gain weight or what most people will call a bulking phase now I am going to discuss how to lose weight its basically the same thing except in this case you will eat 500 below your caloric maintenance you donít want to lose more than 1lb a week because if youíre losing more than that there is a good chance you are losing muscle mass that you have worked hard to gain, now donít get me wrong you may lose some muscle mass during a cut phase but you want it to be minimal and that is why you need to constantly watch the scale and keep your weightless at a consistent healthy 1lb per week by adjusting your caloric deficit.
During a cut phase there are several tools you can use I am going to give you a couple different ones that have worked well for me. Cardiovascular training is a great tool for increasing your daily caloric expenditure also it will help you burn excess carbohydrates and dip into your fat stores, You will need to find out how many days of cardio you need you may only need 3 days of cardio while other may need 5 days of cardio. I usually do cardio 6-8 hours apart from my resistance training sessions if your schedule does not allow you to do that doing cardio after your resistance training sessions is ok to. Another tool you can use during a cut phase is adjusting your macronutrient breakdown by lowering your daily intake of carbohydrates and raising your percentage of fats but keep your protein high around 40% I would not go any lower than that. One more tool you can use and that I have found very effective is cutting off carbohydrate later in the day, for example if you eat 6 meals a day you first 3 meals will contain protein and carbohydrates and your last 3 meals will contain proteins and fats. You want to consume a majority or your carbohydrates leading up to you resistance training session and then the rest right after, so the rest of your meals after your post workout will only contain protein and fats.
Another important thing for both cutting and bulk phases is to have some sort of low carbohydrate pre bed meal the reason for this is because during a deep sleep is when your body repairs itself the most from resistance training sessions and studies have shown that during a deep sleep your bodyís protein synthesis is at its highest. I suggest consuming a casein protein shake that will feed your body up to 8 hours and keep your metabolism running while you sleep if you do not have casein protein available consuming cottage cheese or a serving of natural peanut butter either of these will do. In this section I have discussed how to effectively gain weight and lose weight at a healthy rate and I have also discussed several tools to use during your cut phase and also the importance of a pre-bed meal.
04-23-2011, 02:49 PM
Wow, great information and advice. I have been working out most of my life, but I got away from it for about 8 months and just got back into it. I signed up for Medi which is an excessively low calorie keto diet with Phentermine (I was at 300-500 calories a day for the first 7 days--no exercise allowed). I was looking for a quick cut to get me started-it did work. They are the people trying to get me to cut back more on calories. Everything I've ever researched has told me their advice is wrong. It's good to hear that others agree with me. I will take my calories up gradually while increasing good carbs and good fats. I'll try cutting back on my training a bit and see what happens. As far as the ECA, I think I still need something to help my appetite and energy levels. I am worried that using nothing will cause me to overeat and become lethargic. I just switched from clen to ECA today and will try for at least a week with the hopes that I can cut 1% point of fat a week. Thanks again for the great advice.
04-23-2011, 06:01 PM
Just remember that trying to do something the fast way is not always the best way to do it, and more often than not, you're just cheating yourself. As far as getting a "quick cut" - you may have lost bodyfat, but you will have lost muscle mass as well, which is not ideal.
If you know that something is wrong, then don't listen to it and certainly don't follow it.
Not using something is not going to cause you to overeat (and I would be curious to see what you call "overeating" if you were fine starving yourself) - hell, even if you started eating ~2,000 calories a day, that would be far from overeating, especially with your training/activity level.
Although those with higher body compositions can lose more than 0.5% bodyfat a week more easily than those who are leaner, it is generally advised to aim to lose ~0.5% bodyfat a week, since this loss is more likely to be able to be maintainable - if you lose it too fast or in an unhealthy way, the more likely you are to regain it once you stop your "quick fix".
Remember that nutrition should be a LIFESTYLE, NOT a "diet" - by this I mean that your nutrition should pretty much stay the same all the time, the only real change being adjusting your caloric intake based on your goals (or needs) at any time.
04-30-2011, 12:17 AM
sorry to hijack this thread i still have no idea how to start one, I would like some advice on cutting as well. Ive been bulking for a while now and after a few compliments on my size and strength i'm ready to cut starting in may as i had planned, i rep 335 10 times squat 455 8 times, my misc. lifts are pretty good too but those are my biggies. Anyway I normally don't ask for advice b/c i figured out that i have to find the workout that works for me, not ask about what works for another but not once have I been satisfied with my cutting because I feel like I lose a lot of muscle when I diet. The Only place where I accumulate fat is around my waist and stomach, my arms, legs and chest are always cut which is weird but I would like to get rid of that gut, is there anything anyone here has done to stay big while cutting and what did you do?
04-30-2011, 03:09 AM
The 3 Keys to Fat Loss for more comprehensive advice and information on nutrition, supplementation (only the basics required), and training for effective and successful fat loss, and apply those principles to yourself if you have and are not already.
If you lose a lot of muscle when you diet, then maybe you should STOP dieting and just follow a nutrition plan that is targeted at fat loss and not ridiculously low in either calories or carbohydrates (if applicable). If you want to maintain your current muscle mass when losing bodyfat - which should be the PRIMARY objective when wanting fat loss, the latter only a secondary objective! - then you need to look at and make sure your NUTRITION is set up right for YOU for this, since your NUTRITION is the factor will predominantly determine what you lose and in what proportion. The 3 Keys to Fat Loss contains advice and tips re nutrition for fat loss - there are also other articles and eBooks that you can read for more information; a couple of excellent ones are Doctor Layne Norton's A Unique Combination Of Science And Experience Based Pre-Contest Advice or Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle by Tom Venuto.
As with anything, once you have a guideline to start from, go from there, adjusting weekly dependent on your progress that week, to ensure progress and make sure you ARE achieving what you want.
Re training for fat loss, you can do anything, really - nutrition is the most important factor here. Just make sure that your training is appropriate for what you want - I recommend continuing to lift as heavy and intense as you can for your resistance sessions (sets and reps are up to you, but you don't have to go high - low reps work just as well for fat loss) and adding in some HIIT for cardio if you don't already do it.
05-02-2011, 10:06 AM
Thanks for all the great info Rosie. I did take your advice. I stopped clen, increased calories, am taking two days off per week from working out. I am eating very clean foods. Since the change I have gained 4 pounds and about 1.5% bodyfat. My biggest concern is still my original concern. I am not making any progress and have not for 3 weeks now. I have been off clen for over a week and my workouts are very vigorous. I did read that having a high calorie day may boost my metabolism. What do you think? What should be eaten on this day (high fat high carb or clean foods at higher quantities)?
05-02-2011, 11:18 AM
05-02-2011, 06:05 PM
Well, you've made some progress - just not in the direction you wanted. Do note that you should have expected to gain scale weight from increased calories, because you were not eating enough before, and those gains will primarily be from food and water weight. Adjust your caloric intake again - if you're gaining bodyfat, then you're eating too much.
Also, re Eric's question, be aware that how you measure your body composition is important, since most methods used are NOT going to give you even close to an accurate guesstimate or measurement, but can be out by up to ~10% bodyfat. I recommend giving yourself another week or so before measuring your body composition, to give your body a chance to adjust to everything.
High calorie days (and by this, I mean "higher than Maintenance") DO help re metabolism and fat loss - if you're having lower than Maintenance calories for the most part.
If things are not going the way you want, then keep experimenting until you find what works for you. Sounds like you need to keep adjusting and manipulating your nutrition and training. If you do not know how to or cannot do this, then I recommend getting yourself a trainer who can and will do it, individualizing everything to you re your goals and needs.
05-02-2011, 07:08 PM
I use a home scale and get a weekly measurement at a nutritionist office once a week. Both measurements are roughly the same. Interestingly, I look more lean and my waist has dropped from 35 to 33 over the past two weeks. Not sure what to believe. I guess since I want to get a six I just need to believe the mirror. I'll try increasing my workouts first (one extra day of cardio), if that doesn't work I'll reduce my calories back to 1200 (I'm at 1500-1800 now). What I find funny is I cut down to 6% about 10 years ago I just can't remember the dose of clen I used. I do remember eating much worse--aging sucks.
05-02-2011, 07:41 PM
05-02-2011, 08:48 PM
05-02-2011, 10:16 PM
If you've lost girth size and look leaner, then you cannot say, "My biggest concern is still my original concern. I am not making any progress and have not for 3 weeks now." Go by the mirror.
1,200 calories is too low for a male looking for fat loss, IMO, and there is definitely no need to add in EXTRA cardio AND cut calories - but, you will do what you will do, and I am no longer needed here.
I really do recommend that you get yourself a trainer. All the best in your fat loss.
05-06-2011, 10:51 PM
Well I am very surprised with my recent results. I was a bit frustrated by the numbers and craving carbs all the time (I never had this problem before). I bought some fruit and thought I would eat about 1/2 cup a day. I guess it was from sugar starvation, but I definitely went overboard. Since then I've been doing the following:
Breakfast: 200 calories (from protein bar or egg whites/turkey sausage)
1/2 hour before Lunch: 2 cups of romaine or spinach with 2tbsp low fat or fat free dressing
Lunch: 200-300 calories from fish, chix, or extra lean beef
1/2 hour after lunch: 1.5 cups fruit (strawberries, or grapefruit, or apples, or blackberries/blueberries/raspberries)
Dinner works just like lunch (vegetable 1/2 before, protein for dinner, fruits after)
Late snack: 1.5 cups fruit with FF yogurt or FF cottage cheese
I usually have about 2 slices of 2% skim cheese a day and about a handful of peanuts.
Basically, I just eat when I am hungry-always vegetables first, protein when hungry next, fruit after that---then start all over with vegetables.
Okay, so the crazy part is that I lost 5 pounds. I have no idea. I really thought I would be gaining weight with all the fruit. I am also on an off week and am doing light weights with moderate cardio. Does this make any sense? I'm pretty happy because I really like fruit and being full.
05-07-2011, 02:11 AM
You've also had an easier week re training - remember that hammering your body day in and out does not get results, and that recovery time or easier weeks re training are needed for progress to be made.
Still sounds like you should get yourself a trainer, someone who will teach you what you need to know, especially on how to make this a lifestyle and not just reach a goal and go back to old ways (if you might).
05-08-2011, 02:36 PM
I wish there was a trainer I could use. I live in a pretty small town and all the trainer's here seem to know less than me. They tend to specialize in much older people that have weight issues. I'm starting to think the BF measurements are wrong. I've lost another 5 pounds, dropped another waist size (I was a 36 at the beginning, now 33) and I'm just a bit lower on BF (according to the scales). Maybe it's muscle loss, but there's no way I've lost 5 pounds without losing at least some fat. I think I'm going to continue with P90X then go into a bulk cycle at the gym. I've used enough supplements over the past 17 years to know which works for me. I guess I just doubted myself for a bit. At least the wrong advice about dieting worked. I just need to continue to switch to the right diet. Thanks again for all the advice. I really don't tend to get off track, I just did the last few years because of work. Now I'm semi-retired and have plenty of time to devote. I do have one more question. I had to take some time off last time I went pretty intense due to joint problems. I'm taking fish oil everyday, but starting to feel the injury again. Any thoughts on other supplements I should try. This is one thing I was never able to fix.
05-08-2011, 02:45 PM
Maybe you need to look outside of where you are for a trainer. Using an Online Trainer is something you might consider - if you get the right trainer, online or not, you could make the difference you need, get the progress you want, and see the results you seek.
If you have joint issues, look into Osteo-Sport by Applied Nutriceuticals. Their Osteobolin-C is good as well, albeit not as complete a joint product as Osteo-Sport. Or you could just high-dose Cissus and start using Fish Oil (if you're not already).
05-09-2011, 01:41 AM
super cissus is the best joint supp.
i just got my bro on it. he couldnt sleep at night due to elbow and wrist pain. 1.5 weeks later and its gone.
i had back pain and i was taking super cissus and it disappeared.
For me, the action IS the juice.
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