It is almost summer time, and that means that everyone wants to get lean and mean for beach season. Whatever reason you have to get off the bulk and start the cut, there are some golden rules to help you get ripped during the cutting season.
Rule #1 – Have a Carbohydrate Plan
Forget what you have heard. Carbs are not the enemy. Removing carbs from your diet will drop the pounds, but it will also leave you without energy. Carbohydrates are essential for life. You brain and central nervous system require carbs to function properly. The correct method is to using carbs to your advantage.
Focus on complex carbohydrates because of their ability to break down slower in a body making them more readily available as an energy source and not converted to fat. Choose yams over white potatoes, brown rice over white rice and cut out sugary, processed foods. Quite honestly, if you are taking your body seriously, you need to cut out processed foods whenever possible.
Rule #2 – Watch the Fruit
This golden rule of mine will draw a lot of ire from many folks, but I stand by it. I love fruit. It is my weakness, but I control my cravings for fruit during a cut. Forget what everyone says about being able to eat as much fruit as you want. While fruit contains some great antioxidants, many fruits also contain an abundance of sugar which will turn to fat because these are simple carbs. Opt for vegetables over fruit. You will consume less calories and less carbs.
Rule #3 – Hit the Weights
You knew this one would make its way on to this list at some point. Obviously, I am a big believer in weight training. There is plenty of truth to preferring weights over cardio. Muscle burns fat. The more muscle you have on your body, the more calories and fat you will burn during rest.
Keep your rest periods short and close out your sets with drop sets, or incorporate supersets throughout your workout. The increased intensity is optimal for keeping your heart rate up and keeping your metabolism high.
Rule #4 – HIIT Training
If you are looking to lose fat while retaining muscle, you need to incorporate HIIT training into your regimen. While cardio is optional, it does help if your diet is not clean. If you are doing any kind of cardio, HIIT training (High Impact Interval Training) is the way to go. HIIT allows you to ramp up your cardio in (at most) half the time because of the intervals that you are training in. Forget walking the treadmill for 60 minutes. Perform a 20 minute HIIT training session and you will burn more calories and fat.
Rule #5 – Track Your Diet
This is the most important glide rule to cutting. You need to track your diet and your macros. There is no one size fits all solution to getting cut. I cannot tell you that you need to eat 3,000 calories per day if you want to shed the fat. That will work for some, but will be too many calories for some and too little for others. Get to know your body and see what works for you. Do not forget your cheat meal either. Enjoy it and log it.