If I had to describe myself in one word during the last 5 weeks it would be “haggard”.
In my third week I basically stopped trying to look cute and settled for not being naked. I think I used up most of my energy for training first thing in the morning and while I still tried to walk as much as possible each day, some days I found myself moving at a snails pace post workout.
I’ve broken it down this beast of a post into sections:
- How I started my cut and what I actually should have done
- Week 1
- Week 2
- Week 3
- Mind Games
- Week 4
- Week 5
- Now what?
- My Tips for a Cut
- What i’m going to do after my cut
It’s been 5 weeks since I started my cut. Looking back it seems like it flew by, and then I think about all the highs and lows. Let me start by start by saying, I went into this cut mentally and physically in a great place. I didn’t do it because I felt I had to be lean or because I disliked my body. I love my body and the strength I get from eating well and training consistently. However, I’m always happy to challenge and refocus myself when the time and opportunity presents itself.
Below is a week by week breakdown of how it went. Please note I will NOT be sharing my macros.
For the duration of my cut I worked out 6 days a week. I didn’t miss or skip a single session. I also stuck to my macros 90-95% of the time.
How I started and what I should have done:
I started my cut on 2500 calories. Why? Like I said, I normally eat a lot. Anywhere between 2200-3000 on average. Starting my cut after Christmas and a trip to Vegas also meant I was likely consuming a lot of calories a day. Starting at 2500 meant my body would have time to adjust to: consistent calories and get used to doing 20-30 minutes of cardio 6 days a week. What I should have done is take my own advice though and track what I was eating for a week. Add up the total calories and divide that number by 7 to get an average of calories per day.
Ex. If I tracked my calories for 7 days and added each day’s total calories together, I might have gotten 18,000 calories. 18,000 divided by 7 days = 2,571. Based on that number I could assume that my average daily calorie intake was 2571. From there you decide on a deficit like 200 calories. So in this example my starting calories should have been 2300.
I didn’t do any of that because I was super excited to start and get back to regular and more intense form of training after the holidays. While i’m glad I wasn’t silly enough to start my calories low, I should have taken more time to prepare. Anyway, this my friends is why I started by cut at 2500.
Starting my cut at 2500 was a bit tough for the first two days. I had an insatiable appetite. Adding cardio to my workout always spikes my hunger levels through the roof (in a super unproportionate way to how many calories I actually expend). However, after a couple tough days…and me taking a pregnancy test I was so hungry haha..my body began to adjust.
Training wise I stuck to my usual style of training, lifting and making sure I was training each body part part 1-2x a week. Ex. 2 leg days, 2 chest days..etc. The main difference is that I added cardio in between sets instead of resting. You can search #justgetfitminicut to see videos on insta of how I did this. The first week of cardio accelerations was insanity. I was completely soaked in sweat within minutes. This is literally why I stopped wearing a top to the gym and stuck to my sports bra. I was sweating, huffing and puffing within minutes of starting my workout. I even slid off my bosu ball once because there was so much sweat on it.
On my rest day this week I lowered by calories to 2200.
Week two meant another decrease in calories and I averaged between 2150-2200 calories a day. I had no difficulty adjusting to my lower calories. But, by the end of the week my body was feeling all kinds of tired. I’m usually someone that listens to my body, rests when I need to and never hesitates to take a rest day..or two if needed.
This was also the weekend we went to Berlin (last minute) and while I was super excited to see friends, I knew it was going to be a bit of a struggle to eat perfectly and get my workout in. I packed with me protein powder, canned tuna, protein bars, oatmeal, and nuts to help keep me on track. I wasn’t about to be the crazy girl carrying around a scale (only the crazy girl carrying a round a can of tuna and a plastic fork in her mini backpack) so I did the best I could when eating out and made sure to always have food on me. At restaurants I chose meals that were high in protein, asked for extra veggies, half the carbs and requested sauces on the side. We even went to a Löwenbräu beer hall on our last night where I ordered a chicken salad, with double chicken and a water while everyone sat eating sausages, sauerkraut and 1-liter beers. This is why it’s important to pick a quiet time of year to do a cut…not Christmas time or when there a lot of birthdays or weddings!
I made it to the gym in Berlin after getting turned away once. I’m lucky bae is supportive and likes going as much as me otherwise I might have given up.
On my rest day this week I ate 1950 calories
To read the rest of my write up:
I’ll be including the link to my full length post this coming week in my newsletter to Just Get Fit subscribers. You can subscribe here.
Starting Wednesday I’ll also be sending out my 4 part series on what to do if you’ve been eating healthy but still aren’t seeing any progress. Read more about it here.
Hi Nikki, thank you for your guidance, it’s so helpful!
Question: how long a cut can last?
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Most cuts don’t last longer than 12 weeks.
Details in the post above =)