It’s Cutting Time!
I’ve improved since the start of my diet, but I still need a few weeks more of dieting. Click on this link to view my before photos – Before and After. My before photos might look better because of better lighting but look at my chin and you can tell that I’ve shed off several pounds of fat.
My weight is now 76kg, down from 82kg since I started cutting four weeks ago. The reason I’m cutting is (maybe) for Mr Kuala Lumpur 2011 and most of all, for several photoshoots coming up real soon. Certainly everyone would prefer to see chiseled abs on the photos rather than a belly, right? Err.. Right?? I hope so.
The best part of my diet and training plan is that I don’t feel hungry, don’t get cravings, my strength levels are up and I’m still losing weight, which is a good indication that a large proportion of the weight I’m losing is fat, not muscle.
Here’s my current cutting diet.
Meal Two – 8 egg whites with 3 yolks, 2 scoops oatmeal
Meal Four – 1 chicken breast cooked with olive oil, broccoli
Meal Five – 1 canned tuna mixed with olive oil, broccoli
Intra-Workout – 20g Xtreme ICE BCAA & Glutamine blend
Meal Six – 2 scoops Optimum Nutrition Casein
Total Calories – 290g protein, 85g carbs, 75g fat, 2180 kcal
As for my workouts, I don’t have a rigid written workout plan as I had. I do have my workout cycle planned out, which is
Day 1 – Chest & Biceps
Day 2 – Shoulders & Abs
Day 3 – 45 minutes cardio
Day 4 – Back & Triceps
Day 5 – Legs & Abs
Day 6 – Rest
So what exercises am I performing for each workout? Here’s the thing. I’m using what bodybuilders call “instinctive training”, which means going to the gym just knowing which body parts you want to train and just choose the exercises at that time itself. However, I think that the name “instinctive training” is stupid. Firstly, what instincts do we have? If we follow our instincts, we will run away from the gym. Which instinct would tell you to go to the gym and put yourself through an hour of torture?
What I’m trying to say is, if anyone goes into the gym empty-headed, as a human, our tendency to be lazy will make us just do less. So to prevent that, you must go in with a goal. For me, I always tell myself,
“You must push your chest to the limit!”
“Train til’ your abs hurt!”
“Blast those legs!”
Other than that, you should set some parameters for each workout so that there may be variations, but not too much. Such parameters could include number of sets. For me, I perform 12 to 16 sets per body part. And there must be a balance of compound and isolation movements so that I stimulate enough muscle and at the same time, target my muscle specifically enough. And I always include supersets and drop sets. My parameters could be too hard/easy for you, depending on your training level and experience. Know your body, and set suitable parameters for yourself.
So, what have I learnt since my last cutting diet in the past year?
1. Limit cardio.
I don’t like cardio that much. Not on a low-carb diet at least. From my workout schedule, you could see that I perform cardio once every six days. Oh, and the cardio I perform is a slow walk on the threadmill with a very high incline, which burns an ok amount of calories, but targets fat instead of glycogen storage. Anyway, quite a number of friends (and no, they are not just gym rats. They are competitive bodybuilders) told me that their pre-contest cardio routine is pretty light but they are still able to get ripped. As of now, I found out that it’s pretty true!
2. High-fat diet
I first stumbled upon this high-fat weight loss diet in a dieting guide written by the guys from Scivation. Turns out that fat actually buffers food digestion, making the food you consume time-released and therefore, creating less spike in insulin. Also, it really helps with the hunger. If you reduce your carbs enough, your fat intake can still be high and you’ll still lose weight. My main source of fat is olive oil, which is full of good monounsaturated fats.
3. Have cheat meals
Ok, this is NOT the best advice you can get if your sole goal is to lose weight. But it’s the best if you want to make your diet bearable and not mood-depressing. Before this, I have re-feeding days. Every week, I have a clean high-carb day (300-400g carbs) to restore my leptin levels. Now, I have SUSHI!! Mmm.. yum! I loooovvve sushi. If I could, I would have sushi everyday. Sushi restaurant owners, if you’re reading this, please approach me for sponsorship!! Cheat meals have a psychological effect that makes your diet not feel like a diet. And if you spend that weekly cheat meal well, it’ll help your social life too. Besides, with this high fat diet, my cravings are not that bad so my carb intake is still less than 300g during my cheat meal day.
4. Form habits
If you do the same thing everyday for a week, you’ll almost automatically do it for the next few weeks. Eat meals at the same time, go to the gym at the same time. Hold it in there for a several days. Hold back the urge to laze and drift away from your routine. Soon, you won’t even need to try.
There you go. Another update of my progress. Any questions about losing weight? Email me at Fabodylous@gmail.com.
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