Curtis Robinson-NASM Certified Personal Trainer (Fitness and Nutrition)
Summer is upon us and I often hear people talking about getting their summer body ready. I am gonna share some tips I use to drop 10 lbs of body fat while maintaining and even building muscle.
Like many other people when I look in the mirror during an off season, a bulking season, or right after the new year, (after the holiday foods have their eternal resting place around my hips and belly) a shirt is a permanent fixture on my body. I like to good, I can't help it I just do. Here are some highlights of my mini cut transformation and some things you can do to help you with yours.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
As you can see I have a surplus of unwanted fat. This means I can cut my intake of foods (especially the trashy foods and alcohol) and still have plenty of fat to burn for energy. The key is getting my body to actually burn that fat for energy rather than crashing and leaving me tired, cranky, and weak. For this cut I immediately starting eating healthy fats. Fats like almonds and avocados and fish. I don't mean fish sticks, I mean UN-BREADED fish.
I know it sounds weird, but increasing your healthy fat consumption while restricting carbs will help you burn fat! It is often referred to as a keto diet because when you restrict your net carb intake to less than 20 grams (hard at first) and make sure the few carbs you're consuming come from green veggies or nuts, your body stops using carbs to make energy.
Now your liver begins releasing ketones that your body begins burning for energy. It starts breaking down the fats in your body for energy. If you run a caloric deficit (consuming less calories than you burn) your body starts burning your fat storage's.
So I keep my protein intake high, my healthy fat intake high and my carbs super low.
For the first few days to a week I noticed cravings. Cravings are usually the body's way of saying "hey! we are missing some useful stuff we need down here!!" So to beat the cravings. I upped my water intake, and then I started using 1 protein shake a day that had all the essential and non-essential amino acids my body needs for its chemical processes, like turning fat into energy. I made sure the Protein shake was low to no carb. Unsweetened almond milk is a great base. I took a once a day vitamin in case I was overlooking any nutrients I wasn't getting from cutting out all breads. I cooked my chicken breast in olive oil and ate no potatoes, corn, or anything the body turns into sugar really.
I lifted. I wanted to maintain any muscle I had hiding under that fat. I didn't want to lose it trying to burn the fat. So I lifted weights. But I didn't try to load heavy. I wanted to be able to do about 20 reps for 3 sets. It kept my heart pumping. After 20 reps I would take a 30-45 second break and hit the next set and I would alternate muscle groups daily working out about 4 days a week. short 30-45 minute workouts daily.
THE ENEMY CARDIO
OK, Cardio is NOT the enemy. It can be your best friend that will help you live a longer life. But I hate running. I always have. Unless its fun, like in basketball or baseball or football or something. But, when trying to burn fat it will make dieting 2 to 3 times more effective. It's like jet fuel for a diet. I tried to alternate between like 55%-85% of my max heart rate for 30 minutes 3 nights a week. So I would jog at a decent pace for a few minutes then sprint for almost a block and then either walk for a few seconds or go right back into the jog. I like jogging through town and I'll tell you why.
Not only is there much to see in your neighborhood that can distract you from the agony of running, but it helps you commit! When you are on a treadmill you can quit anytime and it's easier to press the stop button when you're really just "over it". When you jog through town and set a route, you still have to get home. You may need to walk intermittently, that's fine at least you're putting in the work. Chances are there is something in your brain that will keep you jogging longer when you're outside in public view when you want to quit. And if you do quit, you still have to walk home so you get those steps in.
Fasted cardio is when you perform cardio when you haven't eaten anything yet. I didn't have the schedule that allowed me to do that on this particular cut but all of the research I have been reading indicates the results are even better when cardio is done in the a.m. before eating. Don't forget to get some sprints and high intensity intervals in the mix!!!
THE KEY TO BURNING THE FAT
Stick to the plan! You don't really need more than 1 gram of protein per lb of body weight per day. Keep the carb intake 20 grams or less from veggies and nuts. Drink plenty of water and eat the healthy fats. (poly/monounsaturated fats) Get exercise in 3-5 days a week. 2.5-3.5 hours a week. Don't consume more calories than you burn, run a caloric deficit. If you have cravings for junk that doesn't belong in the diet try a supplement full of the vitamins, nutrients, and amino acids you need and try to drink a gallon of water a day.
You will feel amazing after the first week. MOST IMPORTANTLY, TO SEE THE CHANGES, YOU HAVE TO STICK TO IT!
GIVING UP AFTER A WEEK BECAUSE YOU DON'T NOTICE A DIFFERENCE YET WILL NEVER WORK. TRUST ME I KNOW!
HERE ARE SOME PICS OF MY MINI TRANSFORMATION. IT TAKES A LITTLE WHILE TO START SEEING THE RESULTS. BUT, YOU EITHER WANT THEM OR YOU DON'T.
try this calculator to determine how many calories you should be eating a day and how much needs to be fat, protein, and carbs. KETO CALCULATOR
DAY 1 I WEIGHED 197 LBS I LOST AT LEAST 10 LBS OF FAT IF NOT MORE. WHEN YOU'RE ADDING MUSCLE THE SCALES DO NOT CHANGE AS MUCH AS YOUR PHYSIQUE.
Curtis Robinson NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach.