Hey guys! Today marks 1-month since I began my cut and I am down 8-pounds, which means I am averaging about 2-pounds a week.
I want to go over a few changes that I have made since ending my bulk that are contributing to weekly success. First and foremost, an amazing non-stick pan. Maybe this is something that is a staple for some of you, but during my bulk almost every meal included butter or oil, which meant a cast iron skillet sufficed just fine. Now, butter and oils are kept to a minimum, and fats come mostly from wild salmon, avocado, nuts, seeds, and an occasional egg yolk.
A second change I have made is cardio. While many may think that it takes endless amounts of time spent on the elliptical or running on the treadmill, I have only implemented about 15-30 minutes a day. This is something that will differ for everyone. For instance, when I was coaching regularly in the gym and getting in loads of steps, I never had to make time for additional cardio, but now that I work primarily from home and spend a good portion of the day on the computer, it means a lot more sitting. I make it a priority to get in about 15 minutes of cardio for every 3 hours I spend at my desk. This means I usually hop on the elliptical or stairmill mid day for a quick session to ensure I get in some steps.
Third, I remain consistent. I try to get in bed at the same time each night and I usually wake around the same time each day. I typically get my workout in first thing in the mornings because I feel I perform at my best in the morning, and two, I feel that it sets me up for success throughout the rest of my day.
Last but not least, a decrease in overall calories. It doesn’t mean going to extremes, it simply means making adjustments and eating more nutrient dense foods. As I mentioned, I switched from cooking with butter and oils to a non-stick pan which is a significant decrease in itself, and second, an increase in fibrous vegetables. For example while bulking, dinner may have consisted of 200 grams of potatoes, whereas now, I will opt for 100 grams of potatoes and 100 grams of cauliflower, cutting the carbs by about 20 grams while also increasing several key nutrients. I have also cut back on my sugar intake. When I say sugar, I am not referring to candy bars and soda, I mean tropical fruits, coconut water, breads and pasta. These were absolutely acceptable when trying to put on some size, but for now they are kept to a minimum, except for an an occasional post leg-day snack for glycogen replenishment.
When coming off of a bulk it is fairly easy to lose weight for the first 4 to 6 weeks. I had been in a calorie surplus for about 7 months, so any calorie decrease at this point in time will yield fairly good progress.
Below are my two check-ins since my last blog post. I weigh-in and take progress photos every 10 days.
Some of my main protein staples over the last two weeks have been chicken, ground turkey, Morning Star veggie sausage, salmon, rice and beans (the 2 combined yield a complete protein source), yogurt, cottage cheese, and protein powder. Carb sources are corn tortillas, potatoes, rice, oatmeal, and a variety of legumes, vegetables and berries.
In order to make certain I am getting enough protein and key nutrients each day, I have 1-2 protein shakes and a green smoothie made from spinach, yogurt and mixed berries.
I usually make enough smoothies for the entire week at one time. While in the refrigerator they will separate and look a little “off” but as soon as you give them a shake, they’re good to go.
Thanks for continuing to follow along as I share my journey with you all. Hopefully these tips help you with your own journey. If you have been striving to lose weight, and your decreases aren’t as significant as you feel they should be, hang in there and remain consistent. Consistency is key! For someone that is just getting back into the gym after a break, remember that muscle weighs more than fat. If you are seeing a stall on the scale, then perhaps you are swapping out some fat for muscle, and that is a tremendous win!! Progress photos and measurements can often show results that the scale can’t measure. Keep going!