Cutting Season 1 Episode 3 – 12% Body Fat
What’s up everybody, I am week number 14 and I am looking forward to finishing up my cut. On the last update – which was at 8 weeks into it – I was still going strong and staying in top of my diet, everything was going smoothly.
But starting lately my eating was all over the place for about 2 or 3 weeks. I binged a lot, I had super high calorie days – as high as 4,000 kcal, mostly over the weekends – and the average daily caloric intake per day was well above maintenance actually for a couple of weeks.
Fortunately it looks like my muscle sucked in all those extra calories and I didn’t put on that much fat. I am sure that hitting the weights hard helped a ton as well.
Anyways, in this episode I want to talk more about the binge eating and how this should actually be incorporated into your cutting diet and why I need to be flexible out your eating, especially when you are a few months into your cutting phase and the stress builds up quite a lot on your body, metabolism and mind.
Week 14 stats & Look
But before we start off let’s take a look at my progress so far, including a couple of before and after pictures because now the differences are more noticeable than before.
Here are the figures:
|Starting point||Week 4 stats||Week 8 stats||Week 14 stats|
|Planned cutting period: 17 weeks (January 4 to May 1)||Measurements date: 30 January||Measurements date: 1 March||Measurements date: 8 April|
|Starting weight: 90.6 kg (@ 184cm)||Current weight: 86.8 kg||Current weight: 85.0 kg||Current weight: 83.5 kg|
|Starting body fat: 18 % (caliper method)||Current body fat: 16-17 % (caliper method)||Current body fat: 14 % (caliper method)||Current body fat: 12 % (caliper method)|
|Starting waist: 94 cm||Current waist: 90 cm||Current waist: 88 cm||Current waist: 86 cm|
|Target body fat: 10%||Target body fat: 10%||Target body fat: 10%||Target body fat: 10%|
And here are the pictures:
The weight loss rate hasn’t been that impressive since the last update because my eating has been all over the place, but I still managed to lose about 3-4 pounds which means about half a pound per week. I know it’s pretty lame, but considering the fact that I’ve been eating like crazy for 2 weeks I am happy with the results.
Waist size as well as body fat has gone down too and I am happy with the 12-ish body fat percentage I am sitting at right now. In good lightning I can see a 4 pack, but I still hold a lot of fat around the mid section.
I’ve been checking out the changes in my body a bit more lately and there’s clearly more separations between the muscles in most of the areas, my shoulders are starting to pop out a bit more and my upper chest has more definition and I can also see some striations here and there – especially in the shoulders and chest.
In terms of vascularity things are not impressive at all but there’s definitely some vein action going on in the arms and chest when I have a pump.
Overall, I am pleased with how my body looks so far, but I am not confident that I will reach my 10% body fat goal by the 17th week (the end of this cut).
Yes, I’ve been taking a break from my cutting diet.
As I was saying in the very beginning of this post I kind of incorporated a mini bulk in my cutting diet. This was not planned in any way it just happened. I guess it could be looked at a lack of discipline but I like to call it “flexible fitness lifestyle” which, despite the obvious downsides, has its benefits.
I know I’ve been talking about refeed days, calorie rollover and other advanced dieting techniques that are supposed to help you stick to your diet but real life dieting is not as easy as it sounds on paper. The idea is to try to be consistent with it as much as you can, when you can’t stick to it go ahead and take a break from it, but then come back more determined than before.
Anyways, I am guilty as charged. I’ve been cheating on my diet a lot and this has hindered my overall weight loss. But this also comes with two main benefits:
- My workouts got better and I think my muscles got a little bit bigger
- My mindset is now completely reset and I am prepared to go back to strict diet and finish this up
To the benefits weigh more than the drawbacks? I surely hope so. For me, if I am able to be really strict with by diet and training for the following 4 weeks the ‘diet break’ worth it. The plan is to stay at 1,900 kcal a day and see if I manage to drop to 81 kg which should put me at about 10% body fat by May 1st.
Fortunately for me this diet break didn’t actually resulted in weight gain, but just in a slower weight loss slope.
Calories and macros
During the time that I actually eat right, the averages are quite similar to the before weeks – so I’ve been eating 2,000-2,100 kcal a day which puts me at a mild caloric deficit.
As far as macros, the protein intake per day was around 170 – 180 grams, carbs 200 – 220 grams and fats anywhere from 45 to 75 grams per day.
If up to week 8 I only had one cheat meal and just a couple of refeed days, from week 10 to week 14 I’ve been eating really badly.
Diet break days
On my diet break I’ve been eating like crazy and didn’t actually counted calories or macros for most of the days, but my guesstimation is that the daily average was somewhere around 3,000 kcal maybe even more. This went on for a couple of weeks.
A great benefit of my diet break is the amount of energy and effort I can put in my workouts now. The weights have been going up and my muscles look bigger than before – though this might be just an illusion because I am leaner and because of the separation between the muscles.
If you’ve been following the blog you might already know that I changed my workout routine back to push, pull, legs – mainly because I wanted to add a little bit of variation and because I am experimenting a little bit with different training frequencies.
In the past 4 months I’ve been training each body part just once a week (while getting in all the volume I needed), so I am eager to see how the twice a week frequency will affect both my muscle size and my weight loss – even though the training volume and training intensity remains pretty much the same as before. I don’t expect dramatic changes but it will be fun to observe.
The only thing that bugs me at the moment is that I don’t really have that much time left of doing cardio right now, but I’ll try to squeeze in at least one HIIT session per week.
The plan is to stick to my diet and training for the next 4 weeks which should get my quite close to my goal (10% body fat), though I am not 100% sure I will get there.
Calories need to be at 1,900 per day and protein at 2 grams per kg of body weight. In terms of training I will continue to have my 5 days a week of lifting weights and also try to squeeze in at least one cardio session per week.
That’s the plan. I will be posting the 4th and last episode of this cut one month from now, including updated before and after pictures, measurements and conclusions. See you then!