For those of you who are looking to cut up and get as ripped and shredded as possible, this article may be of some particular use to you. Whilst cutting, whether you’re getting ready for a photo shoot, for a holiday, for a wedding, or for a competition, the objective is to lose as much fat as is humanly possible, whilst maintaining, or even whilst building, lean muscle mass in the process. Losing fat and maintaining muscle is easy on paper, but if you’ve ever tried it for yourself, you’ll know that in the real world, things are never quite as black and white as they may seem. Even if your diet and training is going very well initially, you are eventually going to hit the wall, which is why you will need to ensure you know what to do to get you over it, or ideally, to smash right through it! Here’s a look at 6 pro tips for cutting.
Vary your cardio
As you know, cardio and fat loss go hand in hand with one another, yet people still make errors when it comes to their cardio training. Most people for example, will perform the same cardio exercises and the same workouts week in and week out, and whilst still beneficial, this practice, after a while at least, is not allowing you to get the most out of your cardio. Rather than doing the same cardio exercises and workouts, you should instead vary cardio and mix things up. Try HIIT a couple of times per week, along with a couple of steady state cardio sessions. Rather than the treadmill, try the cross trainer or an exercise bike, or alternatively, play sports, go swimming, or go for a walk. The key to success is to mix things up, so don’t get complacent with your cardio.
Numerous studies have revealed carb cycling to be one of the most effective methods for burning fat you could ever wish for, which is why you may wish to try it yourself. With carb cycling, the basic idea is that you alternate your daily carbohydrate intakes, so one day you will have a moderate carb day, one day will be a low carb day, one day will be a high carb day, and so on. This type of dieting practice is ideal because it allows the body to tap into body fat stores as a source of energy, whilst ensuring muscle glycogen levels remain relatively high, which ensures you perform better in the gym.
Make sure you embrace high carb days
If carb cycling is indeed for you, make sure you embrace high carb days instead of doing what some people do, which is basically going virtually no higher than they do on moderate carb days. By having a couple of high carb days per week, your fat loss progress will be more impressive than ever. You see, when people follow low carb diets, their natural leptin levels decline rapidly, whereas high carb dieters enjoy the opposite effects, as leptin levels naturally increase. When leptin levels get too low, we feel hungrier than ever, our metabolisms slow down, and we basically feel awful in the process. high carbohydrate days will confuse your body into thinking that it has carbohydrates all of the time, which ensures that the metabolism doesn’t decrease as a result.
Get enough sleep each night
Forget about so-called “motivational speakers” who talk about the fact that they’re working on achieving their goals whilst everybody else is sleeping, because in reality, those that are getting a good night’s sleep are far more likely to achieve their goals than the individual that is sleep deprived and barely functioning without copious amounts of caffeine. When we fail to get enough sleep our insulin sensitivity levels decline, which basically makes insulin less efficient at shuttling energy and nutrients from the bloodstream, and into your cells. To try to get around this, the pancreas secretes even more insulin, which is where things get tricky. Not only does this increase your risk of diabetes, it also makes it easier for you to store fat, as insulin also happens to function as a fat storage hormone within the human body. So, not only will you store more fat much easier, your metabolism will also drop, and as your muscle cells will be lacking glycogen, oxygen, and nutrients required for energy, you will feel tired, you will fatigue much easier, and your workouts will just downright suck! Aim at going to sleep before 12 each night, and ideally look for between 7 and 9 hours per night.
Drink more water
The human body is composed of more than 70% water, and without it, we would die very quickly, and it’s as simple as that. Water not only promotes optimal health, well-being, and organ function however, it also assists with fat loss as well. Before each meal, consume a large glass of fresh water, and you will quickly begin reaping the benefits. Water helps to fill up the stomach, helping to suppress the appetite by keeping you full, so you will be less likely to consume too many calories. It can also reduce cravings for unhealthy junk food, because we rarely crave junk when we’re feeling full. In order for the metabolism to function at its best, it also needs to be well hydrated, which is why drinking plenty of fresh water each day is essential for anybody who wants to enjoy optimal health and a lean and healthy body.
Perform full-body workouts
In bodybuilding circles, 5 day splits are generally considered more popular than full-body workouts, yet in order to build muscle and burn fat, studies suggest that alternating between split-based workouts and full-body workouts, individuals can potentially increase muscle hypertrophy whilst speeding up fat loss in the process. By training your entire body with each workout, your metabolism will gradually increase because you are working so many muscle groups in one go. This basically means that the body is working harder, so to compensate it requires more energy, which it gets by burning calories stored in our body fat.