Since January, I’ve been focusing on fixing my metabolism by reverse dieting. I was eating in a constant caloric deficit for over a year and wondering why I was at a plateau. But now that I’ve been eating good and training hard for almost 5 months, I’m ready to slim back down for the summer. I’ve put on about 10 pounds and while some of that is muscle, I’ve inevitably gained fat as well. I leave for a European vacation in 2 months, much of which I’ll be spending on the beaches in Croatia, and I want feel very confident in my body.
Here’s what I plan to do over the next couple months to progressively lose body fat and maintain my muscle mass.
Eat 2,500 calories a day. This is what I have been eating through my reverse diet. I burn anywhere between 2,500-3,000 calories everyday so I don’t want to cut my calories as they are already on the low end of what I should be eating.
Add cardio. I always walk a ton each day, but I will incorporate more high-intensity interval training into my regime 2-3 times a week. I plan to do sprints at least one time a week. Even if it’s just going to a stroll around my neighborhood after dinner or a leisurely bike ride, getting activity in outside is ideal and so much easier while the weather is warming up.
Continue to train with heavy weights. To maintain muscles, you have to be training at the same intensity. Don’t use being in a caloric deficit as an excuse to not push yourself at the gym. I plan to lift 5-6 days a week.
Go to the gym with a plan. Having my workouts planned out from start to finish always translates to a better workout. If you struggle to stay motivated while at the gym, always go with a plan.
Focus more on my water intake. 1 gallon a day is my goal, especially making sure that I am chugging water first thing in the morning and before my meals.
Really honing in on my hunger cues. After tracking for so long, I feel like I’m a bit out of touch with my natural hunger cues. I’m going to be more mindful of listening to my body as opposed to MyFitnessPal.
Maintain my protein intake. To preserve your muscles, you must be eating enough protein. If you do cut your calories, account for most of it through carbs and fats.
I want to lose about a pound a week so that I’ll lose 10 pounds by time I leave for vacation. My goal is sustainable fat loss so slow and steady wins the race! As you can see, I plan to mostly lose this weight by implementing more cardio, not cut my calories. My advice to you is to not go overboard. What I mean by that is start small. Add 1-2 cardio sessions a week and/or cut your calories by 400 maximum. Why? Because in order to keep losing fat, you will need to keep adding more cardio and cutting your calories, which is going to be very hard and not sustainable if you start in a drastic deficit. Take things slow and watch how your body responds. Take progress pictures. If you rely on the scale, don’t weigh yourself more than once a week.
I’m so excited to start my slow cut and reveal all the muscles I’ve made over the past few months! Good luck with your cut and let me know if you have questions!