I have always ate like a powerlifter while training and never gave much thought to diet besides: need more of everything. I am going on vacation in about 2 months and want to get a little cut for it. In the past I would simply cut calories when I wanted to loose wait and would always loose significant strength.
Any tips on a successful cut?
Limit your carbhoydrate intake to peri workout. Make sure to have healthy fats in your other meals. Simple.
I know a lot of people/powerlifters have been having great success with Carb Backloading. You should look it up and give it a try.
Originally Posted by sandcracker21
I agree that scaling back your carbs is always a good idea when cutting down. I wouldn't go crazy in cutting calories, as you will surely lose quite a bit of strength if you cut too hard. I am a huge believer in fasted morning cardio. As long as you keep the intensity down and keep your heart rate in a fat burning zone, you can burn bodyfat and maintain muscle. If you are particularly concerned about maintaining muscle, sipping on a mixture of BCAA powder and water while doing cardio is good at assisting with keeping you in a more anabolic state.
Also - watch your sodium intake. From a purely asthletic point of view, you can lose a significant amount of water weight simply by cutting down or cutting out your sodium from your diet. Anytime I cut salts and seasonings, I'll lose 10-12 pounds right off the bat. It's a pretty cool trick when jump-starting your cut down process. Again - no need to go crazy and cut your calories way down. Just scale down your carbs and maintain your calories from proteins and fat sources. This will help!
Lowering carbs is fine but limiting sodium is not something you ever want to do, this is a myth. Many problems with athletic performance or sub-maximal athletic performance, even failure to improve, begin when athletes reduce or eliminate sodium from their diets. These ill effects can last for a long time.
Originally Posted by IFBB David H
As an electrolyte, sodium is the positively charged ion on the outside of the living cell. Cations, anions, and ions exist in an exact balance outside and inside cells, so that a change in the balance of one or more cations or ions will cause a change in other cations and ions in order to maintain cell integrity. Simply put, sodium is responsible for regulating blood volume and blood pressure, although it serves other functions as well.
During a set of high-intensity muscle contraction blood pressure rises. This is a primary response of high-intensity training. During high-performance exercise, the metabolism of the body is better served by a higher blood volume since this translates into better oxygen and nutrient delivery to working cells. Just as importantly, a higher blood volume results in a more efficient removal of fatigue toxins.
A low sodium intake translates into a lower blood volume, and over time this is disastrous to an athlete. Even in healthy people, low blood volume leads to a myriad of problems. Studies at the University of Bonn concluded that a low-sodium diet (and the resulting lower blood volume) was more health-threatening than the hypertension that the low-sodium diet was intended to fix.
For athletes, the effects are even more profound. In a low-sodium situation, the resulting low blood volume delivers less oxygen and nutrients to working muscles, and also allows for greater accumulation of fatigue toxins that might not otherwise occur with a normal or higher blood volume. This results in reduced recuperation and overall weakness. It's the last thing a hard-training athlete wants, but it's what happens when you eliminate crucial electrolytes from your diet.
From my experience the most important tip for cutting I can give is incorporate refeed/carb up days during your cut. I do it once or twice a week. These are not cheat days, simply days where you go back up to maint levels by increasing your carbs, especially around your workout. I do weigh in heavier after my refeed days from the extra water weight but I usually hit new lows the following day or two days later.
I have tried several different strategies for cutting, including keto and this is the only way that personally works with me and allows me to maintain my strengh and intensity in the gym, without the carb ups I get flat very quickly and my workouts are no where near as intense.
Keep your protein intake higher when you cut
Reduce the volume of your training
Keep the weights high
Get in caloric deficit