As the hot summer weather is upon us, many of us are venturing out to the beach and looking to where that bikini or shorts.
You have probably spent most of the winter and some of the spring building up some muscle mass and now want to know how to get ripped so you can enjoy the summer.
There is no definitive length of time for cutting as a lot of it depends on your body type and lifestyle, whilst there isn’t really an answer for this, there is a way to do it without any crash diet or unhealthy exercise regimen.
Follow these few simple steps to get the perfect cut look you are after:
1) How Much Fat Do You Need To Lose?
One pound of bodyfat is approximately equal to 3,500 calories. This number does not do justice to just how complex the human body is at producing and using fat, it is however a good benchmark if used right, the more fat you want to lose the more time it will take to effectively lose it safely. Not just water weight or worse some muscle.
A good target for most people that seems to work ok is around 1 pound per week without the use of an extreme diet. This would mean a deficit of around 500 calories per day.
What this means is that you need to set your calender accordingly, if you had say 10 pounds or fewer to lose you would need around 2 to 3 months to achieve this. 20 Pounds, 4-5 months and so on and so forth.
There are much faster ways to lose the weight but research has shown countless times that after so much calorie deficit it will actually wreck your body’s metabolism.
For men this is under 1,500 calories and for women this is under 1,200 calories. It is just a waste in itself if you are going to find it so difficult that you won’t stick to it anyway.
2) How Will Your Body Respond To Calorie Deficit?
If this is your first go at cutting then you won’t know how your body will respond to less calories, some people feel absolutely fine whilst others do not.
Nothing happens by itself, chemical imbalances can have a negative effect on other functions of your body, it may increase your appetite, mess with hydration, effect mood and energy levels and can even disturb sleep.
You can take steps however to avoid all of that, keep your protein intake high whilst in a calorie deficit to avoid muscle wastage, do regular checks on your body for any abnormalities, one of the most important of all is sleep, a lack of sleep can harm fat loss.
The basic rule of thumb is the leaner you are when you start trying to lose weight the bigger the chance you will lose muscle mass with too extreme of a diet, also the lower your body fat percentage the harder it will be to shift bodyfat, Men with single digit body fat and women with mid to low teens especially so.
3) Are You Ready To Succeed?
Getting a great physique is never a walk in the park, it requires a lot of planning, hours of meal planning as well as training, eating a diet of less than perfect food, an iron will and amazing self-determination.
There will be times when it becomes so ridiculously hard and your mind plays tricks on you, enticing you with chocolate covered pancakes, juicy bacon and sumptuous chocolate cake, but this is just your body craving the carbs and sugar.
Some people can stay lean without any cheating at all, however there are many people who can’t and are likely to slip if put under too much strain, allow yourself one cheat meal per week to help alleviate the stress of cutting.
A cheat meal helps relax the psychological hold on your diet and can even help kick start fat burning hormones like leptin, when you are losing fat you will feel hungry quite a lot but stick with it and you will see results.
4) Are You Ready For Any Setbacks?
There are things beyond our control but the way our body looks is not one of them, sometimes one little setback can leave you feeling helpless, it is best to be prepared for any obvious setbacks.
Things like a big business meeting or family event can distract you from the gym or kitchen, but you have to be ready to not get tricked into it.
Your success is based on how well you manage your time and avoid distractions.
For instance if you are going to an event with loads of alcohol and good food then use this as a cheat meal and don’t be drawn in to a cycle of indulgence.
5) How Long To Cut?
Once you have sorted the first four points out it is time to start thinking about how long you should cut for.
The timelines below are to give some room for decent body fat expulsion, this also includes the odd obstacle and trip up as it where that you might face, you can customize them to your own requirements as they are given very generous margins:
- 10 pounds or less, start 2-3 months ahead.
- 20 pounds or more, 4-5 months ahead.
- Add 1-2 weeks for any obstacles you might face.
- If such a long time is not on your side then you will need at least 6 weeks, don’t wait until the last minute.
You’ve worked hard to get the muscle you have, don’t go hap hazard with fat loss and ruin it, it will be worth it when you show off your great physique, so now you should have a bit more information on how to get ripped effectively.