As is my tradition before a strict cut or bulk, yesterday was a super fun day of gluttony: movies, popcorn, bacon cheeseburgers and Fat Tire ale. I did stop eating long enough for a 50 kilometer ride. 🙂
Anyway, I woke up this morning ready for the task ahead of me. It’s time to start my 2014 cut, and as I churn towards my goal I’m going to be as disciplined and strict as you have ever seen me be.
Today I’m going to re-cap my complete cutting strategy, and provide the starting stats.
- Clean, all-natural foods. The only processed foods I’ll consume are Nitrean protein powder, Clif bars and sauces like Sriracha. I’ll also have energy gels and chews on rides.
- No cheat meals or snacks. Not one single bite off my planned diet will be consumed.
- All meals will be logged online. Every calorie will be accounted for.
- No alcohol. Not so much as a single drop. Lots of water (approximately 1.5 gallons per day), 2 cups of black coffee in the morning and hot tea before bed are the only beverages I’ll be consuming.
- Minimum of 8 hours sleep each night. A good night of sleep is imperative, especially while in a caloric deficit and training hard.
- No missed workouts. I don’t skip workouts. Period.
- NO EXCUSES.
- Minimum of 5 cycling workouts/rides per week. These can be solo training rides, structured TrainerRoad cycling workouts in my Bike Torture Chamber, mountain bike rides or group rides. I’ll get one day of rest, or I can do a light spin on that day if I prefer.
- Minimum of 1 full body weight training workout per week. The exercises will be almost exclusively compound lifts (little to no isolation work). This is a bit of a departure for me, and was the most difficult choice I had to make when planning this cut. With my focus on cycling performance and not bodybuilding, I think this strategy will prove to be more than adequate. I will probably add some supplementary core work through out the week, however.
- All meals will be logged online. I’ll be using MyFitnessPal. More information on that below.
- Daily caloric intake will vary. What I mean by that is I’m going to let my activity level, weight loss, performance and how I’m feeling be my guide. I’m sure I’ll settle into a nice groove as I progress, but it may take a few weeks to get to that point.
- No set macronutrient targets. I think macronutrient targeting has its place, but I’d rather go by feel and my activity level. I hate seeing people who are dieting get all stressed because they were at 42% protein instead of their target 40%. For most dieters, trying to nail precise macro ratios is pointlessly complicated.
MyFitnessPal is where I will be logging my meals. I’ve been messing with the site for a few weeks and, while it’s not perfect, it is quite good. Note that the site assigns target calories and macronutrient targets, which is good for “casual” dieters, but I’ll be ignoring those targets and doing my own thing (so don’t pay attention if you see, for example, that I’m 400 calories over what MyFitnessPal says I should be).
One slight shortcoming of MyFitnessPal is that there’s no way to specify meal times on a daily basis. You can rename the meals, but those changes are global. In other words, if I name my first meal “9:00 AM”, then all of my meal plans show “9:00 AM” for the first meal. The way I’m going to work around that is to name the meals “Meal #1” through “Meal #5”, and then have a meal called “Misc” where I will log stuff like energy gels that are consumed while training and between meals.
I will be using MyFitnessPal to log my cycling workouts, but you’ll only find the basics there: time, average speed, estimated calories burned. My ride and trainer workouts will continue to be logged on Strava and TrainerRoad.
I’ve set up my account on MyFitnessPal to be as open and publicly accessible as the site will allow. Anyone can check out my profile, my scale weight loss progress and all my meal plans without needing to even have an account there. About the only thing I was not able to make public is my “check ins”, which are basically my weekly measurements. That’s a not a big deal, though, since I’ll be providing that information here in my usual Sunday stats blogs.
Here’s the MyFitnessPal landing page for my account (click to enlarge):
The two main items of note are the “My Progress” slider, which indicates the progress I’ve made towards my goal, and the “View Diary” button, which is how you view my food logs. It’s really that simple.
You can get to the John Stone Fitness MyFitnessPal page here. Feel free to create an account (if you don’t have one), and feel free to friend me. Although, as I mentioned, you don’t need to do any of that to view my food logs.
Now, let’s get into my starting stats. 🙂
First, there are a few pieces of inexpensive equipment that I use to track my stats:
- The EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale.
- The MyoTape soft tape measure.
- The FatTrack PRO Digital Body Fat Caliper
I’ve got some work to do. As you can see in the above screenshot, I’m going to need to drop 25 pounds to reach my goal of 160 pounds: my scale weight this morning was 185.4 pounds. I will note that is a VERY bloated 185 pounds. I’m probably holding 4-5 pounds of excess water weight right now. I expect that by this Sunday I’ll be sitting right around 180 pounds. So that’s about 8-10 weeks of dieting, give or take. I should reach my goal by late March, perhaps a little sooner.
Here are my complete starting stats:
|Jan 13, 2014|
|Body Fat %||12.3%|
We took my body fat reading a few times. The numbers were all within a few 10ths of a percent, but I went with the highest number.
Okay, the plan is set. Time to execute!