The dog days of my 2015 cut are upon me.
I just love finishing my breakfast and feeling more hungry than I was before I started eating. 😐
I’m deep into my cut, and within a few pounds of my 2014 cut end weight (and my lowest JSF-era weight) of 158.4 pounds. Over the past week I’ve noticed markedly increased hunger, serious cravings for junk food, reduced power on the bike and decreased stamina when training.
While all of those things are normal (and temporary), and to be expected at this late stage of my cut, knowing that doesn’t make going through it any easier.
Added to that, my friend Hector texts (on a nearly daily basis) encouraging pictures of goodies like pizza baking in his oven, gourmet hamburgers and delicious beer with the boys after a ride, tempting carb-rich homemade bread, and even video of him cracking open ice-cold beers. MOTHERFARK.
Thankfully there are methods and techniques (apart from blocking Hector’s texts) to help combat some of the unpleasant side effects that go hand-in-hand with cutting into the mid-single digit body fat percentages.
On Sunday and Monday I increased my carbohydrate intake, and that definitely helped stave off some of the cravings and hunger pangs. This idea can, and very well may, be extended to include a full-on clean refeed day.
A “refeed”, if you’re not familiar with the term, is basically eating above maintenance for a day (or sometimes a few days) with a focus on carbs. A refeed helps replenish glycogen stores, increases leptin, reduces hunger pangs/cravings and stokes the metabolism. Refeeds often become necessary after prolonged periods of eating in a caloric deficit and/or reaching very low body fat levels.
On Monday I did a light recovery ride, and yesterday I slightly increased the intensity of my ride to Zone 2 (Endurance). During yesterday’s ride I decided to do a hard 2.5 minute effort to see how I felt, and it did not go particularly well. My power output on that effort was only 355 watts–far short of my 2.5 minute power PR of 461 watts. I’ve set several new power PRs on this cut, including one as late as last week. So this reduction in power (again, temporary) is new.
Yesterday I considered consuming extra carbs again, but I was feeling okay in the afternoon and decided against it. I’ll be attempting a fairly hard training ride this morning, and if that goes poorly I will probably plan on a refeed later this week or early next week.
In the meantime, I’m trying to forget that there’s a beautiful popcorn machine sitting up in the theater lobby… 🙂