Cut down Mistakes for a Summer Cut
The summer is almost here, your holiday is fast approaching and you want to “tone” up to look good on the beach. How to do that can be really confusing. Everyone out there seems to tell you different things; ‘no carbs after 6pm’, ‘fasted cardio every morning’, ‘don’t eat sugar’. The list of poor faddy nutritional ideas is never ending.
The truth is, to "tone up" (which actually just requires lowering overall body fat to see the muscles underneath) you simply need to create a slight daily calorie deficit, add a suitable exercise plan and finally, stick to them both! That’s it. It really is that simple.
People still get this wrong every year, unable to get the summer body they want
Here are the five biggest mistakes for a summer cut:
- 1. Leaving it too late
- 2. Impatience
- 3. Changing track and copying
- 4. Multi target syndrome
- 5. Self sabotage
1. Leaving it too late
Ever heard the phrase “good things come to those that wait”? Or “prior planning prevents poor performance”? You have now.
How many people do you know who leave it until 2-4 weeks before a summer holiday and expect to be ripped by the time they go? Granted, magazines and gyms don’t help, displaying “get ripped in 28 days” slogans which in all honesty just aren’t realistic. Yes, there are some people who can get a six pack in 28 days, but generally because they don’t have much to lose in the first place. The more you have to lose the longer it will take. Bear that in mind and give yourself time.
Look at a pro bodybuilder, when they cut they often give themselves at least 16 weeks. Take a leaf out of their book. Not only will you be successful and look good on the beach, you won’t bounce back from overeating and drinking on holiday caused by crash dieting.
Ever heard of the phrase “good things come to those that wait”? Oh yeah, in the last section. Well, it applies here too.
If you set a calorie goal suitable to your age, weight, height and activity levels, let it do its magic. If you decide after three days it’s not working and opt to cut another 500 calories ‘to speed things up’, it just won’t work. You definitely won’t get the results you want as cutting too many calories for days on end can cause the body all sorts of issues, and can negatively impact your metabolism and hormones.
3. Changing track/copying others
You’re on your diet. You are down to 15% body fat but want to get sub 10%. You are carb cycling and it’s going pretty well. However, you hit a bit of a plateau. Instead of re-assessing your calorie needs you find out that ‘what’s his face’ who used to carry a lot of excess body fat has been intermittent fasting (IF), he’s down from 110kg to 95kg in a few months. Right, you’re switching to IF too.
Funny old thing you don’t lose too much from that point. In fact you’re now feeling a bit skinny and lethargic. The holiday comes and you’re around 16% body fat and don’t like what you see in the mirror.
Different things work for different people. Don’t jump ship just because so and so says so. Stick to your guns. Do the research, utilise science and stick to it.
4. Multi-target syndrome
How many times have you spoken to someone at the gym and they say “they want to lose body fat but get bigger”. The problem is, to lose body fat and see their abs they will also lose body fat on their arms, chest, legs and back. Overall they will be leaner, but they will likely be smaller.
If you want a six pack for the beach holiday you are going to look smaller overall. You’ll have a six pack (if you avoid the pitfalls listed above) but your arms will probably be smaller too. They’ll be lean and vascular, but not as t-shirt filling as when you held more body fat.
Whatever your goal, stick to it. There’s no point deciding to cut to get a six pack for summer and after 2 weeks deciding you look skinny and starting to pack in the food again, only to do that for 3 weeks and then decide you want a six pack so start cutting again.
Choose a goal, accept the consequences, and then see it through.
5. Self sabotage
An all too common mistake when dieting. The pressure of doing everything you can do to look the way you want to look but still not getting there becomes too much. Instead of doing everything right, you self sabotage.
You convince yourself that a few nights out with friends for drinks or ice cream after dinner a few too many times a week won’t be too bad because you are doing well with all other aspects. This kind of self sabotage through lack of self control is so easily avoided. Plan your high calorie days around your training to keep you sane.
Self sabotage, whether conscious or not, may give you a get out of jail for not making your goal, but you won’t make your goal. Be better than that. Focus, commit and you may surprise yourself.
There are people in this world we think are gifted. The people things come easy too. It’s easier for us to think of them that way, because if we admit they do all the things we don’t do to get where they are, it makes us realise its all on us, and not them. Avoid the pitfalls above and you’ll be one of those people that others look at and think it all comes easy to. It doesn’t. It takes hard work and tons of commitment.