About six weeks ago I shared my spring workout plan and a nutrition plan I’d be following. This year I wanted to change my cut routine and really dedicate myself to it in order to meet my fitness goals. I started my cut earlier than originally planned because I wanted to be ready in time for my trip to LA. As you’re reading this, I’m actually in LA! But I wanted to post an update on how things went the first six weeks and what I’ll be changing for the final half.
This year was the first time I tried flexible dieting, or if it fits my macros which it’s also referred to. Basically, you calculate your output of energy, choose your goal, then calculate calorie (energy) intake and macros to consume daily – carbs, protein, fat. For reference my macro cut counts are 1,456 calories, 173 g carbs, 110g (grams in body weight) protein, 33g fat.
When I first started counting macros, I couldn’t believe how many carbs I got to consume. For the previous two spring cuts, I based my meals on not eating carbs, then this year all of sudden I get carbs – I was blown away. After two weeks, I started seeing results and was hitting my macros on the dot. By week three, I went backwards a little bit because of a friends birthday and other social commitments, but I got back on the train. After trying to stick to my macros once again, I found myself going a little over on everything – not by a lot, but enough. In the evenings I would choose my meals for the next day so I knew I would hit my macros. I’ve learned to calculate in about 100 grams of protein, and the rest will trickle in from other foods and snacks.
Here’s the caveat, during this first six weeks I’ve stuck to my workouts as planned every week. I missed two cardio days because of a brief cold and snow storm, but I made-up both of those days later the same week. I even did a shoulder/HIITcardio combined workout so I could have an extra rest day during the week to go to bingo with my family. This workout program is new to me and I was surprised at the results I started seeing in my muscles and body fat. I now have shoulders and I’m loving them. I’ve lost body fat in new and strange places, at least for me, like my neck, breast bone, and upper thighs. This is also the first time I’ve performed straight leg (or stiff leg) dead lifts consistently and I’m noticing muscle growth and strength in my hamstrings – I plan on leaving these in my normal routine from now.
I get to this point every year when I go through a cut. I’m seeing my strength and muscle improve, I’m eating three healthy meals a day with mostly healthy snacks, and now I’m counting my macros. However, the nutrition side of my cut is where I always fail, sometimes giving in to not so healthy snacks – like leftover Easter candy or cookie trail mix when you’re playing games with friends – and it has an affect on my ultimate fitness goals. Part of me feels bad that I’m not sticking to the nutrition side of things so closely, but honestly I’m more happy that I’m challenging myself and seeing results in the gym. When I look in the mirror I’m happy with myself and have confidence, which at the end of the day is the ultimate goal.
So what am I’m going to change for the next six weeks? Well I haven’t done one day of the kettlebell/jump rope HIIT that was on my workout plan during week two. It’s simply been too cold here on the days I’ve wanted to do it outside like I wanted to. That being said, I’m actually pretty happy that I didn’t try and do it during the four-day split – the four-day split is new to me and drains nearly all of the energy I have saved for workouts. Because I’m planning on training for the upcoming Twin Cities Medtronic 1-mile and a 5K with my dad, I’m going to change my four-day split to a three-day split, putting chest and shoulders on the same day and moving biceps to back day. I’m hoping to get back into running twice a week so I can get my cardio endurance back up. On the days I’m really not feeling like doing a full on run at the gym and the weather is cooperating, I’ll work in my HIIT exercise like I planned.
As for the nutrition side of things, I’m going to do my best to stick to my macros as calculated because that was the goal. Currently, I’d say four of the seven days a week I’m staying on track with my macros, but my overall goal is to be on track six days of the week – I have to have a social life on the weekends. I’m going to look for new recipes for meal prepping so I don’t get bored of the same lunches, dinners, and even breakfasts. I thought eggs and protein shakes were going to cut it for the entire 12 weeks, but I was wrong. Please send breakfast ideas!
Overall, I’m happy with the progress that I have made and that after all these years of being active, I’m still able to challenge myself to reach new goals. Yes, there’s still some challenges to get through. It’s true I don’t always take the nutrition side of my fitness plan as serious as I could. But overall, being fit and active to be is about being healthy and happy – both of which I know I am. I’m happy that fitness is a part of my lifestyle and that it’s something I feel passionate enough about to share with others.
I’ll post another fitness update in a few weeks after I get through the rest of my spring fitness plan. Thanks for reading!