January - National Cut Month
So, I’m a firm believer that January should be national cut month. We all add a couple extra-unwanted pounds during the holiday season and January is the perfect month to work on shedding that “winter coat” and getting back down to a decent workout weight. I can tell you that this holiday season was a little extra special for me when it came to food. First, I trained pretty hard the last four months for the 9 December Honolulu Marathon. Second, mom was in town and cooking up a storm. Those two factors alone equate to finding myself in a food coma on a couple occasions. Now, I’m not usually concerned about weight, but I’m always looking at body fat percentage (BF%) and that went up in three weeks post marathon.
Most people start off the New Year with a fitness resolution – I’m going to exercise more; I’m going on a diet; etc. – I’m not a huge fan of New Year Resolutions (something about waiting until January to make a necessary or desired change in my life that just sounds foreign to me). I do, however believe in goals and setting realistic timelines for those goals. I’m also a realist and know that during the holiday season I eat more than I normally consume during the rest of the year. For me, dieting in January is not a resolution; it’s a calculated decision based on the two previous discussed factors. It’s simple math.
So, Cut month. I loathe cut month, but damn if I don’t love how I look in February. Most people I talk to do not know what their macro intake should be. Nor do they know where they currently stand with their intake (some don’t even know what a macro is). My intake for January is 1800 calories a day consisting of 200g of protein, 200g of carbohydrates, and 45g of fat. I do my best to reach those numbers everyday with the healthiest foods I can consume spread out over five meals. I workout every morning so the majority of my carbohydrates and calories are consumed during my 6am and 9am meals.
I believe in supplements. However, not everyone is ready for supplementing their diet, but with my work schedule, which includes constant travel, supplements are a necessity. To stay at or slightly above 200g of protein every day, I take two servings of Isopure Zero Carb protein powder (100 calories, 25g of protein, zero fat, zero carbs per serving). With this supplement I get 50g of protein a day while only consuming 200 calories. My goal for January is to drop down to 14% BF. Eating right (diet/nutrition), hitting the gym hard with a nice 40/60 weight training/cardio balance, and getting plenty of rest when possible will guarantee success for cut month. And Cut month is the start to my goal of competing in my first physique competition this summer. I’m not nervous at all. SO my meal plan - I eat five meals a day (0600, 0900, 1200, 1500, 1800); my first four meals remain constant and dinner with the family is the only variable. Here's a typical day in the life of 1800 calories:
I completely agree with “January Cut Month”. It is truly needed and it is a great beginning for a New Year. Most have little to no option to over indulgence during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Although we ‘Vegans’ tend to navigate the Holidays much better. We also have to work at maintaining our ideal BF%. I have to confess mine is not where I’d like. So, in the spirit of “January Cut Month”. I’m looking at continuing it into the first week of each month and making adjustments if needed. Thank you very much!
The first week was rough – as beginnings sometimes are. I probably dropped my calories in half from the holiday binge session (or what felt like a binge session). I definitely felt that drop in calories this first week as my body adjusted to less “fuel” to complete the days’ tasks. I started off last Monday (31 December) at 204lbs with 19%BF; weighed in tonight at 195lbs with 18%BF. Only 1% decrease in BF% tells me that I lost a majority of water weight during that first week….but there was some fat burned as well. As long as the BF% continues in the right direction, I will consider this to be a successful January Cut Month. The goal is to drop down to 14% BF (weight doesn’t matter) in preparation for February Solid Month. But let’s focus on January for now – one week down, three more to go…
One week left to go in January. I do hope that you all were able to keep your resolutions and stay focused on your health goals. If you decided to join us with the Cut Month, we'd love to hear about your progress and how you managed to maintain motivation and focus. This has been a long month and I'd argue that all cut months are definitely long months - something about eating less calories than normal that seams to make the month drag. I can say that despite the dragging month, I was able to lose 16lbs and drop 3% BF so far. One week left to go and I plan to stick to the program and finish up - the more body fat lost, the better it'll be for you during Bulk Month. And everybody loves Bulk Month.
I wish I could say the same thing, but for a skinny and hard gainer, we can't consider any month as a National Cut Down month, I hope you can understand my concern and please suggest to me which company weight gainer should use and where do I get this?