It’s been a while since I’ve provided a dieting update. Sometimes life gets in the way of blogging, and unfortunately I’ve been away from the site more than I’ve wanted to be in recent weeks.
But that’s one of the decisions you have to make sometimes. With training, cardio, dieting, work, travel, etc. you need to make time for certain things and prioritize. Obviously, the blogging fell down the ladder a bit in order to make sure I was able to stay on point with my diet, training, and nutrition.
Over the last month, I’ve traveled to Wisconsin for a wedding and was surprised with a long weekend in Las Vegas. I also had my future in-laws visit town for another weekend.
Things have been busy.
All of these events were significant challenges for me. Staying on track with counting macros is tough to do when traveling that much, and when with family and friends, the last thing you want to do is derail the celebration because you are on a diet.
So, I just did the best I could, and the result luckily ended up being more progress. At exactly the two-month mark of this cut diet, I hit a brand new low weigh-in of 177 pounds. That’s 13 pounds down from my highest weigh-in in mid-March.
Additionally, my calories have dropped down to 2,000 a day — down about 200 calories since the last time I checked in with a progress report. My macro breakdown is now 175 carbohydrates, 55 fat, and 200 protein.
Lets break everything down based on two categories: Training and traveling.
Since my last check-in, my training levels have definitely dipped. As my weight has crept lower after approximately 10 pounds of weight loss, energy and capacity have decreased.
That’s OK, though. Quite honestly, I expected it to happen sooner. I don’t have the highest strength levels when it comes to my squat, bench, and deadlift, so the impending doom of being unable to continue with my strength programming was always something I anticipated.
I’ve pretty much abandoned the bench press altogether for a focus on hypertrophy. I’m looking to get as much volume in as possible on my push days and am mostly utilizing dumbbells and cables to train chest.
I’m still squatting, but I’ve backed off programming and am auto-regulating 5×5’s to start off my leg days.
As for deadlift, this programming really fell off. Because of the weekend travel and festivities, much of the training I anticipated to do on the weekends (Saturdays are scheduled for deadlifts, weak points, etc.) wasn’t possible. I hope to get back on track with deadlifts over the last 5-6 weeks of my diet and auto-regulate some 5×5’s, similar to what I’m doing with squatting.
Outside of those strength movements, it’s all volume all the time. I’m slowly incorporating some drop sets, too, to kick up the intensity a bit.
As I’ve mentioned before, I want to eat as many calories a day as possible during this cut, so upping the intensity with drop sets and super sets is something I’ll lean on moving forward in order to stay at 2,000 calories for as long as possible.
This part will incorporate a lot of things, like nutrition, estimating, improvising training, etc.
To start, eating right while traveling is super difficult. When you travel, you normally eat at restaurants where you are unable to prepare the food and, thus, don’t know the macronutrient breakdown.
That said, if you’ve been tracking for any extended length of time (3-6 months or more), you can try and use your best judgement. Will it be perfect? No. Will you go over/under your macros each day? Probably. But you can use better judgement to ensure you don’t go too far over or under each day, and then when your travel is complete you’ll be in a good place to get back on track.
My general strategy was to try to eat just two meals a day and drink a TON of water in between. Water fills you up and helps fight cravings. It also helps flush your system and can reduce bloating if done right.
So… I tried to eat a big breakfast each day that was full of protein-rich foods in order to fill me up for a longer-than-normal amount of time. The goal was normally to tide myself over until dinner time (so, about 6-7 hours). Then at dinner, I’d look for meals that gave me an equal distribution of carbs, fats, and protein. In between, if I needed a snack I’d look to protein bars or a shake.
None of it was perfect. I didn’t even try tracking. I knew the results were going to be bad. But I did my best, tried to think about my macros and how foods would fit, and proceeded accordingly.
Whatever my macros ended up being, it worked out. I usually would come back a pound or two heavier, but that was mostly due to bloating. After a few days of training and cardio, my weight always returned back to normal, if not lower.
When it comes to training while traveling, once again you just have to do the best you can. I ran some wind sprints to get at least a little bit of cardio in. I used bands in a hotel room. I also tried to plan ahead by working in additional training during the week before my trip.
Really, just do anything you can. It’s better than nothing and will help you land on the right foot when your travel is complete.
So that’s where we sit, two months into this thing. I plan on dieting down until July 4, which gives me a little over a month to continue to drop weight. Initially, my goal was to get down to at least 175, and dropping to the 170-pound mark was in the “who knows” category.
Now, I’m thinking about getting as aggressive with this cut as I can and reaching for that 170-pound mark. Might as well give it a shot, eh?
June looks like a month with little-to-no travel, so normalcy when it comes to training and nutrition should be easier to achieve. Looking forward to seeing the results!
Thanks for reading!