My 8-Week Weight Loss Cut
FYI This post contains pictures of my body. No manipulative angles, good light, or blemish effects. Kindness is appreciated!
At the beginning of my weight loss series, I told you that I would start a weight loss cut for 6 weeks (which ended up being 8 weeks). You see, I really enjoyed the tail end of 2017: I went on a living spree with pre-wedding drinks and treats, all the food surrounding my wedding + honeymoon, AND THEN the holidays. It was all delicious. Not a damn regret. Those experiences are what life is made of and food, too, is an experience of life.
Still, I yearned to re-establish consistent eating habits in the new year. Food also has the power to make you feel sluggish, bloated, and heavy (as we all know). I was done with that feeling and I needed a hard reset. It's been eight weeks since I started my cut and I'm ready to talk about the ups, downs, progress so far, and what's to come.
Let me tell you the truth: I wasn’t seeing results.
I took my 6-week progress pics and they were disappointing! The scale was hardly budging! It was very discouraging because I've succeed with weight loss in the past following these protocols, so WHY TF wasn’t it working?
There are many reasons: some of them are objective and others can be blamed on my own physiology. One takeaway I had to drive home is that WE LADIES DO NOT usually see a drop, drop, drop on the scale. Our weight loss and gain fluctuates! Many factors contribute to this fluctuation like:
- Where we are in our menstrual cycle
- Water retention
- Improper hydration
- Bathroom habits like constipation
- Fiber intake
- How much we ate yesterday
- Food intolerances
- And more!
Understanding this, I continued to follow my weight loss series and trust the process. There were a couple changes I wanted to try, just to see if it would tip the scales at all (literally).
- First, I reduced the dairy in my diet. I started eating the equivalent of two string cheeses per day; no cows milk, dairy creamer, yogurt, etc. That helped! I experienced less bloat in my midsection.
- I also added some extra aerobic exercise in an effort to shock my body. I've been hopping on the treadmill and running a mile as fast as I can after my workouts. That's helped budge the scale a little!
March rolled around and I finally started looking and feeling lighter!
These progress photos were taken the first week of January, then again on March 2nd.
Look how much I’ve visually leaned out! I store excess fat in my belly so loss there shows up in a big way. Would you believe me if I told you this is only a 4-pound difference? It is! The scale isn’t everything, my friends. Keep track of how you look and feel, not just the numbers!
How I Did This
I followed the advice from my weight loss series (this post & this post). I also followed the exercise protocols listed in this post, lots of cardio paired with weight lifting (moderate weight at higher reps). I workout 3-4 times per week for about 75 minutes. Usually it looks something like this:
- Warmup (jump rope, a light jog or cycle, or resistance band work) – 10 minutes
- Strength training (I don’t get very detailed with the muscle groups but I DO isolate either upper body/core or lower body for the entire workout) – 30 minutes
- Burnout (I use my remaining energy for HIIT cardio, rowing, sprints, or another cardiovascular workout) – 25 minutes
- Stretching and foam rolling – 5 to 10 minutes
Nutrition is Everything
And it’s why I post so many recipes. I HEAR YOU ALL, I know you want to be coached and I would LOVE to train you extensively in the near future which is why I’m actually working on my personal trainer certification right now! (Stay tuned guys, and thank you for encouraging me to delve into new things!)
In the meantime, while I'm buried in human movement science, the best thing I can give you right now is recipes. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it 100 times: you cannot out-train a bad diet. Every week, I strive to help you along your journey with micronutrient-dense, colorful, and healthy recipes that I eat and love.
Where I’m At Now
Numbers suck and we ought to not compare ours to others. But ya’ll are gonna ask anyway so here they are. I’m currently 134 pounds, I began this cut at 138.
I want to lean out a bit more for the spring and summer. I’m going to continue eating 1,600-1,700 calories per day but I may not track macronutrients as diligently (by now, I have a good idea of the calories/macros in the foods I eat most often.)
For exercise, I’m going to continue a combination of strength training and cardio. When spring rolls around, I naturally want to be outside more so my cardio may go up.
Most importantly, I am going to listen to my body. Since I’m not training for anything in particular, I’ll take full advantage of a sunny day to do a distance run or hill sprints. I won’t sweat the occasional beer or birthday cake. I'll keep challenging my efforts. And soon I'll have my personal trainer cert which will open even more doors for Fueling Function. I can't wait for you to join me for what's to come.
Aaaand that’s the plan!