Get Lean: Tips on How to Cut Effectively

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If you have been going to the gym for a while you have probably got used to hearing terms such as ‘cutting’ and ‘getting ripped’. While it may sound like something of a violent pastime, it actually refers to the process of reducing your overall levels of body fat. As we all know, having too much body fat is bad for your health and also puts you at risk of developing complications later in life.
If you want to ensure that you have a healthy percentage of body fat, then your first consideration should be to eat healthily and keep your level of sugar to a minimum. It seems that everyone seems to gain an interest about this around New Year, but listen, this needs to be something that is engrained in your psyche and you should be adhering to it all year round.

Go with the Seasons
If you are new to weight-lifting then you have probably already heard guys at the gym discussing their bulking routine in the winter months and their cutting routine in the spring. While you are not required to follow this thought process, it makes sense to overload on calories and lift big during the winter months when any excess fat is hidden by the bulkier clothes that you wear. As we approach the spring, this is when you want to think about losing a bit of that bulk and reducing your body fat.
We all know that there is no better feeling that being on the beach with your buddies and turning heads every single time. Some may say it is vain, but who the hell cares? After all that hard work you have put in why not show it off and get yourself more than a few compliments.
Ok, something that you need to keep in mind is that you will lose muscle mass and some size but you will look a hell of a lot better after you have reduced your body fat and your muscles will look so defined that, seriously, you will not fail to turn heads wherever you go.
The Basics
Let’s get started. There is not a complicated method behind cutting, seriously; all you are doing is burning more calories than you are taking in each day. There is nothing else behind it, it really is that simple.
Something that you need to keep in mind though is that you do not want to lose too much weight too quickly, you need to be aiming to be losing something like 2lb a week. This will help ensure that you keep as much of your muscle mass as possible.
There are 2 different methods that you can employ to start shifting the fat, and guess what, you know them pretty well, hopefully. There is both the cardio aspect and the weight lifting aspect to consider, when you use a combination of the two, you are well on your way to success.

Cardio: HIIT vs Low Intensity Cardio
Cardio is the staple of any fat loss programme and you will get more than well acquainted over the coming months. There are, however, two different types of cardio for you to perform, these are HIIT and low intensity, low duration cardio.
HIIT is now one of the most popular types of cardio due its effectiveness in getting rid of fat super-fast. However, it isn’t for the faint-hearted and you will find that your motivation begins to question itself at the start. Just like everything else though, you will soon begin to notice to real results and you will be surprised at how quickly your fitness picks up.
HIIT is associated with developing rapid and intense speed and movement and for that reason it is incredibly popular amongst those who partake in boxing. However, it has recently become recognised amongst those who participate in other sports as an essential part of training.
If you find that you are a little short on time then this is perfect as the workout is over in fifteen minutes and you actually burn more calories than doing the more traditional forms of cardio. You can also use HIIT for other exercises including: pull-ups, push-ups, press-ups, burpees and many more!
However, if you prefer, you can also go for low intensity, which many claim is much more beneficial if you are looking to cut far and maintain muscle. As we will discuss later, when we are looking to cut, and in a low-carb state, we want to be tapping into our fat sources during cardio.
Obviously a good place to begin is with low intensity jogging, however, not everyone is a fan of pounding the pavement and this is where cycling is an option due to variety and sense of freedom that is provides. If you are a man or woman on the go and find that your time is limited, then electric bikes have certainly come a long way in recent years and offer a good all-round work out while enabling you to go about your daily routine without too much disruption.
Many people falsely believe that during cutting it is a requirement to cease lifting weight; try to imagine this situation. You have been lifting heavy and consuming more calories than you burn to pack on size. If you start eating less calories and also stop lifting, what do you think is going to happen?
You going to lose your muscle and size.
If you wish to maintain your current muscle then you should concentrate on lifting heavy still but with low repetitions. There has long been a misconception that during the cutting phase you need to lift lighter weights but with more repetitions. Sadly, this advice is plain wrong and will not stunt your awesome progress and ensure that you set yourself back several months. As I highlighted earlier, this will only lead to loss of muscle, and as you know, this is something of a nightmare of any serious gym guy.
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Your Diet
Like every other part of weight training, your diet plays a crucial role in all you do and this is certainly the case during the cutting phase. Basically you want to be burning more calories than you take in everyday; you also need to make sure that you are consuming six meals a day.
You obviously need to ensure that you keep eating a high-protein diet, but unlike when you cut, you need to keep a close eye on everything that goes in your mouth. Ideally you need to eat ‘clean’, that is foot that is high in protein but low in fat. If you are tempted to swamp that healthy chicken breast in a fatty sauce, then forget it, you may as well just give up now and kiss goodbye to turning heads next summer.
One piece of advice that I like to give is to adopt a Mediterranean diet; that is one that is heavy in plant-based foods such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains and nuts. You could also consider increasing the amount of fish that you eat due to the low levels of trans and saturated fats and high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Ideally you should limit red meat to once or twice a week due to the levels of fat contained in it. Another great way of limiting the amount of fat that you digest is to ditch the butter and go with olive oil.

Ok, listen, I am going to keep this short and sweet. We are all more than aware of how difficult it can be to keep on going to the gym during the winter months, but you need to keep in mind that if you don’t put anything in, then more often than not, you get nothing out of it.
If you need a little something to help you out, then consider this, imagine how you will look on the beach this summer if you don’t do anything. Why be the guy who, like everyone else is eyeballing that guy with jealousy? Make sure that this year if different, make sure that you are that guy for once!


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