Summer shredding: Three-month cut

Week 7


Shelby Foster and Rilee Stapleton

Thinking about the most important things when on a clean cutting diet. I will be executing a healthy, three-month cut losing fat while retaining as much muscle as possible. It’s important in the cutting cycle not to crash diet (cut too many calories) and sacrifice all of the hard-earned muscle from the gym.

Week 7: 200.0 lbs – 199.2 lbs

This week, cravings are absolutely killing me right now, so I’m switching up the diet a little bit. The most important tip for summer shredding is finding a way to keep your diet and cravings under control.

A sustainable diet is the key to success, because you want something to work long term. There’s no point in short-term success when you could keep the maximum results by doing it the right way long term.

I went to the extremes with losing weight because I had the willpower, but my diet wasn’t sustainable. Since I was so strict with my diet, I deprived myself of certain nutrients that hurt me long term. “No, Ryan you can’t eat that” or “No, that’s bad for you” destroyed me in the end and made the journey much harder. No amount of willpower in the world can handle the stresses of life and prevent you from cracking. When everything in life came crashing down, so did my diet.

Certain ‘diets’ that cut out a whole food group are pretty extreme and you lose benefits of the lost group.

— Staff Writer Ryan Allen

Everything is about balance and anything extreme is unsustainable and unrealistic. I did the keto diet and it worked to lose the weight but it’s torture to live with otherwise. Your body needs glycogen when muscle building or doing hard labor for muscle recovery. When I hit the gym on keto, I was always fatigued and drained due to not eating carbs. Certain “diets” that cut out a whole food group are pretty extreme and you lose benefits of the lost group.

Protein is used to rebuild the broken down muscle tissue, fats are used to reduce heart disease and keep you satisfied, and carbs restore glycogen and keep you full. If you cut out carbs you’ll be satisfied but feel empty, and if you cut out fats you’ll be full but never satisfied. That leads to binge eating which will set you back even farther. This is why the majority of dieters gain back the weight they lost. Extreme diets are unsustainable, period.

Sticking to what you started and following through with what you want is where most people fall short, because things get tough.

— Staff Writer Ryan Allen

Everyone likes to over complicate things when losing fat but it only takes one thing a — calorie deficit. It doesn’t matter how you get there, (for example, by keeping protein intake high for minimal muscle loss) but as long as you are in a deficit, you will lose weight. My number one tip when losing fat is the understanding that it’s going to suck. There’s no way around it. It’s something that you’re going to have to get used to.

If losing fat was easy, the whole world would be ripped. At the beginning of a cut, you have to realize that you’ll be out of your comfort zone and you won’t be satisfied 100 percent of the time. There will be days that your motivation is at its peak and other days that you’ll feel like absolute garbage. Sticking to what you started and following through with what you want is where most people fall short, because things get tough.

Bulking season in the gym is a blast. I get to eat 500-750 calories over maintenance level, I’m full of energy in the gym, and everything feels better. I’m never hungry and I get to live comfortably, but in the end, I gain fat. I treat my bulking season (November-April) as a reward for a successful cutting season. I’ll typically go from 16 percent down to nine percent body fat on a cut and then vice-versa on a bulk.

The key to a bulk is hitting the gym like nobody’s business. You want to capitalize on the fat gain to make bigger progress with building muscle. The point is also to do a lean bulk (minor surplus) because you don’t want to be stupid and put on too much weight. Bulking needs to be strategic. At the end of every season, you should end up with more muscle mass, thus building your physique.

Your body goes into starvation mode in a cutting season, because you’re in a deficit and you’re using fat for energy. It’s going to get hard and it won’t be a smooth ride so find a sustainable diet for long term results.

If you find a way to enjoy the process in the present time, you’ve already achieved your goals. I learned that this week and it’s really pushed my results farther than I expected. On to week eight.