Summer shredding: Three-month cut

Week 8

Ryan Allen

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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 8: 199.2 lbs. – 197.4 lbs.

This week has been the easiest week of dieting on this cut. After a month of sticking to a plan, it becomes a habit, and after two months it becomes a lifestyle.

It also helps that I’ve been keeping a sustainable diet so I’m actually enjoying the weight loss process. I had to realize that the results aren’t coming overnight so I might as well make the journey easier. I’m flexible by eating big meals, sweets, and sometimes even fast food. It’s all about hitting the daily protein and being in a caloric deficit.

The biggest key tactic I use to lose fat is intermittent fasting. No, intermittent fasting isn’t a magical thing that makes you lose fat. If you eat 5,000 calories on a fast, you’re still going to gain fat. Intermittent fasting is just a technique used to assist the fat loss process. It’s just another way of saying that you have less time to eat so you don’t eat as much.

It’s all about hitting the daily protein and being in a caloric deficit.

— Staff Writer Ryan Allen

There are many ways to go at fasting and it all depends on how you feel throughout the day. There are only a few rules to intermittent fasting that need to be executed if you want to do it properly, the first being that it’s technically called “fasting” if you haven’t eaten six hours after waking. The second is that only zero calorie drinks can be consumed during the fast. Last, it takes a while to get used to and it may start off a little difficult.

The day always starts off rough because the hormone ghrelin is the first thing that spikes once waking. Ghrelin is the hunger hormone that spikes once the day starts, but it can easily be suppressed. On most occasions, you’re not even hungry after waking up, but your body is dehydrated. Dehydration is so easily confusable with hunger, which is another reason people tend to overeat.

An empty stomach throughout the day helps me stay sharp and light on my feet.

— Staff Writer Ryan Allen

I fast in a super-easy, stress-free way, and it works for me so it’s sustainable long term. I wake up at 7 a.m. and drink a lot of water from being dehydrated overnight. I don’t get thirsty or hungry until second period, so I’ll drink a sparkling water and that’ll hold me off for a couple of hours. I’ll then drink black coffee for lunch to suppress hunger because I’ll want to eat. I’ll drink another sparkling water a couple of hours after. I’ll finally break the fast around 4 p.m. with a piece of fruit when I get home from school.

I always break the fast with a small piece of fruit because we get hungry when our liver glycogen is low and needs to be refreshed. I use that as a pre-workout snack and an empty stomach prevents being sluggish in the gym. It’ll be around 7 p.m. and I’m ready to feast. I’ll eat a 2,000-calorie meal, and I’ll be full and satisfied. An empty stomach throughout the day helps me stay sharp and light on my feet.

I’d recommend starting off with a nine-hour eating window and work yourself up. Intermittent fasting is a great way to strategically eat, preventing binge-eating. But as long as you’re in a caloric deficit, intermittent fasting or not, you’ll lose weight. On to week 9.