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What to expect when I cut - Dakota - 07-05-2015 04:40 PM


So I'm seven weeks into this woe and loving it. I feel stong, healthy and positive. I have gone from 1400 to 2400 and am close (I think) to my TDEE. Sometimes I hit around 2700 (I have a fitbit Charge) but sometimes only 1900 too, so 2400 is probably a pretty solid base. It is also the most common burn number I get. I have been really lucky and only gained 2 pounds in total, which I'm delighted about.

My plan is to maintain through the summer and then take a cut late August. I have two questions which I'd really like advice on.

1- do you think 2400 sounds right? How do I know for sure that I've hit my true numbers? I've been at 2300-2400 for three weeks now and have just lost a pound this week, otherwise stayed steady.

2- when I cut, what do I do? Just cut 250 calories off? What can I expect to happen? How quickly should I see loss? If I go at 15% I should see a quicker loss, right? But is this sensible? Am I right in thinking that I should 'refeed' every few weeks to avoid 2150 becoming my new 'normal'? Any other useful advice from those more experienced than me?

Maybe I shouldn't be looking that far ahead but I'm interested in the process and haven't come across much reading on the next phase.

Thanks in advance for any help / advice you can offer!

RE: What to expect when I cut - AnitraSoto - 07-05-2015 06:14 PM

How awesome is that?? To have gone from eating 1400 to 2400 with only a 2 pound gain? Sounds like you are doing everything right!

1 - as far as how to know if you have hit your TDEE... Have you had a chance to read The Metabolism Reset Guide? There is a whole section in there devoted to determining how to find your true TDEE, rather than simply relying on the calculators or an on-body device. Those things are great to reinforce your numbers, but there is nothing like actually testing it out... Take a peek, if you haven't already, as I think it will answer your question.


2 - after you have determined your true TDEE, completed your reset, and feel as though you are ready to cut.... Yes, in your case taking off 250 calories would result in a 10% cut, which would be a perfect starting place. Be forewarned, just like the beginning part of this process, the cutting portion can be slow going as well. Be prepared to spend several weeks (at least) at cut before you start to see anything happening. This is totally normal, and no reason to panic. Just stay consistent. Yes, a bigger cut might result in a faster weight loss, but that is not what you would want to do. Save that 15% "just in case". You want to cut at the highest level possible which still yields results. You worked hard getting our metabolism revved up, and want to make sure to continue to feed it properly. Don't get caught up in the "more is better" mentality, especially when it comes to counting calories.

Yes, you are exactly right that you will want to return to TDEE every few weeks to avoid your metabolism adjusting downwards and accepting this decreased intake as the new normal..

For right now, you are going to want to try to make sure that you are truly at your TDEE, so take a look at the Reset Guide and test it out. You want to make sure you are eating at the highest level possible (I mean, who doesn't want to eat as much as they can? laughing )

Sounds like you are on the right path. Keep doing your research and keep it up!

RE: What to expect when I cut - Dakota - 07-06-2015 05:59 PM

Great, thank you Anitra. You're an angel!

RE: What to expect when I cut - AnitraSoto - 07-06-2015 08:44 PM

That's sweet.... Thanks! blushing

On the other hand, it's also very nice to help someone out who has taken the time to do the research and is truly trying to understand and work their way through the process... applause

RE: What to expect when I cut - Dakota - 07-08-2015 06:21 PM

Aww, thanks. I'm trying! blushing

RE: What to expect when I cut - Dakota - 07-18-2015 03:16 AM

Aaagh, Anitra, please help me!!

Last week I went up by a pound at 2400. Chose not to panic, know that if that means i've hit TDEE i would not have gained that much and that there must be a proper explanation. I will admit I have been less good about tracking, and definitely about macros, so decided not to panic about the pound and just forge on.

This week, I'm wobbly and clothes haven't fit well so I stood on the scales with some trepidation....only to find I have gained FIVE pounds. What could this be? What should I do? I go on holiday in three weeks, so I want a 'quick fix' without ruining all my hard work. Should I go 100% clean eating for three weeks at 2400 cals? Drop back to 2300 where I maintained? Up my protein to 50% ? All instincts are going"stop eating/cut to 1200" but I have worked damn hard and I believe in this system so I don't want to panic react. Please help me, what would you do? I want those 5 pounds gone again! They are not welcome here!!!! sigh

Thank you for being someone I feel I can turn to in this moment of horror!!m

RE: What to expect when I cut - AnitraSoto - 07-18-2015 07:34 AM

I know exactly what you are feeling right now, but this is when you need to stay strong! A quick 5 pound gain over a week is water. There are so many reasons for water weight gain: TOM cycle fluctuations, retention from high sodium, DOMS......

You also know that cutting back to 1200 is NOT the answer! You have worked so hard to get where you are right now, the last thing you want to do is to put your metabolism in a tail-spin by dropping your intake back like that. I know that you are going on holiday in three weeks, but you need to put that out of your head and concentrate on your long-term goals. As far as vacation, go buy yourself some clothes that you feel fabulous in where you are *right now*, don't stuff yourself into clothes that are feeling tight ... that will just make you feel miserable.

So we know you are pretty close to your TDEE, so just put that vacation out of your head and re-focus on your plan here. Go back and read the Metabolism Reset Guide (which is now located on the Home Page under the Start Here tab) and remind yourself of what we are doing to determine your true TDEE. Since we are close to that number, we may need to do some adjusting, but certainly not that big drop back to 1200 ... that will accomplish nothing except for you losing water and probably muscle weight ... not fat! The most you will want to do is adjust by about 100 calories. Perhaps for right now, drop back to that 2300 where you were stable and monitor things. Definitely watch your intake and macros and make sure you are getting your protein. Eating whole foods and avoiding pre-packaged stuff is always good, but don't go overboard and cut out all treats --- that just results in the desire to binge. Also, avoid that thought creeping in to the back of your head that you need to exercise more to burn off calories. Stick with the strength training and some brief HIIT workouts and stay with the program.

I know you want those 5 pounds gone like yesterday, but try to focus on your long term health and well-being. You certainly don't want to have to look forward to a life of hunger at 1200, so keep on doing what you have been doing and let's just tweek it by 100 calories. Those quick fluctuations are just water, and it would probably be gone in a few weeks, whether you adjusted your calories or not, but since you are so close to your TDEE right now, just drop back to 2300 and monitor (oh, and go buy yourself a couple cute outfits!!!)

RE: What to expect when I cut - emma - 07-18-2015 10:28 AM

Of course Anitra is spot on - I just wanted to agree about buying new clothes. Most people are hesitant because it feels like giving up, but trust me, you'll feel a lot better if you feel good with what you are wearing. Also, regarding water retention, it feels counterintuitive when you are retaining, but drinking more water can really help flush out the excess, particularly if its sodium induced. That includes eating "watery" foods. So my tip is drink a ton of water and be sure to include lots of vegetables like cucumbers and leafy greens.

RE: What to expect when I cut - KatiAuchinleck - 07-18-2015 02:13 PM

Hang tough, Dakota! You can do this. The fluctuations are so difficult. The old mindset wants to take over, but you won't let it. I'm proud of you!!! Stay strong, you have a lot of support and amazing team members here to help you. And..."watery" foods...I find watermelon very helpful!

RE: What to expect when I cut - Dakota - 07-19-2015 10:14 AM

Aww thanks guys! What would I do without you?

So the plan is- three weeks- lots of water, less wine, more healthy higher calorie meals (may have been slipping back towards snacking), 30% minimum protein, carry on with 3xcardio (30 minutes), 3 x weights DVD, no panicking, more buying waist clinchers off ebay!! I will stay strong. I will not ruin all I have worked for for the last three months.

Thank you so much for your support- you have no idea how much it means.x