I put up a post on our facebook this week saying that I was on a mini cut for a couple of weeks and had a few messages asking about it (thanks by the way, its really cool to know people actually read what we write!)
A mini cut, while training for an ironman…really?
First up: when I say mini cut what do i mean?
A couple of weeks of focus to bring body fat down, its a little more aggressive than a “healthy eating” plan but only in terms that I take out a little of the flexibility. I eat in the exact same way that we talk about in our StriveFit Food Blueprint, but just cut down on the free meals & 80:20 moderation so that its nearer 95:5. Still no calorie counting, just tightening up the reins a little bit.
Would I do this all the time? Err clearly not. Hence the word “mini”
Life is too short for being too strict to maintain a healthy body, and its good for you mentally to have things you enjoy in moderation. (key word there is moderation!)
I will only use something more acute for a short term purpose.
I sit around about 63kg with relative comfort, I can eat out a couple of times a week, have a couple of drinks of a weekend and stay in my favourite jeans. I don’t know about you but for me this is the goal, pretty much the aim is to not have to think too hard about how to eat and be able to train and wear what I want to.
However, I know I can usually maintain at 60-61ish if I am being well behaved and have a few less beers at the ice hockey! In terms of my race coming up, being 2-3kg-ish less will be a massive help in terms of my power to weight ratio and even just the reduction of impact on my joints over 6+ hours will helpful.
Now, the unknowns. I have been working pretty hard in the gym as well as in the pool and on the roads and have put on a little bit of muscle, I suspect not a lot (I still have pretty noodly arms) but definitely a bit even if just my quads which are definitely looking bigger. So with reducing some body fat and having less to carry around I should get faster… in theory. However, I am actually not sure how much I have to lose in terms of body fat now that I have a little more muscle. I don’t use the measurements on scales for body fat as I find them inaccurate so I don’t know what my body composition actually is at the moment and what I can lose.
Of course, aside from the race help I also have a couple of weddings and parties coming up that I would like to be a little leaner for. Call it vanity but after 4 months of training hard I am a little intrigued to see what my body looks like a little leaner and should be able to see that in a couple of weeks.
When you are comfortable maintaining at set weight fluctuating up and down by a kilo or so in either direction is not a massive hardship. The harder part is getting to that point and being consistent when you get there.
So why don’t I often do this with clients?
Because unless you have super solid eating habits & can dissociate with scale weight quite easily I feel like this is actually detrimental to progress. It detracts from the fact that most people will hit their goals with consistency over time and with small lifestyle changes. It can feel too intense for people if they are just starting out and without healthy habits to rely on it is unlikely new people will even make the end of the 2-3 weeks let alone hit their ultimate goal.
Now, for those people who graduate into the maintenance phase (i.e. they are at the weight they want to be, have healthy habits and aren’t thinking too much about how to keep it that way) with me and are training and eating consistently, sometimes we will do a little mini cut. “Rosie I have just booked a last minute holiday and want to see some abs” for example is a time that we might do this.
So how do you know if this is right for you?
Are you comfortably maintaining at a healthy weight?
Do you love your body as you are and can you disconnect yourself from the weight on scales?
I am taking on 5 people who want to hit that final phase of fat loss, but, it is not for everyone. Some people can do a mini cut, some need to work for a little longer, some people just aren’t ready at all.
If you think you think you are ready to take the next step and you want a hand, just drop me an email.