2016 has been quite an interesting year for me. From January 1st up to today, I have been doing a whole lot of tests on my body with different types of training and dieting. But why? Four years ago, I joined a Crossfit box after a bad breakup which had me reach my heaviest weight. I started slowly like all the scared newcomers, going once or twice a week to truly joining the cult and going at least five times a week. On top of that, I started eating a pretty strict Paleo diet with hardly one cheat per week.
It was awesome! In less than two years, I had lost 40 pounds and could do things I had never considered. My friends were all amazed by it. I literally had a new positive comment about my body each time I talked to someone who knew me from before.
A year after joining Crossfit though, I quit my job to start freelancing. It didn’t change much in my routine for the first year, I worked a lot with little vacation and made time for the gym for my mental health!
But for the next two years, I started remote working more and more. It’s been pretty magical as I got to work from Berlin, Florida, New York and many more cities! However, it sucked big time for my health. Training less has made me gain fat, even if I was still eating a healthy diet.
That’s why this winter, I decided to find what was the best training and diet plan for my body and lifestyle.
I’m doing less Crossfit* since I can’t rely on it when I travel (I paid close to $200 in Berlin for less than 30 days, not cool) and only go now as a way to have fun but also shock my body so it never gets comfortable. I’m doing more strength training because I can find a cheap gym anywhere in the world. By gaining access to those gyms, I program my own workouts which include strength, and accessory work but also my own workouts so I can still keep a cardio+weight component.
After a bunch of tests and taking the decision that I wanted to eat anything that I wanted without going low carb or high carb, I have opted for Intermittent Fasting. I usually eat between 12 pm and 8 pm but am aiming more and more at eating between 4 pm and 8 pm to have a longer fast. So it means that I eat one or two meals per day with one snack or two in a specific time window. I’m still all about clean eating but I don’t feel bad at all if I want a donut as long as I don’t go over my macros.
Ok, but what about the cut?
Since implementing this new way of training and eating, my body has become pretty stable which is great! It means that I don’t gain weight out of nowhere because I had a sandwich the day before. So my next step is to lose the weight that I’ve gained and most importantly reduce my fat percentage.
This is why I’ve been on a cut for weeks now and keep on learning about what works or not. I’m also not starving myself because the goal is to program the body to keep losing weight or staying at the same weight at the highest number of calories or maximum amount of food eaten!
So here are a few tips that could help you out if you are on a cut or thinking of starting one. Keep in mind that your safety is always number one so make sure you eat enough and that you eat good stuff.
#1: If you plan to have a big meal out…
Use Intermittent Fasting to keep your calorie budget as big as possible for that meal. Try to have only one or two small meals before which should consist of a green smoothie and maybe a protein bar.
#2: If you’re having crazy sugar cravings…
Get yourself a zero-calorie drink or make a lemonade with some stevia packets. It should hit the spot and fool your brain.
#3: Stick to two meals
I’m preaching Intermittent Fasting again by encouraging you to have one very strict meal (if Paleo, even better!) and then one meal where you can chill on the rules and actually enjoy a craving of yours. Of course, size matters so keep that in mind.
#4: To hit your protein macros…
Keep a clean protein in your fridge that is also low-calorie. It can be turkey slices, Greek yogurt or a protein powder that you trust. In my case, it’s always what I need to make up for in my macros!
#5: To hit your fat macros…
Take fish oil! It’s 100% fat and it also happens to be very good for you.
#6: If you indulged in a treat or meal that messed up your macros…
Keep in mind that the total number of calories stays your main priority. So do not go over your TDEE to make up for other missing nutrients.
*Note that I’m not dissing Crossfit here. If I had a more stable life in Montreal, I would get back to going 4-5 times a week and getting back in shape super fast. The issue here is that I’m choosing travelling over CF because that’s what I live for, at least for now. As a freelancer, I have the unbelievable chance to work from anywhere.