It’s called “cutting.” It’s the process powerlifters go through when they’re trying to lose weight for competition. Whether you are cutting for a purpose or just want to drop pounds as a powerlifter, you can apply the same principles to get results. By following these traditional guidelines you can lose weight, get lean and uncover the body you’ve been looking for.
Eat less. Calculate your daily calorie needs by using an online BMR calculator and then multiply that number by 1.4, 1.5 or 1.6 depending on your training intensity and lifestyle. The more active you are during the day and the harder you train, the higher your multiplier should be. From that number, subtract 500 to give you the number of calories you should consume to lose one pound per week.
Eat often. Create a meal plan that breaks your calorie allotment into six meals per day making sure one of your meals takes place right after your workout to help your muscles recover. By eating six times a day, you will keep your metabolism racing while shedding more calories through digestion. Having frequent meals also prevents your body from entering into a catabolic state in which it uses its own muscle for energy.
Increase your cardio to speed up weight loss. Because cardio burns more immediate calories than lifting, you’ll increase your daily burn and shed pounds faster. If you’re already getting the American Heart Association’s recommended 30 minutes five days a week, increase it to 45. Depending on your choice of cardio workout, you can burn between 80 and 150 -- or more -- additional calories in the extra 15 minutes.
Increase your water intake and ditch the calories you drink with juice or soda. This helps your metabolism stay high and also lets your body know that it doesn’t have to store extra water. If it’s getting plenty of hydration on a consistent basis, it will stop retaining as much knowing that it will be getting more soon. And, by drinking more, you’ll actually lose water weight and attain a less-bloated, more chiseled figure.
- If you’re used to eating more calories, stock up on less calorie-dense foods, like vegetables and fruit, to fill up.
- Don’t cut your calories too drastically right away. This will not only make you miserable, it will also send your body into starvation mode forcing it to slow its metabolism and cling to any extra calories it can. If decreasing 500 calories a day is too much too soon, cut back by 100 or 200 to start and lower gradually. Also, be sure to consult with your physician before starting a weight-loss program to ensure your health and safety.
After graduating from the University of Kansas with a bachelor's degree in sports information, Jill Lee served for 10 years as a magazine editor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Also a published author, Lee now works as a professional writer and editor focusing on fitness, sports and careers.