I'll be starting a cutting diet as of 7/18 which will consist of four different phases. Making a public thread on a public forum for all to see is the only way I can be held accountable for actually following through with this. Now that I've quit my band I can actually follow through with this and not be side-swiped. The layout of this is mostly for the DIET aspect- not the lifting. My lifting regiment will remain mostly unchanged which is why I didn't lay any of it out here. I've never had a problem gaining or losing weight so I'm not adhering to any specific "diet plan"- therein could be the only potential problem. I know what I need to do and I know what I can eat. Anything else only adds complication and ultimately makes the whole thing unravel. However, that being said, I will loosely be following this IDEA of IF (Intermittent Fasting: The Leangains Guide | Intermittent fasting diet for fat loss, muscle gain and health) It is my best chance because it was designed around people like me who just aren't ever hungry in the morning. I've been liberally trying it for the last couple days (sort of a cheat-start) and I think it will do the trick. The biggest problem for me is the mental factor- not of cracking and having a cheat meal or some such, but the physical depression of losing strength. It is the hardest part for me to cope with and the one reason I've been delaying this cut which has been a long time coming. So I've basically designed my own plan to help minimize muscle loss while going through this. I break it down like this: Phase 1: Motivation The biggest aspect of this phase will consist of diet change. The other part will be minimal cardio. I had been eating like shit lately and thus feeling like shit. Not even wanting to hit the gym and taking more days off from the gym than usual. That's done. My diet will consist of (but not limited to): *Chicken *Egg Whites *Whole wheat toast (w/ natty PB)- sparingly *"Salad"/lettuce *Lean red meats *Minimal fruit (too much sugar and carbs) *Cottage Cheese *Skim Milk *Various Whey proteins and other supps (Fish oil, vit. C, vit E,) *Naked Green Machine (This will be my main source of vegetables until my diet kicks in to the point where I'm hungry enough that I will actually eat vegetables) That's about it honestly. Of course there will be variations on some of them like the chicken- but pretty limited otherwise. As you can see, not a lot of carbs. I looooooove me some carbs so this part will be rough. I plan to have one to two "high carb" days a week- hopefully they will coincide with my heavier lifting days at the gym. I'm also hooked on caffeine and have a bad Rockstar/Monster habit and refuse to drink the low-carb ass flavored ones. I *might* substitute them for N.O. Xplode- but the thing is I really don't crave caffeine before the gym anymore. I use to HAVE to have one before the gym, but now it's just usually in the morning...so I have no exactly resolved this issue yet. Phase two: Supp. It Up This is where it's time to kick it up a notch. After I feel that I've cut a decent amount of fat- I will be looking for accelerated fat-loss. This will be about 6-8 weeks in. (I say that now, but I have no patience) The only reason I am hesitant when it comes to using fat-burners is because while they do work, they also contribute to muscle loss (though probably not as much as changing my diet alone). Hot*Rox by Biotest has worked for me in the past as well as BSN's Atro-phex. I am hesitant to try any others because I am very highly sensitive to some ingredients in some fat-burners/thermogenics. For example, I can't take BSN's Thermonex. The last time I did, it worked great! I lost 5 lbs in only a day! The only problem was that it was due to vomiting and peeing out my ass. I haven't nailed down what ingredient causes this for me, but it's not limited only to that specific product. I think part of it may be ginseng and one or two other things. A friend is trying to convince me to use Animal Cut. We'll see. I will also be upping the cardio during this phase. Only doing bicycle, eliptical, and walking at an incline. This phase will only last for about 6 weeks followed by 2-4 weeks off (off dietary supps that is) Phase three: Serious Business This is arguably the most important phase and will yield the best results. I have no choice but to be vague here because of lack of education and a never-ending onslaught of propaganda. This also happens to be the time at which I will start growing my viking goatee out into a viking beard (which could also be harder than everything else combined). This is where whatever strength gains were lost will be re-attained and this is the only way the whole thing will not be for nothing. Anyone can lose weight and get "shredded" but it's a lot harder to have mass on that frame. Real "supps" this time. Diet, cardio, and workout will all be immaculate. I've done it before and I will do it again. This will last approximately 8-10 weeks followed by 2 weeks off and a 4 week recovery period. Then the important part...phase four. Phase four: MAINTENANCE It's true. It's all for nothing if I can't keep a decent diet going and just let it all fall to shit. It's all on me. I don't have specific dates plotted for each phase because I don't believe in doing so. While that could be viewed as problematic- Anything could happen to cause one of them to be pushed back or forward and then aiming for a specific date was in vain. I do have rough goal dates such as P2 staring by at least the end of August and P3 starting around mid-September. I've been saving my stats for the end here because they're going to have to be updated after the weekend. Since moving I haven't been able to weigh myself. My gym has a scale but I haven't used it yet because I have a good idea of where I'm sitting. Prior to moving I was around 232. Right about now I'm estimating my weight at 225-227. Height: 6'2" Bodyfat: 22% (estimate) Yeah it's bad. The lowest body-fat I've ever been at was around 12%. I'm hoping to SMASH that and my goal bf% is 8%. It's realistic. I don't think I can ever have a diet or lifestyle that will allow me to be at or below 5-6%. If I hit single digits, I'll be stoked. I have taken my "before pics" but at this point am too embarrassed to show them until I have the AFTER pics or at least some part-way progress pics. So buckle up, 'cause Monday's horoscope: FUCK YEAH.