Updated: Oct 18, 2018
You’ve worked hard for all your muscle. Don’t lose it when trying to shed off your body fat.
Don’t cut calories too short - It’s comon for someone who’s been months on a bulk (calorie surplus phase for growth) to drop too many calories from one day to another and start losing muscle mass. The same way you should approach a bulk (increasing weight) by slowly increasing calories, you should approach with caution and slowly decrease the calories. Monitor and adjust. Do not just drop calories without knowing where you are dropping them either.
Drop the carbs - Out of the three macros don’t drop too much your healthy fat intake or protein, drop your carbs first. You need to maintain a higher protein intake to retain muscle tissue and you need your fats to ensure you have a healthy organism, but slowly decrease your carbs and monitor. Many believe dropping fats to shed fat is the approach . Wrong.
Too much cardio - Often people don’t include cardio during their growing phase and when they start leaning out they add too much. Start with a few sessions a week and see how your body is responding with the change in nutrition first and then with cardio. Don’t over do it as well, start progressive with 20 minutes and extend to add more later. Choose HIIT if your body can handle it as studies have shown HIIT allows to preserve more muscle tissue (if nutrition is under the right conditions)
Decreasing the weights and increasing the rep range "Toning Up" - This one is a common myth that many still do. “Lighter weights and more reps will get me toned”. FALSE! Keep challenging your body safely and don’t forget the big moves that involve pushing, pulling, squatting and pressing. Don’t spend more time in isolation movements believing that will ‘tone’ you up faster.
Measuring success on the scale - This is the worst thing you can do. If you started your bulk at 180lbs and now you are 200lbs, don’t measure your success of leaning out by wanting to reach the 180lbs again. Unless you’ve gained only 20 of straight fat you want to measure your goals beyond the scale. Use pictures and measurements to access your goals. You want to look bigger and leaner after your cut and not have the exact same weight you began with; otherwise you’re just a yo-yo.