Protima Tiwary talks to Guradesh Mann, fitness consultant and bodybuilder to understand how to use the summer season to eat well to shred well.
The temperatures are soaring, and it’s time for the summer bodies to make an appearance. Everyone around seems to be changing their diets and workout routines as they get started with summer shredding, or “cutting” What is this really? Does it mean we need to stop consuming carbs completely? Are we to maintain a strict diet? “In order to shred well, you need to eat well,” says Dr Guradesh Mann, a fitness consultant who holds a bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy, and a diploma in Orthopaedic medicine. He is the director and co-founder of Fitness Evolution and has been a National Level judge for the Indian Bodybuilders Federation. He is also the joint secretary of the Chandigarh Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Association.
We caught up with him to understand more.
All those who’ve been a part of the fitness space understand how cutting is such an essential part of the whole body-building process. A typical cycle involves bulk, gaining mass followed by cutting. Losing weight and shredding muscle to look lean is a process that takes time, which is why summer shredding begins much before summer arrives. All those toned bodies with lean muscles, low body fat percentage take months to build, and Coach Mann explained how to get it right.
“Cutting means that you are reducing your body-fat without allowing your muscle mass to drop. The main principle that one needs to follow to achieve this is to make sure the calories that you’re consuming is much lower compared to the calories that you are burning, i.e., the calories that you are eating in a day should be less than the number of calories you are burning in that day. This is what is known as calorie deficit” says Coach Mann.
Calorie Input < Calorie Output = Calorie Deficit
Now let’s understand how do we ensure that our calorie input is less than our calorie output.
Coach- There is no need to eliminate any food, you don’t need to stop eating food or go on one of those “starvation diets” to make sure you don’t consume too many calories. You simply need to be mindful of WHAT you’re eating. Of course, junk food is out of the question, so we’re assuming we’re all talking about healthy food here. Keep in mind that certain foods have a much more satiating effect which keeps you full for a longer time. The idea is to incorporate these foods into your diet. Some examples are – green vegetables, lentils, cottage cheese, chicken breast, apples, pears, brown rice, berries, green tea, egg whites, mushrooms, nuts, oats.
Coach- To increase your calories output, cardio needs to make an appearance in your workout regime, along with strength training. You need to increase your cardio, and you can opt for walks, runs, cross-trainers, swimming, sprinting. In order to maintain your muscle mass, you need to continue stimulating your muscles by strength training. Also, please note that your protein intake needs to be slightly higher to improve muscle building, recovery and performance.
When a body is on a calorie deficit, the body automatically starts losing fat. To speed up this process, you need to increase the amount of cardio that you’ve been doing. To get the energy for all that cardio, you need to ensure that you’re eating your carbs.
The main reason why people fail on low carbohydrate diets is that they go low fat as well, turning it into a very low-calorie diet. This is when they start to feel lethargic, low and complain of weakness, nausea, dizziness, and then end up binging later.
It is a big myth that “cutting” requires one to eliminate carbs and fats. Cutting requires nothing more than just changing the time and quantity of what you’ve been eating. There is no need for you to starve yourself.
Also note that the amount of calories that one needs to cut back on varies from person to person, and depends on the weight, height, age and metabolic rate. This is why it is recommended to take professional guidance while attempting to cut/lean/shred.