I posted last week how I chose to do an intuitive cut this time around and got a couple questions of how to do this or how I’ve been implementing this. First off, I’d like to say that I’ve truly been doing this however works for me, and didn’t look up any particular ways to do a cut this way. So this is all just based off my personal experience! I will say though that I’m very happy with how things have been going lately.
The first thing is I’m still measuring everything. Even though I’m not tracking I still like to be conscious of portion sizes, and I’ve been doing this even since I deleted my tracking app back in the fall. I’ve always paid attention to portion sizes whether tracking or not. I think that’s where a lot of people can get tangled up because they don’t know what an actual serving size looks like. So my first piece of advice is to familiarize yourself with what 4oz of meat looks like, a cup of rice, or a serving of fruit. I bought a fairly inexpensive scale from Target awhile back and weigh out my food to help me learn about portion sizes. It didn’t take long before I could begin eyeballing what I needed, which helped a lot with going out to eat or other events where I didn’t have my measuring tools handy. It’s something that I recommend for everyone, to educate yourself about the amount of food you’re eating because you might be surprised by the true amount.
Secondly, I started keeping a food diary of what I eat for the day. I don’t plan it out ahead of time but will write things down as I go. This allows me to see if I’m balancing my carbs, protein, and fats properly which is again something I learned through macros and weighing my food. I just have a notebook on hand where I jot down my serving sizes for the day and my total water intake, nothing fancy at all.
Thirdly, don’t neglect your water intake. The old app I used to use, MyFitnessPal, included a place to track your water intake as well so I would log it there in addition to my food. So when I deleted it, I just started keeping a note in my phone. I know that there are apps that track your water but honestly I try not to use that many apps if I can help it haha! I just write down in the note that I had 32oz by a certain time (my water bottle is 32oz) and then when I had the next water bottle finished by. I personally aim for a gallon of water a day (4 of my 32oz water bottle) but that’s because I find I feel the best at that amount per day. You want to get at least 64oz a day but definitely more if you are active. I found that I also prefer this method because I can see if I’m spreading my water intake nicely throughout the day. Staying hydrated, though, allows me to properly interpret my hunger signals. In the past, I’ve found that if I’m running behind on my usual water schedule then I either a) get a headache or b) feel ravenous. So if I know that I’m on top of my usual water schedule and still feel hungry then chances are I am!
Fourth, I still meal prep and keep lots of good snacks handy, mostly fruits and vegetables. This isn’t any different from when I’d cut while tracking because the same principle holds true: if you don’t have stuff prepared then chances are you’ll opt for convenience and that may not always be in line with your goals. Last Monday, I took the time to meal prep all my lunches for the week and it took me less than half an hour! I made a big batch of rice, pan roasted a mixture of vegetables, and then browned some chicken sausage. Then, I portioned out all of it into tupperware containers for the whole week which enabled me to just grab my lunch and go each day. Quick and simple!
Lastly, this one kind of ties into what I already talked about with the food diary but writing everything out helps so much because it’s all in front of me and I can review it at the end of each day. It can give me ideas of where I can shave off some calories to create a deficit but at the same time not drastically cut too many calories. Like I wouldn’t want to just completely cut out an entire snack (that’s crazy talk for me haha!) but rather if I see that I have a banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter every day (I actually do) then I’m like well let’s cut that back to 1/2 tbsp of peanut butter (which is what I’ve done). That’s only about a 45 calorie cut but it adds up if I cut back a little in each area. I do the same thing with say pesto or hummus, both things I have on the regular, if I do 1-2 tbsp then I cut that back to 0.5-1.5.
Just kidding, this is the last part haha! In my food diary, I also account for what workout I did that day. This holds especially true for leg day because if I’m looking back on my food diary and then suddenly see on April 27th that I ate more than usual, I’ve probably forgotten at that point which workout I did and wouldn’t know why I was so hungry. So I just put a note at the top of the page next to the date whichever workout I did. That way I can look at patterns and know that on certain days I might be hungrier than others and honestly it’s not that I’m going to do much about it but it just teaches me more about my body. On leg day, I naturally crave more carbs so I let it happen. I still try to be conscious of making good choices but I’ll be honest I don’t go much out of my way to do small cuts or anything. I allow my body the refuel it wants that day.
I’m only a little over two weeks into my intuitive cut and I’m definitely not perfect at it. Example: I had ice cream the past two days in a row haha! But I’ve still been making progress as I’m down about a pound. I might end up tweaking some stuff or doing things differently which in that case I’ll definitely keep you guys updated! In the mean time, have any of you ever tried an intuitive cut and what worked/didn’t work for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts!