As time goes on, this question gets more and more prevalent. There are more people that have reversed and now are like "Okay, I did this part, now I want to get lean!"
So, what do you do? How do you cut?
Okay, well I'm going to first say that there is no rule. As always, each person is going to be very individual. There are going to be some people that you will cut, and they will immediately lose 5 lbs, however I have noticed from coaching, weight loss unfortunately is hard even post reverse. You are able to diet on a higher amount of calories. This is the entire point of the reverse, but sometimes I would think that people would be able to lean out on more.
When, I begin someone on a cut (before a reverse diet), I normally will calculate what their macros should be and then take 10% of their calories in a deficit with a 35% protein//40% carb//25% fat split (which is super relative because that always changes but it's a place to start). So, when starting a reverse, I normally take 10% of total calories for a deficit, but the split changes. There really is no split. Normally, with a reverse, you have kept your protein moderate while only increasing your carb so I'm not going to take from your protein. I'm going to take calories mostly from carb and fat. If someone's fat is already low, then I may take more carb and actually give them more fat (it's so hard to write this blog because I look at each person individually). The biggest rules that I follow are :
1. Cut calories in some way (duh) but keep protein steady or maybe even bump it up a little
2. Carb cycle
3. Whatever you do, stick with it for 2 weeks (minimum). You've got to give your body time to work and adjust to the new macros.
Carb cycling seems to work best post reverse. I think this helps because for so long, people have gotten used to eating so much so if you just lower them altogether, that's just no fun at all and sometimes can lead to more stress which isn't worth it.
There's different types of carb cycling you can try.
- Keep same ending reverse macros, and have two low carb days (on rest days/lighter days)
- Lower total calories with a high carb day (keeping protein and fat moderate)
- Lower total calories with a low carb rest day, high carb heavy day
The biggest thing is that you are your own human experiment and you are going to be different than Suzy and Tom beside of you. Your lean muscle mass is different. Your body shape is different. Your metabolism is different, so whatever you do, stick with it for 2 weeks - 1 month and then make adjustments according to how your body responds.
This blog is probably extremely confusing so I'm going to give you some numbers to follow for examples:
Let's say you reversed from 95gC/155gP/30gF --> 235gC/155gP/55gF and now you want to cut.
Option 1: 235gC/155gP/55gF most days, 165gC/155gP/60gF for 2 days per week
Option 2: 2055 cals (starting) x 0.9 (reduction of 10%)~1850 calories
1850 calories (keeping protein the same)-155gP/55gF/183gC with a high carb day(refeed day) of 145gP/240gC/55gF (For a refeed, I normally take 30% of just carbs for addition)
Option 3: 155gP/55gF/183gC with a refeed of 145gP/240gC/55gF with a low carb day of 155gP/165gC/60gF (notice a little bump in fat to adjust for the 235gC to 165gC drop)
After you make adjustments, then just relax for a little bit into your new macros, give your body time to respond. If you aren't doing 3-4 sessions of 25min of HIIT cardio then I'd start up with that too as that's going to help with burning fat. And don't forget to lift those weights!!! When losing weight, no matter what stage you are in, it's very very important to keep your basal metabolic rate high. The way to do this is with maintaining a good amount of lean muscle. The way to do that is to eat ya protein, and lift ya weights.
I hope this helps shed some light (at least a little because it's super relative and vague).