fat loss, Fitness, Goals, Habits, Motivation, Nutrition, Uncategorized

My 30 Day Mini Cut

On October 3rd, 2022 I began a 30 day mini cut. I’ve been documenting it on my instagram and saving in my highlights bubble. I want to share with you what I did/have been doing during this mini cut. So, let’s get into it! We’re going to go over:

  • What is a Mini Cut?
  • Why am I doing a Mini Cut?
  • What am I doing and not doing during the mini cut?
  • What am I doing daily during the mini cut?
  • 4 Tips to Stay Full While in a Calorie Deficit
  • Why does your weight fluctuate during a mini cut?

What is a mini cut?

First, what is a mini cut? A mini cut is a short term fat loss phase when you want to drop a little bit of body fat. It usually last 4-8 weeks, but can go up to 12 weeks if you want. It isn’t a super aggressive “rapid fat loss” strategy. It’s a short term fat loss phase focusing on a calorie deficit while maintaining lean muscle mass.

Why am I doing a mini cut?

There are a few different reasons why I’m doing this mini cut.

  1. Honestly, I’m a little bored and want to shake things up with my fitness and see what I can accomplish! Maybe it’s the inner marathoner and triathlete in me and since I’m not training for either of those, I want to do another challenge! I’ve been working on building muscle these past several months and now I want to lean out a bit so I can show off those muscles. 💪🏼
  2. I’ve noticed my pants are fitting a *little* tighter and I don’t want to buy new pants, I’m on a budget here! haha ¨̮  However, I’m ALL about just buying new pants that are comfortable for you now. However, I know that I haven’t been super disciplined with my nutrition and I’ve been feeling a little crappy–bloated, tired, etc. so doing this mini cut will and has improved the bloating, etc.
  3. I know doing this cut will allow me to focus on getting more nutritious food into my diet 🍎🥑🥦🍉🥗. You just FEEL better when you’re eating better. Plus, we’re entering winter and with 3 little boys, we get all the germs in our household! I want to be as healthy as I can be in hopes that I won’t get every sickness they bring home.
  4. I want to improve my relationship with food. It’s empowering to understand food in a deeper way–the calories, macronutrients, how different foods make me feel–am I tired or more energized, sleeping better, etc. Also understanding that I don’t have to feel guilty about eating anything. I am NOT cutting any foods out of my diet. I am doing this mini cut while enjoying foods I love, otherwise it wouldn’t be sustainable long term, which is what I want.

What am I doing and not doing during the mini cut?

First, here is what I’m NOT doing and what I AM doing:

  • I’m not cutting any foods out. We have pizza every Friday night and I’ll continue that.
  • I am going to enjoy the foods I love, in moderation.
  • I’m not increasing my cardio to burn more calories. I don’t want to exercise to burn calories. That mindset can create a negative association with exercise. Exercise isn’t a punishment!
  • I am doing cardio because I love it, it improves my health, especially my mental health.
  • I am focusing on increasing my NEAT – “Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise. It ranges from the energy expended walking to work, typing, performing yard work, undertaking agricultural tasks and fidgeting.” (Levine JA. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Dec;16(4):679-702. doi: 10.1053/beem.2002.0227. PMID: 12468415)
  • I’m not fasting.
  • I am having 3 meals a day with 2-3 snacks throughout.
  • I’m not going to binge on the weekend or during my refeed days.
  • I am going to be consistent with keeping my calorie/macro goals and implementing planned “refeed days”. Refeed days are intentional days where I’m going to eat at maintenance or slightly above. It isn’t a binge day, but a day where I don’t need to worry about tracking, etc. It’s great to alleviate any mental or physical pressure which can allow you to reset and feel more energized going back into your cut. Refeed days will NOT “ruin your progress”. 😉 If you’re doing it right, you won’t feel the urge to binge.
  • I’m not going to expect perfection.
  • I am going to have days where I go over my calories or don’t hit my steps goal, refeed days, etc. I’m aiming for you 80% consistency.
  • I’m not going to freak out if my weight goes up.
  • I am going to weigh myself daily, log the data points and evaluate the trend over time. I understand that the scale weight can change for many reasons.

That’s pretty much a list of my do’s and don’ts. Here is a quick list of tangible things I’m doing daily.

What am I doing daily during the mini cut?

  1. On day 1 I took my measurements, weight and progress photo. Regrettably I only did a front shot. I’d recommend doing a front, side, and back view.
  2. Every morning after I pee I weigh myself sans clothing and log the weight.
  3. I take a quick photo before my morning workout – which you can do progress photos every 3-4 weeks.
  4. My goal calories right now are 1650-1850. Protein is 110-120g and fiber is 25-35g. I like to have 3 meals with 2 snacks. I like to aim for 30-40g protein per meal to make sure I get enough in. I also like to plan my meals in advance so I’m better prepared.
    • Eat a hearty filling breakfast. My go-tos are protein smoothies, eggs and fruit, or protein oatmeal with fruit.
    • Eat a hearty, filling lunch usually with a big salad full of veggies and source of protein.
    • Eat a hearty, filling dinner being sure to have 1-2 handful portions of veggies with a large source of protein.
  5. I’m exercising as normal. I do 4 strength workouts a week. Here’s an example of how I structure it:
    • Monday: Lower Body Strength
    • Tuesday: Upper Body Strength
    • Wednesday: Run or Bike
    • Thursday: Lower Body Strength
    • Friday: Upper Body Strength
    • Saturday: Run or Bike
    • Sunday: Rest
  6. I’m aiming for 7-10k steps a day
  7. Lights out by 10pm so I can get 7-8 hours of sleep. I normally wake up at 6-6:30.

Tips to Stay Full While in a Calorie Deficit

Sleep during a mini cut

Sleep is SO important during a min cut. When you’re tired, you crave more sugar and snack type foods. There’s a scientific reason why.

Leptin is a hormone that suppresses appetite. When you sleep, your leptin levels increase.

Ghrelin is a hormone that promotes appetite. It signals to your brain when your stomach is empty and it’s time to eat. When you’re stomach is full, ghrelin is decreased. When you’re sleep deprived, ghrelin is increased.

So basically, when you’re sleep deprived you feel more hungry as opposed to when you’re well rested.

Fruits, Veggies, and Protein during a mini cut

Eating a big salad and plenty of protein will help you feel full and satisfied so you’re less likely to snack on less ideal, processed foods. This has been key for me. Veggies and fruit are generally lower calorie so you can eat a lot of it. Protein will help you feel more full.

Protein is also super important to help prevent muscle mass. The goal is to lose fat weight, not muscle weight.

Stay hydrated and avoid drinking your calories during a mini cut

Your pee should be a very light yellow like lemonade. Staying hydrated is important for your overall health and wellbeing. It will keep you energized.

Eating in a calorie deficit can be hard and there are sneaky calories that can add up. Sugary, high calorie drinks are one of those. Best to drink zero cal drinks or water. However, if a coke is something you truly enjoy you can totally fit it into your calories. Just plan for it.

Why does your weight fluctuate during a mini cut?

Before I go, I do want to explain this because I know a lot of people fear and hate the scale.

One of my goals with sharing my mini cut journey is to share my weight day to day to show how the scale weight fluctuates everyday.

A spike in the scale doesn’t automatically mean fat gain. There are many things that contribute to spikes and dips.

Your progress is never linear. It’s going to be more like a zig zag line. If you’re consistent, the overall trend will be downward over time.

That’s the key word – TIME. You need to give it time. Don’t give up or change everything after a week if you feel it isn’t work. Give it at last 4 weeks before changing anything.

Here are the top 6 reasons your weight fluctuates day to day:

  1. Salt / Sodium intake. The more salt you consumed the day before, the higher the scale weight will be due to water retention.
  2. Carb intake. They act like a sponge soaking up water. So again, it’s water retention.
  3. Meal timing. If you eat a meal at midnight and then weigh yourself at 5am, the scale weight might be higher because your body has had less time to process and digest your food.
  4. Constipation/Bowel movements. If you are constipated or haven’t gone number 2 yet, the weight might be higher vs. if you go number 2 and weigh yourself. The same goes for peeing!
  5. Strength training. When you lift heavy weights, your muscles soak up more water, nutrient, and glycogen as they recover. Your weight might be higher after a heavy leg day!
  6. Stress. When you’re stressed, your cortisol levels increase. When cortisol increases, your body retains more water.

Weighing myself daily has helped increase my awareness around my weight on all the spikes and dips. I’m not feeling discouraged on the days I have spikes. After 30 days, I’m able to see a downward trend.

Overall, I’m happy with my progress so far. I feel empowered with my food choices. I feel good. I’m survived 2 flus/colds in my household, and feel strong.

I’m probably keep going for a little longer and then head into maintenance. More on that soon. 😉

As always, if you have any questions leave a comment or email me.

I still have openings in my online coaching program . Inquire below or on the coaching page. I want to make fitness and nutrition easy for you so you can reach your goals of fat loss, muscle gain, or just to be able to play with your kids or grandkids without getting tired.

Also, don’t forget to join my email list so you don’t miss a thing!

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Have a great day!


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