I find that when I want to lean up it is more effective to cut BOTH calories and carbohydrates.
After a period of adding muscle when calories must exceed amount needed, I like to strip off the fat that was added and see what's left.
That's where I am now.
I went from 165 to 173.5 over several months, lifted heavy, and now want to take it back to about 165 or so and see what it looks like.
I don't want to take 1,000 calories a day out of my diet (as I did during the big loss phase last year) because I don't need to and I know that if I take that many calories out my body will go catabolic and some of the muscle gains I've made will be lost, i.e., the body consuming muscle.
So, I am taking 500 calories a day out and moving my carbohydrates down to 120 grams or less per day. In just the last three days, I've moved from 173.5 to 171.6.
Here were my totals from yesterday:
That left me short about 550 calories (considering the exercise from yesterday) - right on target.
The key will be keeping the energy levels up when the carbs are this low and that means (for me) eating at least 7 times a day -- very small meals that are high in protein. I know I'm doing good when I feel hungry often. I feel better when I know I can satiate that hunger.
Over the next several weeks I'll take you with me on this little journey and provide some commentary as we go along. Hope it helps.
If you'd like to see my diet from yesterday (or any day during this process), e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll forward it back by e-mail.
Train hard; diet harder!