A cutting diet is a diet that reduces calories to help lose body fat and maintain muscle mass. These meals include whole grains, yogurts, lean meats, and yogurts.
Bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts often resort to a cutting diet following a bulking phase to achieve a slimmer physique.
What’s a cutting diet?
A cutting diet, sometimes called shredding, is designed to lose fat and keep muscles.
Bodybuilders and fitness lovers often use the cutting diet as a short-term plan before an event, competition or as part of their training plan.
A cutting diet is used in conjunction with lifting weights. They can maintain their muscle mass and cut calories by weightlifting.
How to cut a diet
Most bodybuilders who compete in bodybuilding follow a diet that lasts 2-4 months.
The individual can determine the length of a cutting diet, but it is not meant to be a long-term one.
A bulking phase is usually followed by a diet that reduces calories.
Bulking is a high-calorie, and protein-rich diet combined with intense weightlifting to “bulk-up” someone and increase their muscle mass.
It is important to eat more calories during this phase than your body needs to keep it at a healthy weight. This will allow you to gain muscle.
This is what nutrition and fitness professionals refer to as creating a “caloric excess.”
A person who bulks up will often gain weight from fat and muscle.
The cutting phase is designed to remove excess fat from the bulking phase and retain as much muscle mass as possible.
Weight loss and macronutrients
A person must use more energy than what they consume to lose weight. This is what nutrition and fitness experts refer to as a “caloric imbalance.”
First, determine how many calories you need based on your age, gender, and size. Then calculate your daily calories to lose weight.
A person’s body mass will decrease during the cutting period, and their metabolism will adapt. They need to adjust how many calories they eat to account for this.
Here is a list of diet recommendations for cutting. These suggestions were based primarily on a 2014 review Trusted Source analyzing preparations for bodybuilding competitions.
You must remember that different people have different dietary requirements.
- Weekly Weight Loss: from 0.5 to 1_Trusted Source of Body Weight.
- Protein 2.3-3.0Trusted Source Grams per Kilogram (kg) of body weight, or 25-30%TrustedSource.
- Fat 15Trusted source- 30 total calories
- Carbohydrates 55-60%Trusted source of total calories or the amount left after someone calculates their protein and fat.
Timing and frequency of meals
The International Society of Sports Nutrition Trusted Source recommends that protein intake be spread evenly over 3-4 hours throughout the day and 2 hours after exercise.
The ISSN recommends eating protein with carbs before, during, and after exercise.
How much protein someone needs after a workout will depend on how large and when they eat their meals.
Evidence Trusted Source recommends that moderate bodybuilding activity with 3-6 meals per day with at least 20g of protein.
Refeed days and cheat meals
Some people opt to have cheated or refeed days while on a diet.
Cheat days allow for occasional indulgences that can be useful, such as when dining out.
Refeed days are when you eat more carbohydrates to boost your energy and performance.
According to a survey by Trusted Source, people can lose more fat and retain more muscle with refeed days.
To maintain a healthy diet and work towards their goals, people should carefully plan any cheat days or refeed days.
What should I eat
Sports nutrition recommendations encourage a balanced, nutritionally sound diet.
To ensure that they get the essential vitamins and minerals from their food, it is important to eat various foods. Essential nutrients are vital for energy and recovery, and general health.
You can include these foods in your diet:
- Lean meats and poultry, oily seafood, and eggs
- Low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese
- Protein powders like whey protein, hemp protein, rice and peas
- Beans and pulses
- Nuts and seeds
- Avocados, olive oil and olives
- Whole grains like brown rice, pasta, oats and whole-grain bread, as well as quinoa
- Different colors of fruits and vegetables
- leafy greens
Also, it is important to ensure that you are properly hydrated.
Helpful tips for cutting diet
These tips can help anyone who wants to participate in a cutting-edge diet.
- To track meals, use a calorie- and macronutrient tracking application such as My Fitness Pal
- Re-evaluate how many calories they eat regularly
- Regularly weighing yourself throughout the week
- You can freeze meals by batch cooking
- Consult a personal trainer or dietitian
- Continuously review your body composition
A diet that cuts down on fat can help you lose weight while maintaining your muscle.
You can create a calorie-based diet plan and then use a fitness app for tracking your meals and macro nutrients.
To minimize muscle loss during cutting, a person should include weightlifting and resistance training.
For your health, it is important to eat various foods and not only eat a restrictive diet in the short term.