Now,Your First Cutting Diet
Once again, there are many ways to skin a cat when it comes to putting together a diet to get lean and ripped.
That could be one of the reasons why it can actually become quite confusing when deciding how to diet to get cut (you are hearing a 100 different ways from a hundred different people).
What I am going to do here is lay out a procedure for you to follow to get that ripped body you have been dreaming about. Summer is right around the corner so there is no better time to do a cut than right now.
The procedure for putting together your cutting diet is so easy that even a caveman and we meatheads can follow it. No excuses now about complaining you don’t know how to put together a cutting diet.
This may seem like a simple approach and you may be wondering “is this really going to work?” Yes it is. This will even work for putting together a contest prep diet to get down to uber-low body fat.
But for like any diet, you need to track your macros and calories!” If you are too lazy to do that you are never going to achieve the body you desire. Here is link to the calorie/macro tracker that I use on a daily basis.
It is so easy to use that there is no reason for you not to do it.
If you are not going to track your calories/macros, there is no point in reading this post any further because you will fail with your cutting diet. So let that sink in for a moment while you check out the tracker.
Doesn’t even sound good, does it.
There is a huge point you need to keep in mind when starting any diet. What you don’t want to do when starting any diet is to drop your carbs and/or calories to severely right from the get go.
You will lose some weight right away but you will also plateau quickly and will have a hell of time trying to lose any additional fat.
You have probably heard this term before starvation mode and that is the reason why you don’t want to drop either of them too drastically right away.
Basically, what starvation mode boils down to is the bodies attempt to preserve its fat stores. Your body does not like being lean. Lean muscle is a liability to the body because it requires energy to maintain it.
Your body does like fat, because it is a source of energy to help keep you alive, so the body will do whatever it can to hold on to that fat.
Starvation mode slows down your metabolic rate so you don’t burn through your fat stores at a rapid pace, which is exactly what we are not trying to do.
The more you cut carbs/calories at the start of your diet, the quicker that starvation mode will set in and make future fat loss a tough effort. So let’s put off going into starvation mode for as long as we can.
Why is this diet going to work for me?
Fat loss needs to be a gradual and continual process and if you put your body into starvation mode right away you are going to hit a plateau in your fat loss and it will become difficult to lose additional fat. This cutting diet is going to avoid that for as long as possible.
This will be accomplished by gradually reducing your caloric intake little bits at a time. In essence, you want to start your cutting diet by eating as many calories you can get away with from the start but still are losing weight.
Starting your diet out this way leaves you with plenty of wiggle room to keep lowering your calories along the way as your metabolic rate drops and you are hitting fat loss plateaus.
Now on to the good stuff you have been waiting for.
How do I start my cutting diet?
Where do I start?
The starting point I am going to explain here is basically for someone who has never really put together a successful cutting diet and is confused about how to start the process?
I am sure it is also going to be useful for dieting veterans also, so it is worth a read if that is you.
The first thing you need to do is pretty simple, you need to analyze the current way that you eat. This is where tracking what you eat is essential. This process should only take about a week.
For that week, just log everything you eat. If you can’t do it for a week, do it for as many days as you can. Obviously the longer you can do it the better assessment of your current diet you will have.
I should also mention that a food scale is essential here also. Weigh out that chicken breast or steak you threw on the grill. How are you going to know the calories and macros if you don’t weigh it?
Measure your liquids also. If you can’t measure stuff out for some odd reason, well I guess you can make your best guestimate, but that is not the ideal way to go about it.
You aren’t going to get ultra-shredded either if you don’t weigh and measure stuff out.
Just because you are tracking stuff for this week, doesn’t mean you should avoid foods that you normally eat, like donuts or whatever junk you may be eating.
You need to get a true assessment of your current diet so eat like you normally do, junk food and all. Not following this principle for this week can actually hurt your fat loss efforts.
Now that you have that first week recorded, it is time to do some math. It is easy math, I promise. You want to calculate your average daily caloric intake along with the daily averages for protein, carbs and fat.
The nice thing about the app I linked to above is that it will give you a weekly total also for all of those items we need.
So just divide the weekly totals by 7 and you are done. Simple, wasn’t it?
Now take that avg. daily caloric intake you just calculated and divide it by your current bodyweight (in lbs).
This is going to give you the average calories you eat relative to your current bodyweight so you know where you are starting at.
For demonstration purposes
and to help keep the math simple again, let’s assume you weighed 200 lbs and were putting down 4,000 cals.
You are currently consuming 20cals/lb bodyweight. Calculate your number and keep for reference.
Next Step: Figure out your macros and calories for your new diet.
Now we are getting into the meat of the diet. One of the most import macros for anybody lifting weights is protein.
I am not going to discuss why in this post (since you should already know why), but suffice to say that you should be putting down at least 2g of protein per pound of bodyweight each and every day.
Once again, for our 200lb guy that means 400g of protein/day. Now each gram of protein contains 4 calories/g and you need 2g/lb, which equates to 8 calories per pound of body weight.
No matter what your weight you will be consuming 8 calories of protein per pound of bodyweight during this diet.
Your fat consumption should be around 0.5g of fat per lb of bodyweight. Since fat contains about 9 calories/gram, that means you will be eating around 4.5 calories/lb of bodyweight.
For our 200lb guy again that equates to 900 calories coming from fat.
Once again, no matter what your weight you will be consuming 4.5 calories of fat per pound of bodyweight during this diet.
This is our variable that will be adjusted throughout our diet to achieve our fat loss goals.
So what is left over from the protein and fat consumption is what you should start out with for your initial carbohydrate macro consumption.
Let’s run the numbers for our 200 lb example:
Protein: 8 cals/lb (1600 cals)
Fat: 4.5 cals/lb (900 cals)
The protein and fat equates to 12.5 calories/lb of bodyweight. In our example above, this person was consuming 20cals/lb of bodyweight.
So subtract the protein and fat from that and you are left with 7.5 calories of carbohydrates/lb of bodyweight.
There are 4 calories/gram of carbs, so what this results in is our example bodybuilder should be eating around 1.875g of carbs/lb of bodyweight (1500 calories).
Putting it all together
Now run through the numbers and see where you are at for your macros. Hopefully you can follow the example. Start by adjusting your protein and fat to the recommended numbers 2g/lb and 0.5g/lb respectively and see where you are sitting with your carbs.
If your carbs are significantly above 2g/lb of bodyweight, knock off 0.25g/lb of where they are currently sitting and start from there. Now you know what all your macros should be for starting out your diet.
Run your diet using these macro ratios for as long as you are seeing fat loss results. The scale is not an indicator of fat loss. A skinfold caliper and scale are.
So invest in a $10 caliper to track your fat loss.
I’ve hit a plateau, now what?
Once you hit a plateau in your fat loss, it is time to adjust carbs. Keep your protein and fat intake where they are at. I consider a plateau to be no fat loss over the period of a week.
Take the amount of carbs you are eating and drop that amount by 0.25g/lb of bodyweight. If you weigh 200 lbs, this about a 200 cal drop.
So if you started out at 2g/lb, you would now be down to 1.75g/lb of bodyweight for your carbs for upcoming week. Keep dropping by 0.25g/lb each time you hit a plateau.
Once you get down to a low of 0.25g of carbs/lb of bodyweight, that is about as low as you can go.
Most of you will never need to get down to that low of carbs unless you are planning on stepping on stage.
A lot of it will depend on what your initial carb amount was at the start and how your body responds to this diet and your training and cardio.
Cheat Day: Yes or No?
If you have been following your diet religiously and your carbs have dropped down to a low of 0.5g/lb of bodyweight, I would say go ahead and have a cheat day or more like a cheat meal once a week.
No cheating if planning on going on the stage.
You can drop your protein and fats a little bit on this day to account for the extra carbs to keep your total calories about the same.
The most carbs you should be consuming on this day should be no more than 2g/lb of bodyweight.
These carbs should still be low-glycemic index carbs, (oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and whole wheat breads/pastas). Donuts, pizza, ice-cream, etc. are still off the table.
Fasted cardio is going to be your best friend while trying to burn fat. Your glucose (carbohydrate) levels are pretty much depleted in a fasted state so your next source of energy is your fat stores.
So don’t go eating a big breakfast and go do your cardio later in the day.
You’ll be burning less fat and more of the carbs you just ate which is defeating the whole purpose here. Whenever in a fasted state, you should be consuming BCAA’s to help spare your muscle tissue.
Put down at least 10g pre-cardio and additional while doing cardio. The next best time to do some cardio would be after your workout.
Your muscles should be depleted of glucose from your weight training so you should preferentially be burning fat again.
This may hamper your muscle gains but don’t expect to be putting on much muscle or setting personal bests in the gym while cutting.
If you are losing more than a couple of pounds a week, you may be dropping alot of muscle mass along with fat. You dont’t want to do that because that is also slowing down your metabolism and fat burning ability.
This is where the calipers come in handy, It will let you know exactly how much fat/muscle you are losing each week. If you are losing just as much muscle as fat each week, bump your cals back up a bit until most of what you are losing is fat.
You are going to lose some muscle during a cut so our goal here is to mimizie that amount by as much as possible. Usuallly about 1.5lbs of weight loss a week is a good rate to shoot for to minimize muscle loss.
Obviously, if you start at a fairly high BF% you can expect to lose more than 1.5lbs/wk without much muscle loss. Just watch it when you get around that 12% or less mark to make sure what you are losing is predominantly fat.
**This procedure was sent to us from a professional bodybuilding.
** If you are the owner talk with us for credit.