After successful a period of successful weight training, both beginner and veteran bodybuilders will gain a lot of excess fat in addition to their increased muscle mass. The predominant anabolism in the human body does not allow the athlete to pump only the muscles, without the emergence of a fat layer. To burn that emergent fat, athletes use a process called “cutting.” This effective process of lipid removal is based on the reduction of glycogen in the muscles.
Glycogen is a storage of carbohydrates inside body tissue. Achieve the “cut” muscle look requires burning carbohydrates, and cutting involves adopting a special diet and performing special exercises to accomplish this goal.
The popular “keto” diet comes with its own risks. If the body is made to be deficient in carbohydrates and glucose, it will begin consuming glycogen, and then fats. Complex nutrients are burned quite slowly, but the main problem is that as a result of the lack of glucose, ketone bodies, the byproduct of fat metabolization, remain. Ketone bodies have the potential to add acidity to blood and poison the body. Acidity in the blood can harm the kidneys, causing them to excrete acidic urine. This diet is especially dangerous if combined with various muscle growth supplements.
The Recommended Amount of Proteins and Carbohydrates
To avoid such an unpleasant side effect from carb-cutting, a man must reduce the amount of carbohydrates he consumes gradually, not completely exclude them immediately. Therefore, the first nutritional requirement for cutting is an overall decrease in the volume of food portions, and the division of sing meals into smaller meals. Cutting includes having small meals 4 to 6 times per day, maintaining protein intake at a regular level.
Because of the decrease in glycogen in muscles as a result of training, the amount of energy the body has is greatly reduced. It is necessary to replenish the body’s reserves. This can be done by reducing the time between meals. But how many grams of carbohydrates is okay to consume? That amount is unique to each person.
The perfect daily carbohydrate intake should be chosen by each person in accordance with the their personal weight loss goals (i.e., how many kilograms do you need to lose in weight for muscles to show?). It is impossible completely abstain from carbohydrates! They should make up at least 40-45% of your daily total calorie consumption (at least 2 grams carbohydrates per 1 kg of body weight, per day). Good suppliers of carbohydrates include be cereals, nuts, vegetables and unsweetened fruits.
The primary food during cutting should is food rich in protein. For every kilogram of body weight, a minimum of 1.1-1.5 grams of protein should be consumed, preferably 2-3 grams (to keep the muscles from being depleted). Protein is always needed for muscles during the cutting period, when it should be obtained only from low-fat sources (a good option is to get 60-70% protein from food, and the rest from sports nutrition).
Consuming large amounts of water, may cause a person in the midst of cutting to appear bloated, but this bloat will disappear within 1-2 days. The day before the a bodybuilding competition or photo shoot, bodybuilders keep water consumption to a minimum so that they can increase muscle definition. To shed excess water in the body, one may also briefly give up salt which retains fluid in the body.
Food should be consumed in reasonable quantities. The main dishes of the daily cutting diet should be:
- White chicken or turkey meat without skin (boiled, steamed or stewed).
- Proteins of chicken eggs.
- Boiled fillet of squid.
- Lean fish (preferably cook it for a couple or stew).
- Dairy products you can eat are kefir and cottage cheese, but their fat content should not exceed 3%. These dairy products should only be eaten during the first two weeks of cutting.
- Oatmeal and buckwheat porridge, rye pasta
- Broccoli, greens, zucchini and leaf lettuce, grapefruits and green apples
- In the heat, it will be useful to use green or herbal tea (ginger or chamomile).
Remember that the result of the cutting varies vastly based on the number of calories consumed by each bodybuilder. Therefore, it will not only be useful but even expedient, to keep a record of the calories one consumes daily. This difficult, patience-testing cutting period in the life of any bodybuilder will ultimately pay off, once they look in the mirror and see a beautiful well-defined physique.
This is one example of a bodybuilder’s diet. For more diets and guiding food principles, contact a dietician for help:
- breakfast – oatmeal porridge, a pair of boiled soft-boiled eggs;
- second meal – protein cocktail, fruit;
- dinner – fat-free broth, a piece of meat (chicken fillet or beef), a slice of bran bread afternoon snack – cottage cheese with honey or salad, vegetables and fruits;
- dinner – steamed cutlets, light salad;
- the second dinner – skimmed yogurt or bran.
The amount of food you eat daily will have to be decided by you. Factor in your workout regimen, current weight, genetic predisposition and body type when making your decisions.
In any case breaking up and spreading out meals is better that eating more than 200-350 grams of food in one sitting, which loads the stomach.
Recommendations for training while cutting
Your strength training should also be modified during your period of cutting. Emphasize high-intensity loads done for a large number of repetitions. This is a good time to deploy supersets and drop-downs.
Since you are deficient in carbohydrates stores, reduce your regular working weight by 20-30%. This will help you avoid micro-injuries and bodily stress, and allow your muscles to recover faster. But at the same time, without sufficient ingoing carbohydrates, muscle growth will slow dramatically or stop.
A circuit training program will optimize your results while cutting. That program is, as follows: 7-8 exercises each for muscle group, 15 reps per exercise, followed by 2-3 laps. Do this circuit twice.
Examples of two training days for male undergoing a cut:
|Name of exercise||Number of sets/reps|
|Lunges||2 * 15|
|Superset: flexion + leg extension in machine||2 * 20 (10 for each exercise)|
|Rises on standing socks||2 * 15|
|Dumbbell press on an incline bench||2 * 15|
|Superset: traction of the upper and horizontal block (to the chest and stomach respectively)||2 * 20 (10 for each exercise)|
|Bicep curls||2 * 15|
|Tricep extensions||2 * 15|
|Name of exercise||Number of approaches * times|
|Superset: sit-ups + socks lifts sitting||2 * 30 (10 sit-ups + 20 lifts)|
|Bench Press||2 * 15|
|Crossover||2 * 15|
|Rod of the rod to the belt||2 * 15|
|Tightening in the machine||2 * 15|
|Superset: bending of hands on the biceps on the lower block with a rope + extension of hands in a block with a horizontal bar||2 * 30 (15 for each exercise)|
|Twisting on the press||2 * 15|
Do not forget about cardio
During the training week, it is necessary to add aerobic loads, because thanks to them the body will burn fat not only during training, but also during rest. Once or twice a week, you can allocate 30-60 minutes of time for cardio. It can be running on the street or on a treadmill , cycling or using other cardiovascular equipment.
Useful tips for safe fat burning
- Every day, be sure to have breakfast, since you can not disturb the normal metabolism of the body.
- Complete elimination of fats can adversely affect the athlete’s condition: hair will begin to fall out and the skin will deteriorate. It is recommended to exclude mainly saturated fats – cheese, milk, yolk of chicken eggs, lard, pork and lamb, mayonnaise and butter, cocoa powder. Good and healthy fats are found in various types of sea fish and in all kinds of nuts (hazelnuts, cedar and walnuts).
- Cutting doesn’t just mean getting rid of sugary products and flour products, it also means removing other junk food: chips, crackers, ketchup, etc. The forbidden list also include any salted and canned foods.
- Do not eat before going to sleep. In the event that you feel starved, you may have some yogurt or an apple, a protein shake with water.
- You need to eat often (every 3 hours), but in small portions.
- Forget about alcohol and smoking.
- Try to drink plenty of water every day. During the cutting period, the athlete should consume 2-3 liters of water daily.
- The only carbohydrates eaten should be healthy and contain fiber (vegetables and fruits, cereals).
- Find ways to move more every day – this will help burn excess calories.
- Before and after training, you can add 10-15 minutes of cardio. It is also desirable before and after training to take BCAA (branched-chain amino acids).
- Take multivitamin complexes, as vitamin deficiency can lead to the destruction of muscles.
- Monitor the daily dosage of sugars. If after 3-6 days from the beginning of the cut the body weight has stopped decreasing, then you have been consuming too much sugar
- If possible, keep a stable level of glucose in the body.