How To Follow A Cutting Diet

How To Follow A Cutting Diet


A cutting diet is usually used by bodybuilders
and fitness enthusiasts to cut body fat while maintaining muscle mass. The key distinctions with other weight loss
diets are that a cutting diet is catered to each individual, tends to be higher in protein
and carbs, and should be accompanied by weightlifting. Lifting weights regularly is important because
it promotes muscle growth, helping combat muscle loss when you start cutting calories. A cutting diet lasts 2–4 months, depending
on how lean you are before dieting, and is normally timed around bodybuilding competitions,
athletic events, or occasions like holidays. So here’s our guide to follow a cutting
diet. At number 1 Calculate your calorie intake. Fat loss occurs when you consistently eat
fewer calories than you burn. The number of calories you should eat per
day to lose weight depends on your weight, height, lifestyle, gender, and exercise levels. In general, an average woman needs around
2,000 calories per day to maintain her weight but 1,500 calories to lose 1 pound (0.45 kg)
of fat per week, whereas an average man needs around 2,500 calories to maintain his weight
or 2,000 calories to lose the same amount (5Trusted Source). A slow, even rate of weight loss — such
as 1 pound (0.45 kg) or 0.5–1% of your body weight per week — is best for a cutting
diet (4Trusted Source). Although a larger calorie deficit may help
you lose weight faster, research has shown that it increases your risk of losing muscle,
which is not ideal for this diet (4Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source). At number 2 Determine your protein intake. Maintaining adequate protein intake is important
on a cutting diet. Numerous studies have found that high protein
intake can aid fat loss by boosting your metabolism, reducing your appetite, and preserving lean
muscle mass (7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source). If you’re on a cutting diet, you need to
eat more protein than if you’re merely trying to maintain weight or build muscle mass. That’s because you’re getting fewer calories
but exercising routinely, which increases your protein needs (10Trusted Source). Most studies suggest that 0.7–0.9 grams
of protein per pound of body weight (1.6–2.0 grams per kg) is sufficient for conserving
muscle mass on a cutting diet (4Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source). For example, a 155-pound (70-kg) person should
eat 110–140 grams of protein per day. At number 3 Determine your fat intake. Fat plays a key role in hormone production,
which makes it crucial for a cutting diet (11Trusted Source). While it’s common to reduce fat intake on
a cutting diet, not eating enough can affect the production of hormones like testosterone
and IGF-1, which help preserve muscle mass. For example, studies demonstrate that reducing
fat intake from 40% to 20% of total calories lowers testosterone levels by a modest but
significant amount (4Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source). However, some evidence suggests that a drop
in testosterone levels does not always lead to muscle loss — as long as you eat enough
protein and carbs (5Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source). Experts suggest that, on this diet, 15–30%
of your calories should come from fat (4Trusted Source). One gram of fat contains 9 calories, so anyone
on a 2,000-calorie regimen should eat 33–67 grams of fat per day on a cutting diet. If you do intense exercise, the lower end
of that fat range may be best because it allows for higher carb intake. And at number 4 Determine your carb intake. Carbs play a key role in preserving muscle
mass while on a cutting diet. Because your body prefers to use carbs for
energy instead of protein, eating an adequate number of carbs may combat muscle loss (14Trusted
Source). Additionally, carbs can help fuel your performance
during workouts (15Trusted Source). On a cutting diet, carbs should comprise the
remaining calories after you subtract protein and fat. Protein and carbs both provide 4 calories
per gram, while fat stands at 9 per gram. After subtracting your protein and fat needs
from your total calorie intake, divide the remaining number by 4, which should tell you
how many carbs you can eat per day. For example, a 155-pound (70-kg) person on
a 2,000-calorie cutting diet may eat 110 grams of protein and 60 grams of fat. The remaining 1,020 calories (255 grams) can
be taken up by carbs. So that sums up our tips for following a cutting
diet, we hope you found it informative. If you did please leave a like and if you’re
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