Cutting diet sounds nice. But what exactly is that? A superb way of reducing a person’s calorie intake, the diet ensures you lose body fat, but keeping the muscle mass intact. Many fitness enthusiasts and bodybuilders have recourse to cutting diet and this has become quite a trend these days. But does that mean you can also follow the diet plan to lose your extra pounds? Let’s find out.
What Exactly Is A Cutting Diet?
Many people prefer to call this ‘shredding’, which has a fixed target of allowing someone to cut down on the excess fat and thereby maintain muscular health.
A large number of people combine cutting diet with their fitness regimes. In fact, those who work out professionally also recommend the same, for they too embrace this. This is especially true when the cutting diet performs the role of a short-term program, preceding a special event or competition, or simply a small part of the total training program.
Getting Started With A Cutting Diet
Ideally, bodybuilders follow a cutting diet for close to 2 to 4 months. Though a person is capable of deciding how much the cutting diet would fulfill his or her individual requirements, one thing is guaranteed – it’s not a long-term diet plan. Before starting with this diet, a person usually has built up a great deal. As a result of this bulking, which is all about consuming a very high protein and high calorie-laden diet, the intensive weightlifting can cause a person to ‘bulk up’ and build muscle mass.
To maintain weight, the consumption of these calories eventually helps build new muscles. Creating what we call ‘caloric surplus’ is a must for getting adequate nutrients, which is why fitness professionals recommend following this practice. After that, you need to enter the ‘cutting down’ phase, as you need to eliminate the fat you have gained while retaining your muscle mass. After all, that’s the whole idea of this particular diet plan.
Role Of Macronutrients And Weight Loss
Even if it sounds appealing, weight loss isn’t that easy! A person would require more energy than what’s consumed and then think of losing the surplus weight. In other words, this is known as ‘caloric deficit’. You may think you can manage it without the help of a nutritionist, but it’s actually easier said than done.
Depending upon one’s weight, age, sex, and size proportions, only experts can determine how many calories a person needs to get rid off to shed extra weight. It differs from person to person, so it becomes essential to talk to someone who knows exactly how many calories should be consumed on a certain day, to facilitate the process of burning.
For example, if the weekly weight loss plan is 1% of the total body weight, fats consumed should be anywhere between 15-30% of total calories, protein must be 2.3-3.1 grams per kilogram of body weight, which is about 25-30%; and lastly, carbohydrates must occupy 55-60% of the total calories consumed.
Timing And Frequency
Going by what the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) has stated, the daily intake of proteins should be even and at about 3-4 hour intervals throughout the day, followed by exercising for an hour or so.
To top it all, ISSN has also recommended that proteins should be combined with carbohydrates before exercising, after exercising, or both. Now, what’s the exact protein content that is shaped up largely after a workout; which is equally dependent upon the timings of meals or the size of the person. If bodybuilding is the goal, then the frequency of diets should be at a moderate level. Somewhere around 3-6 meals every day, coupled with 20 grams of protein.
Does It Mean No ‘Cheat Days’?
Absolutely not! There’s no harm in having occasional cheat days, even when the cutting diet is in full swing. Basically, cheat days are all about ‘occasional indulgences’ and that actually never harms anyone. In fact, on the contrary, it’s helpful when eating out.
Refeeding that involves the inclusion of more carbohydrates, helps build one’s stamina, performance, and energy levels. Believe it or not, but a 2017 study also showcased that people can lose fat faster and retain their muscles well when reefed days keep happening.
The lookout is that for maintaining a healthy diet and sticking to the goals carved. So even if cheat or refeed days are scheduled, they should be done with absolute carefulness and precision.