Training & Eating Like a Fitness Competitor
Cutting is an important step for elite fitness competitors, and if you’re trying to get toned and ripped there’s a lot you can learn from the techniques they use.
Cutting is the phase that follows bulking up. Essentially, fitness competitors spend a few months adding on as much lean muscle mass as possible by lifting heavier than normal and also consuming a high-calorie diet. They then follow this with a toning training routine and a super strict diet. The goal of cutting as you guessed it, is to lean out and shed the extra fat gained during the bulking phase. The result is a totally sexy hot and ripped body.
The good news is that we can all adopt a form of the cutting diet. It takes a good amount of discipline, but this kind of strategy will get you some serious results and really make use of all that time you are spending on training. Let’s look at a frame work and then the basic rules of a cutting diet.
Cutting Diet Framework
The most commonly used rule with the cutting diet is to do 3 meals with two hearty snacks in between. Let’s look at an example:
Breakfast – Steal oats, yogurt and berries with some scrambled egg whites
Snack – Protein smoothie (Try this: Protein-Packed Green Veggie Smoothie Recipe)
Lunch – Turkey avocado wrap with all your favorite veggies and dijon mustard
Snack – Fresh pressed Juice (Try this: How to Make Green Juice without a Juicer) or Protein Smoothie
Dinner – Halibut with roasted veggies and a side of quinoa
Now you can take this template and apply the following rules…
Cutting Diet Rules
1. Don’t Diet Too Fast – Before you even think of adopting a cutting diet, you need to keep in mind that dieting too fast will also result in muscle loss. To maintain the muscle you’ve already gained, you need to maintain an adequate intake of calories. Generally speaking, don’t try to lose much more than 1 to 2 pounds a week. Focus more on what you’re eating rather than on how much.
2. Cut the Fat – You absolutely have to restrict your fat intake on a cutting diet. This is essential for getting toned and showing off all your hard work. Watch your labels. Healthy fats (in moderation) like essential fatty acids are great and will help maintain your testosterone levels.
3. Protein, Protein, Protein! – Protein is by far the most important aspect of a cutting diet. Getting an adequate amount of protein will ensure that you maintain your muscle mass despite your restrictive dieting. The amino acids contained in dietary protein will help spare your muscles during energy production and continue to aid in muscle building during your toning workouts.
There are a number of ways to ensure adequate protein consumption. The first is to consume a variety of protein sources, including lean meats, eggs, and dairy. Protein shakes are also instrumental on a cutting diet. Definitely consider either Gaspari Nutrition Myofusion or a great time-released protein like Optimum 100% Casein Protein. These Quest Protein Bars are great snacking options while cutting.
4. Monitor Your Carbohydrates – Carbs are tricky on a cutting diet. Sure, restricting carbs can definitely contribute to fat burning results, but too few carbs in your diet will also result in muscle loss over time. The truth is, you need some carbs to maintain your muscle building efforts. Without them, your body will use amino acids (vital for muscle maintenance) for energy production, reducing your overall muscle mass. It’s okay to reduce your carbs, and I recommend doing so, but don’t cut them out altogether. Just be smart and eat healthy carbs, including whole grains and starchy vegetables (sweet potatoes are great options).
5. Get Smart with Supplements – Just like during your muscle building phase, supplements go a long way on a cutting diet. There are a couple things I recommend. First, get a good BCAA (branched chain amino acid) supplement to help support and maintain your muscle mass. Scivation Xtend is a highly effective product.
I also recommend a good fat loss stack during cutting. Check out this Fat Loss Stack for Men and this Fat Loss Stack for Women. Alternatively, you can also check out Muscle Pharm Shred Matrix, which has amazing fat-burning effects. Combined with the diet tips I just laid out for you, you’ll be seeing amazing results in no time!
Have any questions or feedback about cutting diet rules? Please leave a comment below…