Cutting Diet Meal Plan – Overview
Weight loss promotes a healthy and disease-free life, good looks, and a toned body. This entirely explains why different types of diets are so prevalent.
Following that, cutting diet meal plans also came into the mainstream.
What is a Cutting Diet?
Done mostly by bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts, a cutting diet involves cutting body fat while maintaining muscle mass.
Cutting diet is highly personalized, has a higher level of protein and carbs, and is mostly accompanied by weightlifting.
It can last anywhere between 2 to 4 months. Hence, it is usually timed around bodyweight competitions, athletic events, and other areas where certain fitness levels are required.
How To Do Cutting Diet?
A cutting diet is unique to each person, and it necessitates determining your nutritional requirements.
Calculate your calorie intake
When you continually consume fewer calories than you expend, fat loss occurs.
To lose weight, the quantity of calories you should consume each day is determined by your weight, height, lifestyle, gender, and level of exercise.
A cutting diet works best if you lose weight slowly and steadily, such as 1 pound (0.45 kg) or 0.5–1% of your body weight every week.
While a higher calorie deficit may help you lose weight faster, studies have shown that it also raises the chance of muscle loss, which is not ideal for this diet.
Determine your protein intake
In such a diet plan, have adequate amounts of protein.
High protein consumption has been shown in numerous studies to help with fat loss by increasing metabolism, decreasing appetite, and keeping lean muscle mass.
If you’re attempting to lose weight or gain muscle mass, you’ll need to eat more protein than if you’re trying to maintain weight.
This is because you’re eating fewer calories but exercising regularly, which raises your protein requirements.
On a cutting diet, most studies estimate that 0.7–0.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight (1.6–2.0 grams per kg) are enough to maintain muscle mass.
Determine your fat intake
Fat is essential for a cutting diet since it significantly affects hormone production.
While it’s customary to cut fat on a cutting diet, not consuming enough can have an impact on the production of hormones like testosterone and IGF-1, which assist in maintaining muscle mass.
Fat should account for 15–30% of your calories on this diet, according to experts.
Because one gram of fat comprises 9 calories, anybody following a 2,000 calorie diet should consume 33–67 grams of fat each day.
If you exercise frequently, the lower end of that fat range may be preferable because it allows you to consume more carbohydrates.
Determine your carb intake
Carbohydrates are essential for maintaining muscle mass while on a cutting diet.
Because your body prefers carbs for energy rather than protein, eating enough carbs can help you avoid muscle loss.
Carbs can also help you perform better during workouts.
Carbohydrates should make up the remaining calories on this diet after protein and fat have been removed.
Protein and carbohydrates both have four calories per gram. However, fat has nine calories per gram.
Meal timing is a muscle-building, fat-burning, and performance technique.
Although it may benefit competitive athletes, it is less so for fat loss.
Many studies show, for example, that timing meals and carb intake around exercise can help endurance athletes recover faster.
However, for the reduced diet, this is not necessary.
Instead, concentrate on eating entire foods and ensuring you get enough calories, protein, carbohydrates, and fat throughout the day.
A high-calorie breakfast can help you stay fuller later in the day if you’re hungry regularly.
Cheat Meals and Refeed Days
In most cutting diet meal plans, cheat meals and/or reefed days are included.
Cheat meals are one-time pleasures designed to break up the monotony of a diet, whereas reefed days are once or twice-weekly carbohydrate boosts.
A higher carbohydrate diet has many advantages, including replenishing your body’s glucose stores, boosting exercise performance, and regulating various hormones.
Even if you gain weight after a cheat meal or reefed day, water weight usually disappears over the next few days.
Even so, it’s easy to sabotage your weight loss attempts by overeating these days. Furthermore, these routines may encourage bad behaviors, particularly if you’re prone to emotional eating.
As a result, cheat meals and reefed days aren’t necessary and should be properly planned.
What to eat?
- Increase your intake of fiber-rich meals. Non-starchy vegetables, which are high in fiber, provide more nutrients and can help you stay satiated for longer while on a calorie deficit.
- Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated can help you eat less and speed up your metabolism quickly.
- Meal prepping. Preparing meals can save you time, keep you on track with your diet, and save you from succumbing to harmful food temptations.
- Avoid liquid carbs. Sports drinks, soft drinks, and other sugar-sweetened liquids are devoid of micronutrients, may cause hunger, and aren’t as full as fiber-rich, whole foods.
- Go Green: Eat as many leafy veggies as you can. They are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Example of Cutting Diet Meal Plan for 4 Weeks
We are not giving you an exclusive cutting diet plan. You can choose one option from each heading and build your diet for each to have variety. It’s just an example diet sheet that we could come up with.
- 50g whole grain porridge, a handful of blueberries, and a protein shake (approx. 340 cal)
- 4 scrambled egg whites, 2 slices wholemeal toast (approx. 410 cal), Ham, mushroom, and spinach frittata (approx. 230 cal)
- Asparagus soldiers with soft-boiled egg (approx. 186 cal)
- Breakfast smoothie with banana, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, water + honey (approx. 130 cal)
- Whey protein pancakes (approx. 111 cal per pancake)
Morning Snack Options
- Banana (approx. 100 cals)
- Any single piece of fruit or handful of berries (calvary)
- 1 cup edamame beans (approx. 250 cal)
- A handful of nuts (approx. 160 cal)
- Promax Lean Bar (approx. 206 cal)
- Chicken, brown rice, and broccoli (approx. 300 cal)
- Extra-lean ground beef, cauliflower, and brown rice (approx. 300 cal)
- Grilled courgette, kale, pepper, and hummus wrap (approx. 332 cal)
- Chicken wrap with tomatoes, cucumber, olives, and hummus (approx. 243 cal)
- Chilli with Quorn mince (approx. 275 cal)
Post-Workout Snack Options
- Apple and almond butter (approx. 270 cal)
- Almonds (approx. 160 calories per 22 almonds)
- Promax Lean shake (approx. 240 calories for a 2-scoop serving)
- Greek yogurt (approx. 59 calories)
- Tuna steak, two sweet potatoes, broccoli, and asparagus (approx. 350 calories)
- Chicken burger with wholewheat bread + fried egg (approx. 500 cal)
- Chicken stew with quinoa and beans (approx. 330 cal)
- Beef stir-fry with brown rice (approx. 400 cal)
- Low-calorie chicken korma, replacing cream with yogurt (approx. 376 cal)
- Singapore noodles (approx. 415 cal)
To close, a cutting diet meal plan is designed to help you lose weight while keeping muscle.
This diet calculates your calorie, protein, fat, and carb needs based on your weight and lifestyle.
It should only be done for a few months before an athletic event, and it should be combined with weightlifting.
If you’re thinking about trying this weight reduction diet for athletes, talk to your trainer or a doctor to determine if it’s right for you.