What is a Cutting Diet?

Committed body builders will typically run through a number of different cycles over the course of a year, and one of the most controversial is the so called “cutting phase” during which they reduce their body fat percentage in order to get a much more defined look for competition.  Body Builders will typically aim for a body fat percentage around 7% which is achieved through a very restricted diet complemented by different supplements to increase metabolic rate and burn fat quicker.

Some non-body builders attempt to use a cutting diet in order to lose fat.  It can work, but it’s important to remember that most of the cutting diets that you find online are geared specifically towards the goal of a competition and are not always suitable for general fat loss.

A typical cutting diet for competition would be structured to maximise fat loss while not impacting on either the ability to train or the ability to retain muscle mass.  It will involve a degree of calorie restriction (usually about 20% below your recommended intake), and needs to be kept to for a full programme.

muscle definition cutting diet

improved muscle definition from a cutting diet

A typical cutting diet for someone looking to drop around 1lb of fat per week might balance protein, carbohydrates and fats as follows:

  • 225g Protein
  • 225g Carbohydrates
  • 70g Fats

It’s important to retain some element of fat in the diet for healthy cell function.

Most people who are cutting focus as much as possible on high GI carbs to ensure they get a good slow release of energy, and combine their diet with 3 cardio workouts each week to push for a faster fat burn.

People looking for faster results will often balance their diet with supplements designed to burn fat faster.  These are often called thermogenic supplements and work by increasing body temperature and resting heart rate to burn energy quicker.  If you plan to undergo that kind of extreme dieting, it’s a good idea to speak to a personal trainer or qualified nutritionist in order to get a specific plan for your body and pay close attention to your blood sugar levels to stay healthy.