Ultimate Guide: Bodybuilding Cutting Diet
When it comes to maximizing your lean muscle gains while cutting body fat very quickly you need to follow a strict diet and training regimen. This involves tracking your macros and the timing of when you consume your carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats.
This article is going to break down a bodybuilding cutting diet. The goal of this diet is for you to maintain all of your lean muscle mass while slowly losing body fat. You will peak in about 8 weeks following this diet.
If you have around 12-14 percent body fat, expect to get to less than 10 percent body fat while keeping all of your lean muscle mass after 8 weeks of this regimen.
If you have around 10 percent body fat expect to resemble a lean and chiseled fitness model after 8 weeks of following this regimen. This is the ultimate cutting diet and will give you tremendous results without sacrificing any of your lean muscle gains that you have trained so hard for.
Now – lets first address the main issue with most cutting diets. If you have worked really hard to build a solid base of lean muscle mass then you have to keep in mind that you can lose this muscle mass very easily if you diet down too fast and don’t understand the science behind consuming certain macronutrients relevant to your training regimen.
This is why we need a scientific approach to maximizing your fat loss while keeping and even in some cases building lean muscle mass. Your ability to build lean muscle mass while on this bodybuilding cutting diet will depend on a number of X factors.
These X factors include your training intensity, bodybuilding split, supplementation and sleep. These are the X factors that will give you incredible results and will take your cutting diet to the next level. For example – if you are able to train harder than most and get awesome sleep there is no reason to think you can’t build some lean muscle mass while following this ultimate cutting diet.
If your training intensity suffers and you are not getting proper sleep expect to see slower results.
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How much fat can I expect to lose?
If you follow this bodybuilding cutting diet you should expect to lose anywhere between 1-1.5 lbs of fat PER WEEK while maintaining all of your lean muscle mass. If you are losing more weight than this per week you are LOSING lean muscle mass.
It is very important that we don’t cut our calories more than 500 per day while following the bodybuilding cutting diet. This results in an approximate net loss of 3,500 calories per week – which equals 1 lb of fat. Now depending on your training and cardio regimen you may lose slightly more than this if you are able to elevate your metabolism through advanced training strategies such as HIIT and plyometrics, which will boost your metabolism following the workout.
Carbohydrates and Cutting
Believe it or not, carbohydrates will play a very important role on our cutting diet during our training days. Keep in mind that the goal of maintaining our lean muscle mass and having energy for maximum intensity workouts is crucial for success on this diet.
There are a few times of the day that you will need to consume carbohydrates to maximize your energy levels and maintain your lean muscle mass.
The 2 times of the day when carbohydrate consumption is crucial is before your workout and after your workout. Lets call this the 4-hour anabolic workout window when carbohydrate consumption becomes crucial for boosting your body’s most important anabolic hormone – insulin.
On your heavy weight training days you want to consume about 1 gram of carbohydrates per 1 lb of bodyweight during this 4-hour window. This can be broken up over the course of a pre workout meal 1-2 hours before your workout, a post workout shake directly after your workout and a post workout meal about 1-2 hours after your workout.
Now – the kind of carbohydrates that you consume become crucial during these times if you want to maximize your energy and post workout insulin spike.
Lets take a look at how a 200 lb guy would structure his carbohydrate intake around his workouts.
For the pre workout meal you will want to consume about 25 percent of your carbohydrates in the form of slow digesting and complex carbs. This means that you are consuming things like sweet potatoes, oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, fresh fruit, lentils, quinoa and whole grains. These carbohydrate sources will replenish your muscle glycogen and give you a sustainable source of energy so you can train at maximum intensity.
Directly after you workout you will want to consume about 35 percent of your carbohydrate intake in the form of a rapid digesting carbohydrate source. This means that you will consume a simple sugar in the form of maltodextrin or dextrose along with your fast digesting protein.
You will consume the rest of your carbohydrates in about 1-2 hours following your workout in the form of slow digesting carbohydrates. These will maintain your post workout anabolic spike and will replenish your muscle glycogen so you can train at maximum intensity the next day.
Fat and Protein Intake on the Ultimate Bodybuilding Cutting Diet
Your protein intake will be essential if you want to maintain all of your lean muscle mass while following this cutting diet.
A good rule of thumb is that you want to consume between 1-1.25 grams of protein per 1 lb of body weight. If you are a naturally skinny guy you may want to keep this number closer to 1.25 per 1 lb of bodyweight.
Your protein intake should be spread throughout the day as you typically don’t’ want to consume more than 40-50 grams of protein per meal. You want your body to be able to absorb and utilize your protein intake – so too much at 1 sitting becomes overkill.
During your cutting diet you want to keep your fat intake very low – but high enough to maximize testosterone production. This means that we want to consume healthy fats that boost our hormones and provide our body with omega 3.
A good rule of thumb is that we want to consume about .25 grams of fat per 1 lb of body weight – so if you are a 200 lb guy you will be consuming 50 grams of fat.
These healthy fats should be in the form of raw nuts, raw nut butter such as cashew, almond and peanut butter, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, chia seeds, flax seeds and as a by product from consuming whole eggs and wild caught salmon. Stick with these healthy fats and you will be a machine during your cutting diet!
Here’s a quick summary of your macronutrient breakdown on the ultimate cutting diet:
Carbohydrates: 1 gram per 1 lb of bodyweight
Protein: 1-1.25 grams per 1 lb of bodyweight
Fat: 0.25 grams per 1 lb of bodyweight
Other Rules on the Ultimate Cutting Diet
You want to make sure you are keeping your fat intake very low during your high carbohydrate meals. This is because insulin serves as a nutrient activator – so when you are consuming your high carbohydrate meals around your workouts you should keep your fat intake at a minimum.
Low Insulin Levels for long Periods of Time is the key to burning fat. Obviously we are consuming carbohydrates around our workouts – but for the rest of the day we want to consume mostly healthy fats and lean proteins. This is the winning combination so you are able to keep your lean muscle mass and burn fat expeditiously. You can load up on veggies during these meals as they have a very minimal impact on insulin levels. A typical meal during these low insulin meals will be a lean protein such as chicken or fish topped with avocado and a spinach salad with light olive oil. This would be an ideal meal that would feed your body everything it needs to maintain lean muscle mass and boost anabolic hormones while keeping insulin at bay!
Perfect post workout shakes are a great way to speed up your muscle sparing and building during this ultimate cutting diet. Keep in mind that insulin is highly anabolic following a workout – so after consuming a post workout recovery supplement, we want to consume a shake that consists of a rapid digesting protein source such as whey isolate and a rapid digesting carbohydrate source such as maltodextrin or dextrose. A 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein is ideal. For a 200 lb male a shake consisting of 60 grams of carbs to 30 grams of protein would be perfect for recovery!
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