Summer is just around the corner and that means we are all trying to get in our best shape and feel super confident. To reach this, we can start a period of cutting. Are you thinking about cutting, curious about it or want to know how to do this safely and effective? Please, do it healthy and safe and continue reading for my healthy cutting guidelines.
Cutting basically refers to a phase of losing fat while maintaining your muscle mass, to create a perfect shape. Sounds pretty good right?! But it’s really important to know what steps to take for this. The main focus of cutting lies on the daily diet. You want to create a calorie shortage, which means less calories are coming in than are used in order to burn fat. This calls for a review on how much to eat, what to eat, and how to train. Here are my healthy cutting guidelines and tips!
“Thinking about cutting? Put your health first!”
TIP 1: Daily energy requirement
To start off you need to know what your daily energy requirement is. On the internet there are different methods to calculate this. For example you can base your calorie intake on something called the basal metabolic rate (BMR). This is how much energy is used by the body while resting. Your BMR together with your physical activities determines how much calories you normally need to function optimally and have a stable bodyweight. For an effective cut you can subtract 200-500 calories from this, depending on the starting amount and how much weight you want to lose. Always downsize the amount gradually, to limit unwanted effects! The goal is to show lean body mass which is done by reducing the amount of body fat, but creating a lean body still asks for enough nutrients. Eating too little can cause muscle tissue loss, rather than burning body fat. Losing a bit of muscle is inevitable, but with a right cut you can bring this to a minimum.
TIP 2: Let’s talk macro’s
Now you know how much calories you want to take in, so it’s time to think about what you should be eating for best results. Start with filling in your macro ratio, because we want a good balance of carbs, protein and fat. With cutting this is mostly 50%/30%/20%. Protein are important for muscle repair and growth, preferably have them after training and before sleeping. Supplements like whey protein and BCAA’s can extra contribute to this. Carbs are absolutely necessary in a cutting period too, because this is the biggest source of energy and we want enough fuel to keep us going during the day. Reducing calories can make you feel slightly tired, so please don’t ever skip the carbs and divide them during the day. Having multiple smaller meals during the day can help to limit hungry feelings (you should never feel hungry!) and keep your metabolism going.
TIP 3: Play the cardio game
Though nutrition is most important, it’s not the only part of cutting. Cardio is a tool contributing to a calorie deficit, and how much cardio you should do depends on your diet, but too much is never a good thing. You don’t want to end up feeling exhausted and burning too much calories. Alternate cardio with strength training to keep strong and healthy. You might do slightly less well in weight training than usual but that is normal due to less power-input from the diet, so take it a little slower if necessary. Besides exercising, make sure to get enough sleep if you want best results, your body really wants those recovery moments!
“Sweat now, shine later!”
TIP 4: If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it
Weigh yourself weekly and measure your body fat percentage before starting and after a few weeks to keep track on how you’re doing. It could take about 6 to 12 weeks to reach your cutting goal, but each body works different and it is a continuing process of measuring, evaluating and modifying the cut. It is all about creating the right balance with nutrition, exercise, recovery and monitoring. Do what works for your body and not aim for something that isn’t suitable for you.
A lean physique takes effort and it might be tough, but with a goal in mind, dedication and patience you can do this and rock a summer body!