Cutting is one of the least preferred routines of any bodybuilder’s fitness journey. It essentially means that you have to put in the same amount of work and effect while eating a lot less food. This can often lead to a lot of stress and exertion, especially with new and inexperienced bodybuilders.
A lot of people try to lay down a shortcut to their cutting process by changing up their training routines. They begin consuming artificial supplements designed to boost their cutting process and pretty much experiment with any fitness tip that they can find on the internet.
While some of these may work out for you in the short run, there is a good chance that they might end up ruining your health with complications such as kidney failure and muscle degeneration in the long run.
This is why we have compiled a list of top ten tips given by seasoned bodybuilders to help you cut.
#1 Drink Water
Staying hydrated is the number one thing to do regardless of whatever your fitness goals may be. Consuming water especially during the cutting stage can have a lot of benefits such as reducing your appetite and lowering the release of hunger hormones. It is also helpful for your workouts as it keeps your muscles hydrated and prevents cramping up. This will help you put in harder reps and keep you energised for the next rep.
Drink a few glasses of water with every meal that you consume throughout the day to keep your metabolic activity on its toes and burn more calories. Water is also calorie-free, which means that it is not going to add to your restricted intake limit. Also, keep in mind to stay away from carbonated or sugary energy drinks that are advertised to help you with your weight loss.
#2 Cook Your Own Meals
Cooking your own meals can help you get a better understanding of the foods that you are putting into your body. It is better than ordering in or eating out because you get to control how much of every ingredient is utilized in your meal. While you are in your cutting phase, you can optimise your meals by swapping out high-fat sources with low fats and eliminating the use of salt to prevent water retention in your body. Additionally, cooking is also a very useful life skill to develop.
#3 Stay Disciplined, Even When You Aren’t
Throughout the cutting phase, your body will be operating in a caloric deficit, which means that there are bound to be a lot of unhealthy cravings and insulin spikes. A lot of bodybuilder’s design a cheat meal every once a week to stay away from these unprecedented hunger pangs and lose all their progress at once.
However, a lot of beginners tend to fall off the proverbial wagon and go overboard with their cheat meals, turning them into a cheat day. In the event that this happens, you need to remind yourself to get back to your regularly scheduled diet before your next meal, instead of getting back to your diet from tomorrow.
The most important thing to keep in mind during your cutting stage is to deprive your body of as many calories as possible without it affecting basic functioning. Once you have designed your diet around that principle, you can boost your body’s metabolic activity by engaging in simple cardio routines such as jogging or cycling. This will help your body burn more calories at rest throughout the day, effectively reducing the amount of effort you are putting in.
#5 Work On Building Lean Muscle Tissue
Putting on more muscle results in your body burning more fat. Focus on lifting heavy with fewer reps as a way to get your body to put on some muscle tissue. The more of this muscle tissue you burn, the higher your body’s metabolic activity increases. This also helps with toning your body and achieving better muscle definition.
#6 Avoid Sugar
Sugar is probably your worst enemy when you’re trying to cut or even lose weight in general. They are one of the fastest absorbable foods and are consumed by your body pretty quickly. Whatever is left is stored in the form of fats within your body. This is why you must stick to eating clean foods that are rich in nutrients like protein and fibre.
#7 Drink Caffeine
Consuming caffeine is not only a great way to start your day, but it also jump-starts your metabolism, burning nearly twice as much body fat with the same levels of exercise. Ideally, you can get most of your caffeine from your morning coffee. Limit your consumption to 400 grams of caffeine per day to get the desired result.
#8 Cut Down On Cooking Oil
A lot of oil and trans fats go into your meal without you realising it. These cooking oils are full of empty calories that can interfere with your restricted calorie intake and ruin your cutting stage. Make it a habit to cut down on your cooking oils and steam your food whenever you can as an alternative.
#9 Eat A Lot Of Protein
Protein is one of the most important nutrients to consume while you are in the cutting phase. It helps boost your body’s metabolic activity while helping muscle growth and regeneration at the same time, making it essential for your progress. While it can be difficult to consume the recommended amounts of protein via natural food sources, you can opt for nutritional supplements such as whey protein isolates which can fill in the protein gap without bringing in too many calories.
#10 Prepare To Deal With Hunger
You can plan your meals to the last dot but the truth is that at the end of the day, you are going to be feeling hungry. The cutting phase is going to test your mental and physical endurance by causing serious hunger pangs at random intervals throughout the day. Remember your end goal and do not give in to the temptation.