If you are looking to lose weight or reduce your body fat, but you don’t want to lose your hard-earned muscle mass, then a cutting diet might just be the option for you. Therefore, the team at Diets2Go have put together this ultimate guide to a successful cutting diet.
As every cutting diet should be tailored to your personal fat loss goals, there are no foods that are off-limits to everyone. However, before we go into the different ways that you can develop a cutting diet, there are a couple of do’s and don’ts to consider.
Do choose food rich in fibre
Food sources that are rich in fibre are nutrient-dense foods, which help you to feel fuller for longer even when you are on a low-calorie diet. An example of fibre-rich carb foods are non-starchy vegetables.
Do drink lots of water
Starving your body of water only makes you lose water weight, and it doesn’t help you to lower your fat level. In fact, drinking lots of water and staying hydrated can actually help you to curb your appetite and speed up your metabolic rate temporarily.
Don’t drink liquid carbs
Though sports drinks can help you to recover after exercise, sports drinks and soft drinks that are full of sugar lack micronutrients. This means they can actually make you feel hungrier - you are better off eating solid foods.
Don’t turn to deep-fried foods regularly
Deep-fried foods are full of fat and high calories. Instead of heading straight for deep-fried foods on any cheat days, still keep an eye on your eating habits to some degree.
Different Methods Available To Cut Fat Whilst Retaining Muscle
The goal of a cutting diet is for bodybuilders, those with a high training volume and people with many strength training days, such as on a strength training programme to cut body fat levels whilst maintaining their hard-earned muscle mass.
Therefore the goal is to get lean muscle mass. This means that, first and foremost, a cutting diet should always be accompanied by strength training sessions, resistance training, aerobic exercise, intense exercise, or, more specifically, weight lifting. Lifting weights multiple times per week is important as it promotes muscle growth, helping to combat the muscle loss that you get when you cut your calorie intake or only do aerobic training.
A cutting diet should always be tailored to your individual needs, goals, and nutritional requirements. Here are a few methods you can consider.
In order to lose body fat, you must consistently eat fewer calories than you burn, otherwise known as a deficit of calories.
Conversely, a surplus of calories is how you put on body fat, which is when you consume extra calories than your recommended calorie intake.
The number of calories per day that you should eat per day to lose weight depends on a few different factors: current weight, height, body composition, lifestyle, gender, and fitness levels.
Speaking in general terms, the average woman needs 2,000 calories per day (known as maintenance calories), but 1,500 calories to lose 1 pound of fat per week. Men need a higher percentage of calories - the average man needs 2,500 maintenance calories per day, or 2,000 calories per day, to lose the same amount of fat.
High protein intake
Making sure your protein intake is high enough is another important part of a cutting diet. This is because a high-protein diet can speed up your metabolic rate and reduce your appetite, whilst also preserving lean muscle mass.
When doing a cutting diet, you must eat more protein than usual. The commonly recommended protein intake is 0.7-0.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight. If you aren’t getting enough dietary protein, you might need to supplement with a protein shake every so often.
Reduce fat intake
Lowering your fat intake can help you to lose weight. However, it shouldn’t be cut out completely. This is because not eating enough fat can affect testosterone levels and other hormones that help to preserve muscle mass.
Maintain an adequate number of carbohydrates
Carbohydrates play an important role in your diet, fuelling your body through workouts and giving your body energy instead of protein, combating muscle loss. When doing a cutting diet, the carbs you eat should constitute the remaining calories after subtracting protein and fat. This might be classed as a low-carb diet, but this won’t be the case for everyone.
Incorporate cheat days
Cheat days are occasional occurrences where you allow yourself to indulge outside the restrictions of a cutting diet. This can assist your body in restoring cortisol levels, insulin levels, and blood sugar levels, therefore boosting energy levels and fitness levels.
Try meal prep
As you can see, the trick for a successful cutting diet is to have a varied diet, controlling your food intake whilst not excluding any types of foods completely. To save you time, and help you avoid the temptation of unhealthy and deep-fried foods, meal prep can help you stay on track with your cutting diet.
How To Do A Cutting Diet With Diets2Go
Cutting muscle doesn’t have to be an unpleasant experience with order meal prep - healthy meals prepared according to your personal meal prep goals. Our meal prep prices aren’t unpleasant either, with affordable bodybuilding meals and bodybuilding meal prep for all diet goals. Here are some of the meal prep options suitable for the cutting diet goals as mentioned above.
Jerk Chicken and Brown Rice | 223 kCal, 29g protein, 21g carbs, 2g fat
As the lowest calorie option on our menu at only 223 calories per portion, this butterflied jerk chicken breast and brown rice dish is the bread and butter of Jamaican food culture. Our signature jerk sauce recipe has been passed down through generations and has never tasted so good.
Vegan Mutton and Jollof Rice | 228 kCal, 6g protein, 42g carbs, 4g fat
At only 228 calories per portion, our vegan mutton with jollof rice is filling whilst being low in calories. Replacing the mutton with jackfruit, this traditional Jamaican dish might be lacking meat but it is triple the flavour!
Grilled Buffalo and Noodles | 50g protein, 30g carbs, 2.5g fat, 332 kCal
Grilled buffalo is world-renowned for its lean protein benefits - an essential for red meat lovers who don’t want to eat unnecessary fats. Paired with our fresh egg noodles, this dish is packed with high amounts of protein and essential amino acids.
Gochujang Chicken Breast and Noodles | 45g protein, 39g carbs, 8g fat, 408 kCal
Smokey, warm and sweet, this dish packs a punch. This Korean classic has heat, flavour, high protein and a point to prove!
Grilled Plantain and Fried Rice | 1.8g fat, 298 kCal, 2g protein, 51g carbs
Grilled plantain is a taste that is too good to resist. It might have only 1.8 grams of fat (our lowest fat dish on the menu) but it is off the charts in flavour.
Tuna Pasta | 2.5g fat, 252 kCal, 20g protein, 38g carbs
Classic tuna pasta with a West African twist? And only 2.5 grams of fat per portion? Yes, please! This utterly unique fish dish combines spices from all over the world to create this absolute Diets2Go favourite.
Adequate carb intake
Vegan Mac ‘N’ Cheese | 50g carbs, 19.4g fat, 429 kCal, 14g protein
Nothing says comforting and filling quite like mac ‘n’ cheese, and this vegan classic is no different! Ultra vegan-cheesy, saucy, and creamy, topped with breadcrumbs and baked until golden brown and crispy. Simply mouthwatering.
Sweet Potato Falafel and Noodles | 67g carbs, 11g fat, 403 kCal, 9.2g protein
This classic Mediterranean falafel is rich and satisfying, with sweet potato, and chickpeas, accompanied by silky noodles.
Cheat day treats
Waffle Platter | 22g protein, 15g carbs, 10g fat, 238 kCal
A cheat day is all about treating yourself, but that doesn’t need to be ‘OTT’! Our delicious waffle platter contains protein waffles, chunks of vegan brownie, and fresh fruit, all accompanied by creamy greek yoghurt and honey for dipping.
New York Cheesecake - Lemon Curd | 3g protein, 31g carbs, 13g fat, 253 kCal
This light and fluffy New York cheesecake is the perfect end to any meal, and the perfect treat for a more guilt-free treat day.
African Mixed Beans and Jollof Rice | 9g protein, 58g carbs, 17g fat, 417 kCal
This beany vegan medley is jam-packed full of fibre, with chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, and sesame seeds. This filling selection of wholesome beans and pulses is perfectly paired with classic African Jollof rice to keep you going all day long.
Piri Piri Thighs and Fried Rice | 31g protein, 31g carbs, 13g fat, 365 kCal
For our piri-piri lovers, indulge yourself in this Portuguese classic but with added fibre from chickpea adorned rice and broccoli. The chicken thighs are marinated for 72 hours in our signature piri-piri sauce and fire-grilled to infuse the flavours within the chicken.
Get In Touch With Diets2Go Today For More Information About Our Meal Plans
For more great options tailored specifically to your cutting diet goals, get in touch to speak to one of our expert advisors today.
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