What is cutting?

Cutting means that you reduce your dietary intake and combine it with power training, so that you will keep muscle mass. Cutting is also called dry training.

With cutting, you focus in the preservation of as many muscles as possible. When you start this, it’s important that you do not a fat percentage lower than 8%. In this case, it’s better to build muscles without losing more fat, which is done through bulking.

The guidelines for effective cutting are as follows:

  • Calculate energy requirement on the Fat-free Mass (FFM)
  • Ensure a calorie shortage of 200 – 500 kcal
  • Calculate the correct nutritional ratio (percentage of proteins, carbohydrates and fats)
  • Convert the amount of macronutrients to grams
  • Distribute the total amount of kcal over the number of meals that you enjoy each day
  • Do cardiovascular training

Energy requirement on the Fat-free Mass (FFM)
The formula for calculating the energy requirement per person is as follows: (Weight x fat percentage/100 = fat mass) – (Weight – fat mass = fat-free mass) – (Fat-free mass x 24 = basic requirement of kcal). First it is necessary to measure the fat percentage with a skinfold meter. Suppose you weigh 75 kilograms and have a fat percentage of 11%. Then your energy requirements look like this:

Fat mass: 75×0,11 = 8,25

Fat-free mass: 75 – 8,25 = 66,75

Basis requirement of kcal: 66,75 x 24 = 1602 kcal

For someone with these values, 1602 kcal a day is sufficient.

Ensure a shortage of calories

After calculating the energy requirement, you can detract 200 – 500 calories. It’s wise not to reduce the calories drastically in one day, but step by step. This avoids unnecessary degradation of muscle mass. If you limit your calorie intake, it is inevitable that some of the muscle tissue breaks down. If you cut with proper nutrition and systematic training and sufficient rest, the breakdown of muscle tissue will be minimised.

The correct nutritional ratio
After you have determined how many calories you can take in in a day, it is necessary to divide them well over the macronutrients and your various meals that you partake in during the day. The ratio between proteins, carbohydrates and fats should be just right. The recommended ratio for fat loss is that you get 30% protein, 50% carbohydrates and 20% fat from your diet. It is important to remember that this differs from person to person.

Convert macronutrients to grams
It’s useful to know how many grams of protein, carbohydrates and fat you can eat daily. This way you can keep to your food pattern. When you follow the recommended ratio of 30% protein, 50% carbohydrates and 20% fat and you want to lose weight when you weigh 75 kilograms with a fat percentage of 11%, as we showed in the earlier given example, you will end up with 1402 calories per day. You can then have 106 grams of protein a day, 176 grams of carbohydrates and 32 grams of fat. This can best be divided over six small meals a day. That is 18 grams of protein per meal, 30 grams of carbohydrates per meal and 6 grams of fat per meal. See here how to calculate these grams for your personal situation.

Spread throughout the day
By spreading at least six meals over a day and keeping to the right ratio of macronutrients, this has a positive effect on blood sugar levels. It is also good for your insulin level and keeps your energy level up. Muscles recover quickly after training, while minimizing storage of fat.

Do cardio training
You can also continue to eat as you normally would to a certain extent; so that you do not limit your calorie intake. If you do so, it is advisable to add cardio training to your schedule. Cardio training is needed to improve your metabolism, which affects the amount of calories you burn when you are at rest. Cardio training ensures the retention of muscle tissue; muscle loss is then minimal. It clearly has quite a lot of advantages. Ideally, you’ll do this for a minimum of 45 minutes four times a week. Think about running or spinning. Note: cardio training combined with strength training and a calorie limitation is heavy for the body. This is not recommended because your body needs sufficient fuel from nutrition to handle so many sports.

Tips to make cutting work as well as possible:

  • Ensure a structured fitness schedule
  • Know when to eat which macronutrients
  • Regularly evaluate your diet and sports schedule and adjust it when necessary
  • Choose for foods rich in complex carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats

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