After posting an example of a diet that could be used for bulking, several people contacted me asking me to do the same for a cutting diet.
When you’re on a cutting diet, the goal is to lose fat while retaining as much muscle as possible. The scale should be going down by 1-2 lbs per week. You want to keep the protein intake very high while on a cutting diet so you can maximize the preservation of muscle mass. Protein is also a very satiating macronutrient, and will keep you feeling fuller for longer, helping to avoid hunger issues.
In order to burn fat and lose weight, you will need to be eating at a caloric deficit. This means that you need to be taking in fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its weight. Because you’re eating fewer calories, you want to consume the types of foods that keep you feeling satisfied throughout the day (which is one of the reasons why protein intake is so high, as I just mentioned).
Vegetables are always an extremely important component of any diet, but they become especially helpful when cutting because you can consume very large quantities of vegetables for a minuscule number of calories. Foods that score low on the glycemic index are also great choices when on a cutting diet.
Let’s take a look at an example of a cutting diet that I might suggest for a 180 lb guy:
2 scoops Optimum Nutrition protein
3 large scrambled eggs
2 slices whole grain bread
1 sliced tomato
1 large banana
Steak salad with:
6 ounces beef top sirloin, cooked
1 ounce gorgonzola cheese
2 tablespoons vinaigrette dressing
Chicken stir-fry with:
6 ounces chicken breast, cooked
Chinese vegetables mixture
2 tablespoons Thai peanut sauce
1 cup white or brown rice, cooked
1 large plum
1 Vitalicious Deep Chocolate VitaTop
As you can see in the meal plan above, you don’t have to eat tiny portions of food when cutting. This meal plan has a hearty breakfast with scrambled eggs, toast, and a banana, a wholesome steak salad for lunch filled with cheese, spinach, and vegetables, and a big chicken stir-fry dinner with rice.
I often like to include the Vitalicious VitaTops in meal plans because they’re a great snack. They’re only 100 calories but they taste great and are loaded with fiber.