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6 Tips to Cut Effectively + Complete Diet Plan

If you regularly go to the gym and do a lot of bodybuilding, you have probably heard of the terms 'cutting' and 'bulking'. These terms are now used so often that they have lost their meaning. Everyone says they are bulking and cutting, but nobody really knows what it is and how it really should be done.

That is why in this article I will explain to you in 6 tips how you should really bulk and cut effectively. I separate the wheat from the chaff – what works with bulking and cutting, and what doesn't? In addition, in the end, I will give you a complete nutrition plan, with which you will get through the whole week.

What do bulking and cutting mean?

Cutting and bulking are common terms in the world of bodybuilding – but what do they actually mean? Cutting involves a (training) period, the main goal of which is to lose fat. If you're even a little bit into bodybuilding, you know that a low-fat percentage is of great importance for bodybuilding.

A period of cutting alternates with a period of bulking: building muscle mass. By alternating these periods, you can eventually achieve the body of your dreams.

It is important to alternate bulking and cutting. Bulking and cutting at the same time do not work. To build muscle, you also need to eat enough. Then you can't lose fat and lower your fat percentage, which you do during cutting. Bulking and cutting at the same time is therefore not wise. Alternate about 6 weeks of bulking with 6 weeks of cutting.

This is different from most diets. People who simply want to lose weight lose both fat and muscle mass during their diet. But if you want to bodybuild, that is precisely not the intention. You want to lose as much fat as possible while preserving your muscle. In this way, you will eventually arrive at the perfect fat percentage.

Tips to Cut Effectively + Complete Diet Plan

What is the correct fat percentage?

In bodybuilding you don't just want to be 'muscled' – your muscles have to be as visible as possible. This has everything to do with your fat percentage. As a bodybuilder, you strive for so-called 'dry muscles'.

This means that your muscles are very visible because of your low fat percentage.

What percentage is that exactly? A healthy man has a fat percentage between 14% and 20%. From 25% you are overweight as a man. Most male bodybuilders aim for a fat percentage of around 8%. It is best to start with 10%.

Women naturally have a higher fat percentage than men. For them, a healthy percentage is between 20 and 30%. Women with more than 32% fat are overweight, while women who are bodybuilding aim for a fat percentage of about 12%.

By cutting, you try to achieve this target percentage. You are then not concerned with mainly muscle building, but with fat loss. Proper training and nutrition are very important for cutting. I put you up with six tips on how you effectively have cut.

Tip 1: Calculate your calorie intake

To lose fat, you will need to consume fewer calories. It should also not be too few calories, because then your body will use muscle tissue as a source of energy. In other words, your muscles will be lost.

And that's exactly what you don't want – while cutting, you want to lose as much fat as possible while maintaining muscle mass. That's why you have to make sure you get the right amount of calories. You do this on the basis of your body weight and your fat percentage.

For this, you must of course know how to calculate your fat percentage. You can use this to determine your energy needs. You need the following values ​​for this:

  • Your fat mass: weight x (fat percentage / 100)
  • Your lean body mass: weight – fat mass
  • The number of kcal: fat-free mass x 24

For example, someone weighing 80 kilos with a fat percentage of 15% wants to know how much he can eat. The fat mass of this person is 80 x (15 / 100) = 80 x 0.15 = 12. The fat-free mass is then 80 – 12 = 68. The number of calories that this person can eat daily is 68 x 24 = 1632 kcal.

Here, this person still has to take about 200 to 500 kcal to really start cutting.

Note: every person is different. This calculation is therefore only a guideline. I recommend that you keep track of how much you lose with this number of calories. A good guideline is half to one kilo per week. If you lose more weight, it is likely that you are losing muscle mass.

Tip 2: Make sure you have the right nutrition ratio

You now know how many kcal you can eat daily, but that's not all. You have to divide this number in the right way over the different nutrients and meals that you consume per day.

In short: you can get energy from three nutrients: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. These so-called macronutrients have different influences on the body. For example, it takes your body more effort to get energy from proteins.

For cutting it is best to keep the following ratio in terms of nutrition:

  • 30% of the calories come from proteins;
  • 50% from carbohydrates;
  • 20% from fats.

To use our example from earlier: the 80 kg person should consume about 1400 kcal per day to cut. Proteins and carbohydrates contain about 4 kcal per gram, fats about 9 kcal per gram. Our person should get 280 kcal from fats, 700 kcal from carbohydrates, and 420 kcal from proteins.

This equates to 31 grams of fat, 175 grams of carbohydrates, and 105 grams of protein per day. In fact, you need to eat even more protein to maintain the muscles when cutting. I will discuss this further in the next tip.

In the nutrition plan at the end of this article, I have put together a precise weekly menu to approximate these values. Of course, the exact amounts depend on your body and desired calorie intake, but it will be pretty close.

Tip 3: Eat enough protein!

Cutting without losing muscle is very important. You want to lose as much fat as possible during this period, but not muscle! You build that up during the bulking period, so it would be a shame if you lost it again while cutting.

To cut without losing muscle, it is very important that you get enough protein.

Proteins are the building blocks for your muscles. They help your muscles to maintain and break down as little as possible. You should get about 2 grams of protein per kilo of lean body mass during the cutting period to maintain your muscle tissue. So that's actually a bit more than what I described in the previous tip.

Proteins (also called proteins) are mainly found in the following products:

  • Chicken breast
  • turkey breast
  • Eggs
  • salmon
  • nuts
  • Beans and legumes
  • Eggs
  • Tuna
  • Healthy milk products
  • soy
  • tofu
  • Beef
  • protein shakes

To incorporate as many of these products as possible into your diet to cut without losing muscle. While bulking, the proteins help build your muscles. Of course, eating protein alone isn't enough – you'll also need to exercise.

Tip 4: Choose the right training when cutting

One of the biggest mistakes people make while cutting is to stop working out. They think that training only while bulking is important. Nothing could be further from the truth – to cut without losing muscle you have to keep training!

But how exactly should you do that? Some people think they need to do a lot of low-intensity exercises. This would help with weight loss and stimulate the muscles at the same time. However, this is incorrect.

If you train your muscles at a lower intensity than what you grew them on, you will lose muscle faster. So you still have to do intensive strength training – just like when bulking. Only when you notice that you can no longer last (because you have less energy due to your diet), you can reduce the number of exercises.

During cutting, for example, compound exercises (or compound exercises) are good. With this, you train multiple muscle groups and burn a lot of calories. In addition, isolated exercises are useful to keep specific muscle groups active. For example, read this article about strength training.

Tip 5: Cutting and cardio

What about cardio then? Can you cut without cardio? Opinions are strongly divided on this. One swears by cardio, the other prefers to cut without cardio – and there is no strong scientific evidence either. However, one thing is clear:

When cutting, your diet should take the lead in weight loss, not cardio.

So you can't replace healthy food with cardio! With your diet, you take care of the most important part of losing weight, because you consume fewer calories. You can therefore theoretically cut without cardio, as long as you can cut enough calories from your diet.

You can use cardio to support weight loss, to ensure that you burn more calories than you take in. It is especially sensitive to do 'traditional' cardio, such as running or cycling. With this, you are more concerned with burning fat at the moment, and there is a greater chance that your muscles will remain intact.

Would you rather cut without cardio? Then you can apply the following tips to cut without cardio:

  • Always start with your diet before starting cardio. Keep cardio on hand if you're losing weight less than you'd like or if your diet is too heavy.
  • Eat well throughout the day (preferably 6 meals a day). This prevents hunger and keeps your metabolism going.
  • Drink water when you get hungry.
  • Eat your meals slowly.
  • Keep doing strength training to cut without losing muscle.

Tip 6: Have a cheat day every now and then, but do it right!

If you've ever been on a diet before, you've probably heard of a cheat day. This is a day when you can forget about your diet for a while, and 'eat everything'. Now the latter is not entirely true, because you are not supposed to go to McDonald's three times on this day and finish with a pizza as a midnight snack.

On a cheat day, you may consume more calories, but continue to eat healthily. If all goes well, you will occasionally feel hungry while cutting. You should normally suppress this feeling by eating spread over the day and drinking plenty of water.

However, if you continue to eat this way for too long, your body will get used to it. Your body then switches to a kind of survival mechanism: your metabolism is slowed down and you can do longer with fewer calories. Handy if you ever end up on a desert island, but not if you want to cut. You will lose less weight then.

That is why you have to make sure that your body does not switch to this mechanism, but rather that you ' continue to be hungry '. Funnily enough, you can achieve that by having a cheat day at most one day a week. On this day you can eat the number of calories that you would normally eat.

But: do keep eating healthy! Make your portions a bit bigger, add some more potatoes or rice, or drink fruit juice instead of water once in a while. This way you counteract your body's survival mechanism, without immediately filling it with bad foods.

Complete nutrition schedule for cutting

As you now know, your diet is the most important thing when cutting. That's why I'm now giving you a complete diet plan for cutting. With this, you know exactly what to eat every day of the week – ideal! Of course, you can shift the order of the dishes, as long as you keep the trend the same.

The Optimal Shoulders Schedule



Greek yogurt with fruit

Lunch: Tuna sandwich with fat-free mayonnaise and lettuce

Dinner/dinner:Carpaccio with brown rice


Yogurt with oatmeal

Greek salad

Baked chicken breast with broccoli and whole wheat pasta


Two brown sandwiches with a boiled egg

Bouncer with vegetables

Tagliatelle with Salmon


Smoothie with green vegetables and low-fat yogurt

Salad with chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, bell pepper, red onions, and avocado

Wok with shrimps and wok vegetables


Pancakes of oatmeal and blueberries

Lettuce wrap with salmon, avocado, and bean sprouts

Steak with green beans and sweet potato


Scrambled eggs with tomato and onion on brown bread

Wrap with smoked salmon and avocado

Homemade burgers with lean minced meat, red onions, on a brown bun with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise


Greek yogurt with oatmeal and red fruit

Green smoothie with quinoa

Make your favorite meal

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