The weekend is a great time to workout or to just relax. Saturday’s, for me, usually consists of another back/tricep-focused regimen. But, if you are feeling like you need a break or simply don’t have time, dont worry. You can continue sculpting your body through nutrition instead!
If you want to tone your body, then “cutting” is for you. “Cutting” is when you decrease your calorie intake, and avoid foods heavy in carbs and sugars. This technique requires you to mostly eat foods that are easy to burn and have low calories. As opposed to “bulking”, you should eat significantly less calories; usually about 1500 calories, if you normally eat 2000. “Cutting” takes a lot of discipline and perseverance. It is hard to continue this diet over a long time, so you can chose to do it for anywhere from 2 weeks to a month. You will feel hungry, so you’re going to have to be strong and keep going with this diet. It will help if you create a rigid diet, but not a restrictive diet.
Good examples of things to eat when you are cutting are:
- green teas
- leafy green vegetables
- chicken/turkey breast
- lean beef
These are just some examples of foods you should include in your diet. You should eat things that are high protein but low in saturated fat. Refined sugars and carbs should be restricted. Fruits like grapefruits and apples are good choices in this sense because they contain vitamins and minerals, with relatively low natural sugars compared to other fruit. Apples are also high in fiber which is another key element to toning. Fiber slows down the rate of absorption of other foods in your meal (BodyBuilding.com). On the other hand, grapefruits and green tea are known for their fat burning properties, which is the goal for “cutting”.
Besides from these aspects of nutrition, it is important to eat foods with lean protein. Protein repairs muscles and boosts metabolism. You can either eat meat or fish, or substitute it with protein powder.
Additionally, drinking more water during this diet is necessary. It helps shed off fat by reducing hunger and can even fill you up. Hydration also provides energy, which can be useful to push yourself when working out.
Many bodybuilders or athletes will create a meal plan for their cutting season. This helps to make sure you don’t go over your max calorie intake for the day and prevents snacking between meals. To create a meal plan, you work backwards by planning your meals based on the amount of calories you should eat during the day. You can calculate the calories per meal and can even plan the time you are going to eat to keep you on schedule. Sometimes, people who do this will prepare their meals ahead of time, so they are not tempted to break the plan. Although, this is tedious and requires a lot of self-control, the results will be worth it.
If you are worried that you could not stick to such a restrictive diet, then theres no need to worry. You are allowed to have your cheat days, as long as they won’t ruin your progress. If you are going to cheat, you should try to avoid a meal that is extremely overloaded with calories because it will be hard to burn it all off again. Also, you should have the mindset that if you are going to indulge in a cheat meal then you must go back to your “cutting” diet the next day.
It will be hard to go through with this diet, but once it is over you will be glad that you did. Not only will you have loss fat, but you will have proved that you have strong discipline over your hunger.