There are hundreds of diets. Maybe you’ve tried dozens of them with no success, or they worked for a while but quickly made you gain the weight back once the diet ended.
A cutting diet is not much different from other diets, mainly focusing on cutting calories and building muscle mass. Although you should watch your calories, there are no foods that are completely off limits.
That being said, some foods are better than others. This article will go into more detail about the cutting diet, including the 27 best cutting foods.
What is a “crash diet”?
A cutting diet is also commonly called shredding. The goal of a slimming diet is to help reduce body fat and increase muscle mass. You do this by maintaining a calorie deficit, eating a good amount of carbs and protein, and exercising.
Focusing on these foods and lifting weights will help build muscle, so you won’t lose muscle once you start cutting back on calories.
This is a diet often used by bodybuilders. This diet is not designed to be long-term and usually lasts between two and four months, so it’s a great option for those trying to lose a little weight between the holidays.
Is a cutting diet for you? Pros and cons
Not for everyone. If this were a magical panacea that worked for everyone, there would be far fewer diets. However, it may be an option for you. Here are some pros and cons so you can decide if the haircut is right for you.
• Helps in fat loss
• Builds muscle and makes you more generally attractive
• A simple diet that requires only calorie reduction and light exercise
• Increases athletic ability
• Improves insulin sensitivity
• Can increase life expectancy
• Cutting diets require a lot of time, planning and tracking
• Counting calories can cause or lead to dangerous behaviors in some people, such as chronic malnutrition
• Will often feel hungry, especially in the beginning
• May reduce bone density, sleep quality, and sex hormones
27 Best Foods for Slicing
A cutting diet mainly focuses on foods rich in protein and fiber, although carbohydrates are good too. There are tons of options, so you can easily mix and match to your taste.
1. Whole eggs
2. Sweet potatoes
3. Seeds like flax seeds and chia seeds
7. Zucchini and other squashes
14. Low-fat cheese
16. High-sugar fruit (post-workout)
19. Starchy vegetables
20. Whole wheat pasta
21. Apple cider vinegar
23. Fish, such as salmon and tuna
24. Whole grains
25. Lean meats such as lean beef, turkey and chicken
26. Dark leafy greens
27. Cottage cheese
Supplements when you cut
Since you don’t eat a lot, it can be difficult to get all the nutrients you need. Also, eating enough protein in a day can be very difficult unless you supplement with protein. Fortunately, there are plenty of options to choose from.
Protein supplements and powders are essential for reducing diets. Most people think they prefer whey protein, but there are plenty of options to provide you with the flavor, amino acids, and protein you need. A common practice is to add protein powder to a dessert such as a milkshake or ice cream.
Multivitamins are always important, regardless of your diet. They contain many essential nutrients that humans do not get from food, such as magnesium, calcium and folic acid.
Amino acids are also important. Sometimes other supplements you use may contain the amino acids you need, such as protein powder, but sometimes you may be missing out. If so, there are also branched chain amino acids or BCAAs. This helps prevent muscle loss, even in a calorie deficit.
Glutamine is another important supplement. Glutamine is greatly depleted after exercise such as cardio. This is thought to be one of the reasons why muscle mass is destroyed after intense exercise, so being able to increase the amount in your system with supplements can help ensure that you don’t suffer muscle loss.
Pre-workout is the last supplement we strongly recommend. A proper pre-workout for a cutting diet will contain something known as L-Arginine or Nitric Oxide Booster.
This supplement helps release growth hormones, provides healthy cholesterol, increases fat burning and increases muscle growth. It also gives you a boost of energy and the ability to continue exercising thanks to its vasodilating properties.
11 tips for your diet
Dieting can be difficult and you may feel hungry all the time. There are tips you can keep in mind to ease your progress by reducing hunger and speed it up by adding other exercises and benefits.
1. Try cardio
Although weightlifting is the main exercise in a slimming diet, cardio can also be beneficial. Using aerobic exercise like cardio allows your body to focus on burning fat. Because dieting has a habit of losing muscle mass, it allows you to burn fat faster, diet for less time, and lose less muscle in that time.
2. Liquid calories can be dangerous
Most dieters warn against liquid carbohydrates. However, any liquid calories can be harmful. They are often considered empty calories because you swallow the calories and you don’t feel full because those calories don’t do any good.
First and foremost, you should avoid drinks with a high sugar content, such as sodas, alcohol, and energy drinks. While things like your morning latte can still be unhealthy, milk contains protein that can make it more filling.
However, reduce liquid calories whenever possible. It’s an easy way to reduce your daily calorie intake without having to cut back on what you eat.
3. Meal prep can make things easier
When you get home after a long day at work, you don’t always feel like cooking. This means that you often just grab what’s easiest for you. Unfortunately, anything that’s easy is usually full of calories and not very nutritious.
If you plan and prepare all your meals ahead of time, you won’t have as many excuses not to cook them. Some can be eaten cold, while others just need to be microwaved for a few minutes before enjoying. You’ve also cooked the food, so you already know all the calories ahead of time.
4. Always stay hydrated
It’s always important to stay hydrated, especially if you’re on a diet. Drinking plenty of water can help you feel fuller and boost your metabolism for a short time. We also get a lot of water from food. When you’re cutting calories, you’re also cutting back on water, so don’t forget to drink plenty of water.
5. Use Refeed and Cheat days to help you
Cheat days and feeding days are part of a cutting diet. Refeed is more common, but both can be used. A cheat meal is simply a meal where you don’t care about calories and can eat whatever you want. This is usually done once a week to once a month.
Faster days are days where you focus on increasing your carbs much higher than normal that day. This often means you take in more calories for the day, but there are benefits to having a carb-rich day.
Eating more carbohydrates than usual has many benefits, including replenishing glucose stores, aiding in exercise, balancing hormones, and boosting metabolism. Although you will temporarily gain weight during this time, it is mostly water weight and should disappear in a few days.
However, you don’t want to use these days as an excuse to go crazy. You still need to plan them out a bit to make sure you’re still in a calorie deficit and don’t overeat.
6. Add fiber to your diet
Fiber-rich foods, such as non-starchy vegetables, are full of nutrients. These nutrients and the digestive benefits that come with fiber help you stay fuller for much longer and help maintain a calorie deficit.
7. Weigh yourself regularly
People fluctuate in weight daily. It depends a lot on how much water weight you’re holding, your last bowel movement, and more. However, by weighing daily, you can take the average value for the week. This gives you a better idea of how much weight you’ve lost than just a daily or weekly measurement.
8. Track your calories with an app
Keeping track of your calories manually can be difficult. Many programs, both free and paid for, can make your job easier. They allow you to scan barcodes and easily add products, so you don’t have to do the math. It’s always worth double-checking the numbers because sometimes they’re off the mark.
9. Change calories as needed
When you’re losing weight, you don’t need to eat as much. If you don’t adjust your calories throughout the process, one day you may find yourself not in a calorie deficit, but maintaining or even overeating. By checking in every ten pounds or so, you’re helping to just check in with yourself and make sure you’re still doing what you need to.
10. Look at examples of food for relief
Trying to figure out what you can eat and make a meal out of it can be overwhelming. Fortunately, you are not the only one following this diet. There are many other people who also follow this diet.
Many of them are more than willing to share their meal plans and provide ideas for your meals. You can either talk to them in person or search blogs for ideas on what to eat. Most of the time, you can find a whole week’s list that includes all the meals, even the appetizers.
They may still need a little tweaking to match your exact calories, but this gives you a good idea of where to start.
11. Don’t be afraid of carbs
Most diets cut you out of carbs, calling them bad for weight loss. However, healthy carbohydrates such as fruit and bread can be very beneficial. This is especially true if you plan to add cardio to your plan, but can be a good idea even if you don’t. If your meals are often low in carbohydrates, try to supplement once or twice a week.