Tweetgood read....i need to work more on my nutrition
TweetBeginner Guides: How to Plan a Cutting Diet
Well, so you wanna cut all that fat which doesn't let you show your 6 pack?
But you don't wanna lose that hardly achieved lean muscle mass as well...
Here comes a simple explanation on how to lose fat without wasting your lean body mass.
First of all you need to calculate your theoric daily caloric need, more precisely the total calories your body uses to produce energy for your daily activities.
This comprehends working, training, eating, having sex and even sleeping.
We're gonna use the most common formula to calculate it, the Harris Benedict Formula for Calorie Calculations:
“The Harris Benedict equation is a calorie formula using the variables of height, weight, age, and gender to calculate basal metabolic rate (BMR).
This is more accurate than calculating calorie needs based on total body weight alone. The only factor it omits is lean body mass and thus the ratio of muscle-to-fat a body has.
Remember, leaner bodies need more calories than less leaner ones. Therefore, this equation will be very accurate in all but the very muscular (Harris-Benedict will under-estimate calorie needs) and the very fat (Harris-Benedict will over-estimate calorie needs).”
Let's have a peek on a few things before starting to explain the formula:
1. BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is the total amount of calories the body needs while in a vegetative state.
So we need to multiplicate it to a certain factor based on the level of daily activity of an individual (from sedentary to extra active).
2. The formula is based on European units (Kg, cm):
1 Kg = 2.2 lbs / 1 lbs = 0.45 Kg
1 cm = 0.39 inches / 1 inch = 2.54 cm
1 foot = 12 inches
Harris Benedict Formula for Men:
BMR = 66 + (13.7 x weight in kilos) + (5 x height in cm) - (6.8 x age in years)
Example for a 200lbs man, 6 feet tall at 25yo:
BMR = 66 + (13.7 x 200 x 0.45) + (5 x 6 x 12 x 2.54) - (6.8 x 25) = 2043 calories
Now that we have our BMR we should multiply it to the appropriate factor referring to the activity level:
1. Sedentary - Office job, no exercise = BMR x 1.25
2. Lightly Active - Office job, sport 3 days a week = BMR x 1.375
3. Moderately Active - Light manual job, sport 3-5 days a week = BMR x 1.55
4. Very Active - Manual job, sport 5 days a week = BMR x 1.725
5. Extra Active - Heavy manual job, sport 6-7 days a week = BMR x 1.9
Example for our 2043 BMR male:
Assuming a moderately active life, his daily caloric expenditure should be: 2043 x 1.55 = 3167 calories.
THIS IS THE THEORIC CALORIC AMOUNT AN INDIVIDUAL NEEDS TO MAINTAIN HIS WEIGHT.
At this point you should reckon which is your target weight, and since you're cutting you should eat less calories than what you burn.
A theory indicates that 1 pound of bodyweight corresponds to approximatively 3500 kcals.
So, for a 10 weeks diet example, if you were 200 lbs and your target weight is 180 lbs, you should eat 1000 calories less than what you burn everyday, because 20 lbs in 10 weeks are 2 lbs per week (2 x 3500 kcals), so 7000 kcals / 7 days = 1000 kcals a day less than the maintainance caloric need.
Returning to our male example, he should eat 3167-1000 = 2167 calories everyday.
Obviously 1000 kcal less per day is an example of some drastic diet, usually a cutting bodybuilder with some good quality muscle mass do not need to pass the 500 kcals mark.
It all depends on what you want to achieve and what are your goals.
What are macros?
Well, macronutrients are the primary source of nutrients for your blood.
Respectively Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats.
PROTEIN: You need a big load of protein to maintain your lean body mass while cutting. This is to compensate the lack of carbs implicated from cutting purposes.
Protein break down in aminoacids, the bricks for muscle building.
1 GRAM OF PROTEIN SUPPLY 4 CALORIES.
CARBS: On a cutting diet you need to keep them on TIMING, means to eat carbs (complex for the most) just when they are for anti-catabolic purposes, energy and glycogen store replenishing.
They break down mostly in glycogen, the primary source of energy. Carbs in excess could be stored as fat, that's why we'll keep them at the minimum amount required.
1 GRAM OF CARBS SUPPLY 4 CALORIES.
FATS: You need fats as well, yes fats, even more important than carbs in a cutting diet. We're talking on EFA, Essential Fatty Acids (the good healthy fats), unsatured fats, they downregulate cholesterol and contribute to burn fat deposits.
Definitely you need good fats to cut bad fats. They're subdivided in two categories, omega-3 and omega-6, and found in flaxseed oil, peanut butter, fish oils and other good sources of oils.
1 GRAM OF FAT SUPPLY 9 CALORIES.
How to plan my macros then?
A good macros distribution which I often advise is 50-25-25. Respectively 50% protein, 25% carbs and 25% fats.
Then everyone is different so you should change them seeing how your body reacts to the various temptatives and opt for the one which works best for you.
In example, a 2200 kcals cuttin diet would be distributed in 1100 kcals from protein (50%), 550 Kcals from carbs (25%) and 550 kcals from fats (25%).
Approximatively 275 grams of protein (1100/4), 137.5 grams of carbs (550/4) and 61 grams of fats (550/9).
Am I sure I'm taking enough protein?
I'll say don't exaggerate with them, like many people do.
Be sure to eat around 1.5-2 grams of protein per each pound of Lean Body Mass (LBM). In example, if you weight 200 lbs and your bodyfat is 15%, so your LBM should be 200-15% = 170 lbs.
It means that you'll be fine eating 255-340 grams of protein per day. Don't go over the 2x amount, because even if they are the most important macros for muscle building and repairing, too much would involve in some bad kidneys issues.
If your daily intake doesn't fix in these amounts, you probably did your calories calcs wrong, otherwise adjust your macros till reaching the desired amount.
How do I plan carbs timing?
You'll need carbs for breakfast (all complex) for anti-catabolic purposes.
You need them pre-workout (complex) as a resource of energy for your training session.
You need them finally for PWO meal, (50% high glycemic source, sugars, and 50% complex) to replenish glycogen stores depleted from the workout.
Sample Diet Plan:
Meal 1: pro/carbs
Meal 2: pro/fats
Meal 3: pro/veggies
Meal 4: pro/fats
Meal 5: pro/carbs (pre-WO)
Meal 6: pro/carbs (PWO)
Meal 7: pro/veggies
Meal 8: pro/fats
Make sure to equally distribute your protein intake through the meals (i.e. if daily protein intake is 280 grams, then eat 35 grams every meal).
Some Important Things to keep in mind
1. Eat simple carbs (high glycemic index, sugars) ONLY in your post-workout meal, otherwise you would have insulin peaks through the day which could cause undesired fat storages, thing to definitely avoid while cutting.
2. Have most of your carbs in your PWO shake, which is the most important meal of the day, along with 40-60 grams of protein for muscle tissue repairing.
3. Eat lean sources of protein, like chicken, tuna, egg whites, lean beef and avoid protein shakes during the day, since they are processed food, means low biologic value protein.
4. Glutamine is the best supplement to use while cutting, since it's the most anti-catabolic aminoacid and you need to uninterruptedly counter catabolism while cutting.
5. Have a cheat meal once a week. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT, since your body likes to run in homeostasis once used to the macros you put in it everyday. If you do nothing to avoid homeostasis the fat burning process stops, because the body has adjusted the metabolism basing it on the calories you eat everyday. This is also an useful factor regarding the mental aspect of the diet. You need a break in order to continue following it strictly and not getting mad on it.
6. If you're not close to a competition, I suggest to have one or more carb load days a week to fully replenish glycogen stores. I usually load carbs in my rest days.
7. Cardio: it's a primer to lose fat storages, you need to do it at empty stomach, preferably in the AM before breakfast. 45 minutes at medium intensity for 5-7 times a week will be enough.
8. Don't worry if you start to feel hungry the first weeks, or if your body looks worse than before, it all will be fixed once the diet effectively starts to work.
9. Eat tons of water, it helps to keep your kidney clean from a protein excess and keep you hydrated.
10. Don't drink alcoholic with your cheat meal, definitely NEVER drink alcoholics.
11. Have a high bio value protein and fats meal before bed. It prevents muscle catabolism through the sleep due to cortisol release. Don't have a whey shake, you need some long digestible protein like casein or eggs.
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Tweetgood read....i need to work more on my nutrition
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TweetI always thought Muscle milk before bed was the right thing to do vs solids?
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TweetSome great info , i need to focus on my diet , been away for too long !!
TweetI use the true-natural-bodybuilding.com it will let you plug in your own numbers and it has the USDA nutritional catalog. Saves me a shit load of time figuring out any diet.