How to Design a Bodybuilding Cutting Diet Plan?

Most people who are new to bodybuilding or start working out for the first time in their lives have one purpose- to lose fat while gaining muscle mass. The majority does so by joining a gym and following some workout to get shredded or hiring a personal trainer. In most cases, it does not yield the kind of results a bodybuilding cutting diet plan would have.

What countless people still do not realize is that more than a fancy gym or a highly recommended trainer, what they need is a bodybuilding cutting diet plan. As the famous saying goes “abs are made in the kitchen.” If you are going to the gym and yet eating a carb loaded sandwich from the deli every day at lunch then rest assured that there will no cutting happening. When you start to learn bodybuilding, you must also start to learn nutrition.

The only way you can physically transform yourself into a new you is if you pay adequate attention to nutrition and the meals that you consume throughout your day.

Characteristics of an ideal bodybuilding cutting diet plan

When you start designing the ideal diet to reach your goals, you must keep three priorities in mind. A good bodybuilding cutting diet plan should allow you to lose as much body fat as possible. It should prevent you from losing muscle mass. And it should not hamper your ability to train in the gym, owing to a lack of energy.

Muscles take a lot of hard work to build, and the last thing you want to do is lose them while you were trying to lose weight (which for most people means to lose fat). If you go on an extreme cutting diet without a scientific approach, your risk doing just so.

The rule of the thumb is that you should aim to cut out 500 calories every day, bringing the total weekly cut to 3500 calories that, non-coincidentally, is equivalent to 1 lbs. As scientists have proven time and again 1 to 1.5 lbs. (max) is the ideal rate at which a healthy human should lose weight.

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It is all in the macros

Eating right in combination with working out leads to cutting, that we have already established and the former can only be done efficiently when you have correctly configured your personal cutting macros for yourself.

Macros or macronutrient ratios simply refers to the percentage of carbohydrates, fat, and protein that you should consume on a daily basis to achieve your target fitness goal. So instead of following some fad meal plan or a random diet plan from some off the shelf fitness mag, you design your customized eating plan for yourself. All you need to keep in mind are the macronutrient ratios.

Let us take a look at how you calculate your very own macros.

Calculating daily caloric intake

First of all, you need to figure out how many calories you need per day. This number helps you draw out a caloric limit that you should stay within to achieve optimal cutting.

Figuring this out is rather easy. Take your body weight and multiply it by the corresponding number according to the kind of life you lead.

  • Sedentary lifestyle= 14
  • Light active lifestyle= 14.5
  • Moderately active lifestyle = 15
  • Very Active lifestyle = 15.5
  • Extremely Active lifestyle = 16
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    For example, if you work at a 9 to 5 desk job that has you sitting in front of a computer all day then you will take your body weight and multiply it with 14. If your lifestyle needs a lot of running around and lifting things, then you’d multiply it to 15. If you are active in the gym already and are working out heavy, then 16 is your number.

    So for Andy who is a 200-pound guy with a desk job, this number will be 2800 (200*14).

    Caloric deficit is the magic word

    Our goal here is to cut the excess fat without losing muscle. To do that we need to initiate a caloric deficit that will allow us to achieve that goal. The key thing to remember with this is that if the deficit you induce is too big, then you will eventually end up losing the hard earned muscle mass. It needs to be well within the optimal range, and that range for most of us is 500 calories.

    So take the amount of calories you calculated in the last step and subtract 500 from it. Taking the example of Andy again, the number for him would be 2300 calories (2800 -500). From here on it is simply a matter of calculating the right amount of carbs, fats, and protein that should be a part of your daily caloric intake.

    Fat is not your enemy

    By fat, of course, we mean the fat content of your meals and not the extra slab of it you got on your belly. A lot of people just assume that eating more fat will make them… fat. That is not true. Foods to eat to get ripped are ones rich in fat help our body regulate vitamins, provide energy, helps in the natural production of testosterone and balances hormone levels. Eating fat also prevents your body from using protein as a source of energy, thereby ensuring that you do not lose any muscle mass.

    On a cutting diet, you need anything between 0.3 grams to 0.6 grams of fat per pound of body weight. To keep it simple, ask yourself if you like consuming food rich in fat. Things like nuts, bacon, cheese, avocados, etc. You are much more likely to stick to a diet if you enjoy eating the food as well.

    So for our old friend Andy (who is 200 pounds), a fat heavy approach would see him needing 120 grams (200 * 0.6) of fat per day.

    Protein, protein, protein!

    It is no closely guarded secret that protein is crucial for anyone looking to get into bodybuilding, but like everything else, it is really important to ensure that you eat it in the right percentages. This ideal range is anywhere between 0.8g to 1.2g of protein per pound of bodyweight.

    To keep it simple, just multiply your bodyweight by 1. Protein intake = your bodyweight in pounds. If you are overweight, then you could reduce It to ‘bodyweight X 0.8’ ratio and if you are lean and working out regularly, then nudging the multiplier up to 1.2 won’t do any harm. For our old pal Andy, this number would be 160 grams (200*0.8).

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    Alas, the carbs

    To carb or not to carb, is the perpetual question. Eating a low carb diet leads to weight loss, we all know that. The only problem is that a lack of carbohydrates can leave you feeling tired and irritable. It also forces the body to lose muscle glycogen that results in you feeling slugging when trying to workout. Besides the brain uses carbs for energy and without them, it won’t be able to function at 100% of its capacity.

    To calculate carbs just subtract the total of the protein and fat intake that you require from the total calories that you need and you have your number. Let’s take Andy’s example once again.

    We established earlier that to function adequately; Andy needs to eat 2300 calories a day. Out of that 120 grams need to be fat and 160 gram, protein.

    One gram of fat is equal to 9 calories, and one gram of protein is equal to 4 calories. This means that Andy’s required fat intake should be 1080 calories of fat and 640 calories of protein. Subtract the total of these from 2300 (his required daily caloric intake), and we have a number of carbs that he should eat. That is 2300 – (1080+640)= 580 calories of carbohydrates.

    Since carbs have 4 calories per gram 580 calories of it would amount to 145 grams of carbs. In the end, Andy’s ideal bodybuilding cutting diet plan will involve eating 120 grams of fat, 160 grams of protein and 145 grams of carbs. See how easy that was?

    In conclusion

    It might seem like quite a chore to measure everything you eat, but in reality, it is not so, especially after you get used to doing it. All you need is a kitchen weighing scale and a My Fitness Pal account. The latter is free to use and can be installed as an app as well on your smartphone. You use it to enter a food item, and it spells out the macros for it. Can’t get easier than that.

    Once you have learned how to design your very own bodybuilding diets for cutting, you will find the going to be much easier. Now all you need to do is to put your head down and sweat it out in the gym.

    5 High-Protein Foods for Vegetarian Bodybuilders That Replace Animal Protein

    High-Protein Foods for Vegetarian Bodybuilders

    Protein is the building block of muscles, and every bodybuilder knows that they must consume their daily requirement for them to be on the right track. Unfortunately, a lot of emphases is put on animal proteins, leaving vegans to wonder whether there are any high-protein foods for vegetarian bodybuilders. While most of these foods are not given the attention, they deserve there are several of them that will aid your journey in muscle building.

    Why are proteins so important in muscle building? Before you get to your workout, you want to be sure that your body has the essential nutrients to get you through it. For recovery, the muscles you have just worked out need to be replenished with bodybuilding foods to recover and grow. Not all proteins are equal. The body produces 20 amino acids, but 9 essential amino acids cannot be produced naturally. These have to be ingested. For a protein to be complete, it must contain these 9 essential amino acids. If you are already beginning to fret at the magnitude of that, relax. You do not need each of these essential amino acids in each meal, just a sufficient amount of them per day. While most animal proteins are complete, you can get your necessary dose from plants too.

    Here are some delicious high-protein foods for vegetarian bodybuilders that give animal proteins a run for their money.

    1. Buckwheat

    While the name will have you thinking that it is a variety of wheat, this grain is far from that. Buckwheat is gluten-free, and the ideal option for the gluten intolerant. It is a fruit seed belonging to the rhubarb family. Buckwheat is a great source of several important nutrients in the body, and more so proteins. A cooked cup of this grain will provide you with 6 grams of proteins, getting you closer to the day’s requirements.

    There are several ways to have your buckwheat. You can grind the seeds into flour and use it for making crepes. You can also make soba, the Japanese noodles, or cook the hulled kernels in a way similar to oats. The variations are endless. Apart from protein provision, buckwheat is a super food in other ways. It lowers blood cholesterol and improves blood circulation.

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    2. Soy

    We cannot begin to talk about high-protein foods for vegetarian bodybuilders without talking about soy. This food is a complete protein, ranking as high as meat and dairy products. Several varieties exist, and this product has received mixed reactions, but the safest way to consume soy is to avoid the processed stuff. For the sake of your health and to get the best out of it go for tofu, tempeh, and natto, which have an acquired taste. The fermented variety has reduced amounts of phytoestrogen, the controversial compound, by approximately a third.

    Half a cup of tofu has 10g of proteins. The firmer the tofu, the more proteins it contains. A half-cup serving of natto will give you 15g while a half cup of tempeh has 15grammes as well.

    3. Quinoa

    Quinoa is not only nutritional, but also tasty and an excellent substitute for rice. It is also good for those looking to lose weight. Quinoa is quite versatile; you can use it for your muffins, cookies, and even fritters. Have it for breakfast, dinner, or whenever, thanks to its ability to be included in just about every meal. One more thing about this amazing grain is that it is gluten free. It also grows easily, which is one of the reasons NASA scientists have been looking at it as a potential crop to grow in outer space.

    It ranks highly in high-protein foods for vegetarian bodybuilders, with a cup of cooked quinoa giving you up to 8 grams of proteins. For cooking ideas, you can pair it with anything that would go with rice or couscous, including beans and lentils. Spoil your loved ones with a chocolate quinoa cake or even make a roasted strawberry quinoa parfait. Apart from protein, each serving will also give you manganese, magnesium, and fiber. Add omega-3 fatty acids to that list. It is truly a super food.

    4. Rice and Beans

    This combination is one of the most common among vegetarians. While the calorie counters will tell you that you risk going overboard with your carbohydrates consumption for the day, say you would rather consume the complete proteins that this meal gives you. How does combo complete each other? Each of them contains proteins but is incomplete. Beans are high in lysine, but low in methionine. Rice is the opposite; low in lysine and high in methionine. If you combine the two, you get both essential amino acids in the same amounts as meat. One cup of this combination gives you 7 grams of proteins.

    Not a fan of black beans? Lentils will give you the same effect. This combination is an ideal way to load on proteins and carbs after an intense workout. This meal is not only nutrition, but it is also quite easy to make.

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    5. Lentils

    They are the underrated food that you only think of when you want something easy to make. Did you know that one cup of cooked lentils provides your body with 17grams of proteins? Quite high, as you may note. Lentils are a staple legume all over the world. There are several variations of them, but they all have the same nutritional value.

    Lentils on their own are not complete proteins. They lack methionine and cysteine, both essential amino acids. You can pair them with rice for added benefit.

    Perfecting a Nutritional Balance

    When it comes to finding high-protein foods for vegetarian bodybuilders – as well as reaching your health goals – what works for one individual might not work for you. Everybody manages situations uniquely, so while protein is necessary, you do not need a meat-based regime to produce the right levels.

    With a bit of examination and awareness of different food sources, you can effortlessly achieve your regular demands and still stick to your particular diet or food options.