The body has 3 energy suppliers: carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred fuel. If the body cannot get enough energy from carbohydrates, it will proceed to burn fats and proteins. The fact that the body uses fat reserves is nice, because we want to train dry. That the body also uses proteins as fuel is less beautiful, proteins are the building blocks of our muscle tissue and are important for maintaining the muscle mass for which we have trained so hard. Without the use of doping, which are readily available to buy from online steroids Canada, it is not possible for trained bodybuilders to lose fat without losing muscle mass.
With novice bodybuilders this would be possible, but that aside. The loss of muscle mass is inherent in a calorie deficit. However, with the right nutrition we do have an influence on how much muscle mass is lost. With proper nutrition, we can minimize the loss of muscle mass during cutting.
The right nutrition when cutting
Cutting is largely a matter of proper nutrition and a small part of adjusting the way you train. With nutrition you have to deal with the right balance between carbohydrates, proteins, fats and the right amount of calories.
The balance between carbohydrates, proteins and fats
A popular ratio of energy sources during cutting is 50% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 20% fats. Experienced bodybuilders who have already gone through the bulk and cut phase several times sometimes want to personalize the ratio based on their own experiences. After all, every body is different and if you have figured out what your body responds to best then it is fine to deviate from this popular 50-30-20 ratio. Although it is likely that in practice this will not deviate much from the 50-30-20 ratio.
In order to get the right ratio of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, you should choose foods that are rich in protein and do not contain a lot of fat.
Good sources of lean protein include chicken, turkey, lean beef, low-fat cottage cheese and eggs. The proteins of animal origin also provide high-quality proteins; high-quality proteins contain many different types of amino acids which are important for maintaining muscle mass. Because it is difficult in practice to get the 50-30-20 ratio, you can use protein shakes. Protein shakes are rich in protein and contain hardly any fat and few carbohydrates.
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The right amount of calories for cutting
The amount of calories you can eat daily during cutting depends on many factors. In the first place, you will have to calculate what your daily energy needs are.
Your daily calorie requirement depends on your weight, your height, your age, your gender, your build, your daily work and how much and how hard you train. Online you can find calculation tools that take these factors into account in the calculation of your daily calorie requirement.
When cutting, you will be 200 to 500 kcal below your daily calorie requirement with your diet. 200 kcal if you do not have to lose a lot of weight and 500 kcal if you have to lose a lot of fat mass. When you start cutting, you will initially be 200 kcal below your daily calorie requirement. The idea is that you gradually implement the reduction in the number of calories in your eating schedule. After that, it becomes a matter of often weighing and adjusting.
For heavyweight bodybuilders (120kg+) a good guideline is to lose 1000 grams per week of weight. For lightweight bodybuilders (80kg-) it is a good guideline to lose 750 grams of weight per week. If you are here with your weight in between, you can keep a proportional part of this guideline. If you follow this guideline, you ‘know’ that you lose fat mass and not muscle mass (you never know for sure, every body is different). If you lose (much) more weight than this guideline, there is a good chance that you have lost muscle mass in addition to fat mass. If you lose less weight than this guideline, it is best to further reduce the calorie intake without it being at the expense of your muscle mass.
If you do not lose enough weight with a reduction of 200 kcal compared to your daily calorie requirement, you will have to further reduce the calorie intake. If you achieve good results with 200 kcal, you will remain on a reduction of 200 kcal to prevent unnecessary muscle mass loss.
If you do not get enough calories from your diet, you will lose too little weight. Ideally, you will reach your target weight (or target fat percentage) in 6 to 8 weeks with a maximum of 3 months. Try not to rush this, because if you get too many calories from your diet too quickly, you will lose (too much) muscle mass.
6 to 8 meals a day
Ideally, divide your food during cutting over 6 to 8 small meals a day. The muscles recover throughout the day of the workouts and your body needs energy throughout the day. It is therefore important to ensure a ratio of (approximately) 50% carbohydrates, 30% proteins and 20% fats with every meal. By providing your body with carbohydrates throughout the day, it will be less likely to use proteins as an energy source. In addition, your blood sugar level remains stable.
In practice, it is not possible to ensure the 50-30-20 ratio with every meal, but it is advisable to ensure that carbohydrates, proteins and fats are included in every meal. Seen over the whole day, the ratio should be 50-30-20. Before a workout, you can take some extra carbohydrates so that you have enough energy to do the work. After a workout, you provide some extra protein so that your muscles can recover properly.