The most impressive physiques are shaped by a successful cutting diet – full stop!

Sure, training helps and all the other things helps but the success of your cutting diet is 85% battle won!

The biggest challenge is determining the exact daily calories and manipulating them to allow your body to respond correctly.

  • Too little and your body go into starvation mode = losing muscle but little fat.
  • Too much and your body will lose not fat and continue to add fat.
  • Just right and your body will keep the muscle but start losing the fat.

It is not such an easy process. You might think you hit the right combination when the scale drops, but how sure are you you are dropping fat and not muscle?

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That can only be determined by tedious effort of taking your weight and bodyfat levels with calipers at various places around the body.

Most of the time a diet coach is needed to help you with this monitoring process.

And do not think what works for one person will work perfectly for the next.

Each of our bodies responds differently to the exact same calorie intake.

There are guidelines determining a rock solid starting point but that will have to be monitored at least every 14 days with weighing in and extensive bodyfat measurements with calipers.

For example, I had my coach put me on a rock solid approach for my cutting diet to reach my target 3% bodyfat. (remember I want to keep my muscle not loose it!)

Here follows the diet I started with:

cutting-diet-one (Click to open file)

This Diet failed miserably with a drastic decreasing in muscle size and very little decreasing in bodyfat levels.

Date BodyWeight BodyFat BodyFatKg ChangeKg LeanMassKg Change Lean Kg Chest
2/7 87.60 8.37 7.33 0.00 80.27 0.00 113.00
1/8 86.40 8.82 7.62 0.29 78.78 -1.49 112.00

Then I switched to the following 2nd diet with a increased calorie intake:

cutting-diet-two (Click to open file)


I had very good success with the 2nd (above) diet and although I weighed heavier on the scale, I actually recovered all my lost muscle weight and more and lost as well more than 1% bodyfat in 14 days
. This simply by increasing the calories to better suite my body.

Too add even a bit more muscle mass my calorie content was increased even more with this 3rd version of the diet for the next three weeks.

It will allow me to continue putting on muscle mass and still lose a little bodyfat at the same time:

cutting-diet-three (Click to open file)

For the last 3 weeks of my cutting I will revert to a special diet helping me to get rid of unwanted water levels. This will get me very close to that magic 3% bodyfat level for 20 Sept.

More on the last trick in a future post.

The lesson learned here is that it is money very wisely spend to have a few sessions with a bodybuilding diet coach to get that diet correctly geared for your body.

We spend sooo much money on all the supplements and put in a huge effort with the hard work in gym but when it comes to the most important aspect (which have by FAR the biggest impact) we make some very unwise decisions.

Sure, you can try one or all of my diets and you might hit the jackpot, but chances are you will not nearly reach your maximum potential unless you take charge and manage your diet and body-fat/muscle mass ratios very carefully with a coach.

Happy training! (in this case…happy dieting!)

Gert