What is cutting?

aesthetics, bodybuilding, Cardio, diet, fat loss, lean mass, weight loss -

What is cutting?

Bodybuilders and athletes around the world have been bulking and cutting for years to reach their desired physique and weigh goals. This is usually done after a season of bulking and is used to help you lose body fat. If you are new to bodybuilding or are looking to take your physique to the next level then this is the article for you, as we are going to be sharing the benefits of cutting and how it can help you reach your fitness goals.  Although seen by many just to be for professional bodybuilders, cutting can be for any kind of athlete.

 

What is cutting?

The terms you have probably heard before are “bulking and cutting”, this refers to the two seasons an athlete goes through to reach their desired physique. Cutting is when you are in a calorie deficit (consume less calories) so you are able to burn fat and get the leaner look. A period of cutting is usually done after bulking as the whole point of this is to lose the fat you gained during your bulking season.  Although the goal is to lose fat, some muscle will be lost so doing the right things when cutting will minimise this loss of muscle.

The type of training you do may also change when cutting compared to bulking. For example, when bulking you will be doing a lot of resistance training tot gain the most muscle mass as possible, but when cutting you may do more cardio along with resistance training to burn calories while maintaining muscle mass. Although cardio is good for fat loss, this can also increase the amount of muscle mass you lose so do not just rely on cardio to lose fat. Strength training offers a great calorie burning effect and helps maintain muscle mass. More strength training can also help you maintain your metabolism so you will burn calories faster.

 

Benefits of cutting

As you may already know there are a few benefits to cutting and this is why its done by athletes around the world to reach there desired physique and body fat levels.  One obvious benefit and the main reason why people engage in a cut is to lose body fat.  As a result of reduced body fat, you will be at a lower risk of many other health risks. The health risks associated with being overweight are high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Educing your body fat percentage puts you at a lower risk of these conditions and many others.

Another benefit of cutting is that it can offer many lessons and mental health benefits. When cutting you have to stay strong and have to try and not give in to the desire to break your diet. This teaches will power and makes you more disciplined when it comes to dieting and eating the right foods. This is going to benefit you in all aspects of your life as strong will power is associated with many other things like good grades and better physical and mental health. As a cut often comes after a bulk this will help you with eating less food and being more disciplined when eating and training, it will also help eradicate any bad habits that you have gained over the bulking period (e.g., overeating).

 

What to eat?

When it comes down to what to eat when cutting, there are many different approaches you can take. One thing that is a certain is that you need to be in a calorie deficit. This is when you are not consuming enough calories to gain or maintain your weight. As a result of not consuming enough calories your body will result to burning fat for energy. It’s important you do not put yourself in too much of a deficit as this can make you lose more muscle mass and will make you feel tired and lethargic. Its recommended that you are in a deficit of around 300 calories, but this varies for everyone depending on their personal goals and physique.

You want to make sure you are getting enough protein when cutting. Although this isn’t the stage where you are going to be gaining enormous amounts of muscle, you still need to maintain the muscle mass you have.  Staying away from foods that promote fat being stored is also something to stay away from, for example eating too many carbs or saturated fats can lead to gaining unwanted weight so these must be regulated.  The main nutrients you should be looking at are your macronutrients meaning protein, carbohydrates, and fat. As long as these are thought out and kept track of then you should be ok, and your cut will be successful.

 

Is cutting safe?

As cutting involves getting rid of as much body fat as possible then you can expect some side effects to be experienced along the way. One side effect can include fatigue and tiredness, this is due to you being in a calorie deficit so your body can use the fat stored on your body for energy. This can also affect concentration and cause mood swings. These are the basic mental side affects that can be experienced when trying to lose weight. To manage these affects you could spread out the timing of meals or not be in too much of a calorie deficit.

The final goal of the cut can also have some negative effects on health. As the goal is to reach the lowest body fat possible, having not enough bodyfat can cause some health side effects. If your body fat is too low (below 4%), then you are at a serious health risk as this is an essential level of fat and anything lower could lead to death. A low bodyfat can also but strain on your cardiovascular system and can make you feel cold and tired. This will also affect libido and sexual health and can start to cause erectile dysfunction. Muscle recovery is also slowed down so you will be at a higher risk of injury and will not be able to gain muscle like you would have with more bodyfat.

 

Overall, if you are deciding to engage in a cut then it is something that can be useful to shed some extra fat you may be carrying and look more defined. When cutting you have to make sure you are doing it right to get the maximum fat burning effects and to avoid any unwanted side effects. So, to make sure you are doing thing correctly make sure you take everything that can affect your physique into consideration, for example you should not overlook diet and training. Although much of out fat burning and physique is determined by what we eat, training correctly also plays a big part and will have the final say on your physique. Bulking and cutting is very useful when reaching your dream body and there is a reason it has been practiced by bodybuilders around the world for decades to prepare themselves for competitions.