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How To Cut Fat And Keep Muscle

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Despite all the broscience you might have read on the internet, the only way to lose weight without using drugs is by creating a caloric deficit. And if you’re serious about learning how to cut weight and still look good, you want to lose as little muscle as possible. Cutting isn’t as fun as bulking but it’s the price to pay for looking good.

This article outlines the best way to lose fat and maintain muscle using a caloric deficit on off days and a small caloric surplus on training days. I’ve used this exact method on every cut I’ve done and it works incredibly well, here it is:

How To Cut Fat And Keep Muscle

What You Need

  • What gets measured gets managed, to diet effectively you need to count calories
  • The next thing you need to do is find your daily caloric requirement
  • To get your daily caloric requirements plug your stats into the calculator here
  • Once you have your daily caloric requirement plug into the formula below

Formula

  • (Daily Caloric Requirement) + (100 calories) = Total Caloric Intake Per Day On Lifting Days
  • (Daily Caloric Requirement) – (700 calories) – (cardio) = Total Caloric Intake On Non-Lifting Days

Why This Method?

  • The caloric surplus on lifting days gives your muscles maximum recovery so you can keep as much size as possible
  • The diet is designed to cut 1 lb. of weight per week at the minimum, 2 lbs. per week on the high end

Lifting Vs. Non-Lifting Days

  • 2 lifting days per week
  • 5 non-lifting days per week with optional cardio

How To Count Calories

  • Instead of managing every calorie, block calorie approximations for meals
  • Then find food that fits the calories blocked
  • You can also follow this diet  which has worked well for me

Protein

  • Aim for 70 to 120 grams per day
  • It’s good to keep protein high because protein enhances muscle recovery and is the most filling nutrient
  • This means the more protein you eat the less food cravings you’ll have

Cardio

  • Cardio is optional
  • If you’re going to do cardio aim for 500 calories at the most, anything more will be too draining
  • I use hot yoga  for cardio because its restorative as opposed to draining
  • You can use any time of cardio you want
  • I suggest low impact for joint protection eg. the elliptical, stationary bike, rowing machine

Intermittent Fasting

  • Use Intermittent Fasting to blunt your appetite and maximize fat loss
  • Using IF will also give you extra energy throughout the fasted part of your day
  • Use an IF routine of 16 hours fasts with an eight hour feeding window
  • Skip breakfast and keep to 2 big meals a day
  • Read more about IF at leangains.com

Caffeine

  • Use a 100/200 mg caffeine pill in the morning to increase your energy and curb your appetite, the effects will be much more powerful on a fast
  • You can take another 100/200 mg caffeine pill at lunch if you tolerate stims well
  • You can add 20 mg of ephedrine with each caffeine dose if legal in your country (it is in mine)
  • Ephedrine works synergistically with caffeine to not only blunt your appetite but burn fat as well

Can I lose Fat and Gain Muscle?

  • Not unless you’re a new trainee or you’re on a steroid cycle and even then it’s still hard
  • Your main goal is to lose as little muscle as possible
  • You’ll know how much muscle you keep by how much strength you keep in your lifts

Example Of My Cutting Cycle

  • As a 30 yr. old male at 5 ’10, 180 lbs., my daily calorie maintenance at my sedentary job would be approximately 2200 calories
  • I do 2 days of weights, 3 days of cardio and 2 days of yoga
  • Following the above formula I would eat 2300 calories on lifting days and 1500 on non lifting days
  • This will give me a 100 calorie surplus on weightlifting days and a 700 calorie deficit on cardio days
  • On cardio days I’ll also get a 250 to 500 calorie deficit from exercise
  • This leaves me with a total deficit of 3300 calories per week which is about 1 lb. without cardio
  • With cardio at 250 calories per day that’s a total deficit of 4550 calories per week which is about 1.3 lbs.
  • With cardio at 500 calories per day that’s a total deficit of 7000 calories per week or about 2 lbs.

Conclusion

Follow the gameplan to the letter and you’ll cut weight and keep as much of your muscle as possible. If you want to cut weight faster and easier, use stims. If you want to keep more muscle than you normally would, use performance enhancing drugs.


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2 Comments

  1. Typo nazi
    December 18, 2014 at 3:46 am

    @author/editor: There’s a typo under intermittent fasting.

  2. December 18, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Thank you

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