T Nation

1800 Calorie Cutting Diet


Hi all,
Currently I have been cutting since mid December with the following regiment. It has been working out great so far, I just was looking for some input if I should tweak anything for better results. I’m 5’10" 26 years old. At the end of my bulk I was 272 lbs with 30% bf (went way too crazy). Currently I am at 232 with bf under 23% and I’ve kept most of my gains and strength. My carbs are only taken in pre and post workout because I gain very easy so I try to limit as best I can when cutting. Here is my cutting diet:

2 scoops whey protein, 40 g protein 240 cal

2 scoops whey protein, 40g protein 240 cal

8 oz chicken breast grilled, 40 g protein 240 cal
half avocado, 10 g fat 6 g carbs 117 cals

6 oz steak tips, 42g protein 240 cals
200 g sweet potato, 40 g carbs. 170 cals

2 scoops whey protein, 40 g protein
1 scoop maltodextrin, 36 g carbs 145 cals

5 oz chicken breast, 28 g protein 150 cals
some veggies(broccoli, aspargus)

2 scoops casein, 40 g protein 240 cals

I also do 200 cals of cardio after my workout and this balances to about 1800 cals. I’m wondering if I should be taking in more carbs and less protein. If so would I just increase pre or post carbs or have it for another meal like breakfast. It has been working great but I would like to perfect it.


Cutting too fast is never a good idea, unless you are in a controlled situation. (V-Diet for example).

Don’t go nuts, take an intelligent approach.

Start at maintenance and go from there, not starvation.


Cutting on 1800 kcal at 232#?! Jesus Christ! I never went lower than 1950 with a shit ton of cardio in the tail end of my prep and I competed at ~171#!


Well I’m probably consuming about 2000 but with the extra cardio its a net of 1800. Maintenance is about 2550 so even if its the standard 500 less than that I am about there as it is. Do you have any suggestions to critique my current diet?


He just told you.

Up the calories.


Ok bro.
So even if I up it say 200 cals, what should it be and where should it be. More carbs pre or post or breakfast? More fats anywhere? That’s what I’m asking for.


You’d probably be fine starting around 2900 cal/day. That leaves a lot of room to move downwards whenever you stall (maybe every six to eight weeks, longer if you’re lucky).


I’m cutting right now. 2900 is well over maintenance which is 2500…


You weigh 232 lbs, yes? That means the low end of maintenance is 3250 cal/day. You say you’re under 23% bodyfat (how do you know? DEXA? BIA? Calipers?), which would put your LBM around 178 lbs. Maintenance for that is at least 2500 cal/day, but that’s for your LBM, not what you actually weigh (assuming your bodyfat percentage is accurate).

You would be fine at 2900 cal/day at least for a few weeks. Then drop to 2700 cal/day, that would probably last you longer. I started at 226 and 25% with 2700 cal/day, that lasted me for around four months until I dropped to 2500, then about two months later to 2300.

You want to start as high as possible to leave you room to move down when you need to. Even at 2500 cal/day you wouldn’t be leaving yourself much space to go down.


Add some fats to your breakfast to hit the higher calories, also can add pretty much unlimited green veg to meals

What is your training like?


Doesn’t matter right now, you are not eating enough. You need to get your overall diet in order.

Lots of articles here to help and badger gave you a little start.

The 15x bw rule of thumb is still a good place to start. Look it up.


I guess I just don’t understand how you get that calculation of 3250 for 232 maintenance. I use the my fitness pal app to calculate my cals and track my macros. If i plug it in for matenance at 232 it says 2500 and so I assumed the standard for cutting is 500 cals off that. I have a scale that calculates my bf as well.


Mark suggested going to 14cals x BW (14*232 = 3248cals or 3250cals)

MyFitnessPal is an excellent resource for tracking food/cals/macros, but I WOULD NOT use it to recommend these things to me. Stick to nutrition articles on this site, like the one I posted.


Don’t get too wound up by thinking in calories and think more about macros. There are plenty of decent formulas on this website, e.g. I have a lot of time for Nate Myaki. It’s idiot-proof and easy to follow. Simply multiply bodyweight in lbs, e.g. 11 kcals per lbs would take you to c.2,600 kcals

In general terms, upping your protein intake while dieting is solid advice. 1.5g per lbs of bodyweight is a decent starter. Yes, I know that’s a shed load for someone your weight but it is not long term. Then decide how you want to treat carbs. Personally, someone at your BF could even consider a CKD. Regardless, you may want to keep them low (50-125g). The remaining kcals will be filled with quality fats.

The pick your meal frequency that suits and you’re good to go.


Everything @littlesleeper said


I’ve created a new diet based on your feedback. Please let me know what you think.


The bottom is cutoff with the totals but totals are:
protein - 237
carbs - 378
fats - 64
calories - 3128


That looks decent, although I’d eat more vegetables (unless you’re not listing them).


I will in-cooperate veggies as well. Thanks.


378 CHO with a bodyweight of 237lbs and BF at 23%? I hope you’re doing double splits six days a week for that intake.