T Nation

Cutting Strategy - Input?


#1

I’d really appreciate some input on my cutting diet and my strategy:

I am at 14% BF 81kg/ 178lbs 5”10

I want to get to 10% so I have roughly 3KG/ 6.6lbs of fat to loose and ideally within the next 15 weeks (holiday booked)

I put on fat REALLY easily and have a slow metabolism

For the last year I have been back and forward between 83KG/182lbs and 78KG/171lbs and making little upwards progress. It is entirely my fault!!!

I am guilty of training hard, eating well and starting with too high BF, then every time I put on a bit of mass I start to look too fat so I panic, drop my cal’s and cut too quickly and lose any muscle I have gained, so then I panic and start eating more and the vicious cycle continues.

Rather than these quick bulk/cuts I want to be strict and aiming to get to 10% BF by reducing my calories at a slow and steady pace. I know that with the right diet/training I can minimise muscle loss, even if I lose all of it I am determined to get to 10% so I can bulk/cut between 10% and 15%

(IFFYM)

BMR = 1781

TDEE = 2241

Cutting Calories = 1793

Training – Upper/Lower body splits 4 days per week, focusing on heavy compound exercises. My thought process is if I maintain current strength and am losing weight then I should not be losing muscle.

Diet

Protein – 1.5 – 2g / lb of body weight

Fats – Keep low

Carbs – make up the rest of my calorie allocation.

Protein – 300g

Fat – 20g

Carbs 80g

This equates to 1700 kcals and my target is 1793 so this gives me wiggle room of 93kcal to account for slip ups, estimating portions etc (I will not be having cheat meals and will be measuring everything but just to be on the safe side I have this 93kg tolerance

Supps

Protein powder

BCAA’s

I avoid creatine as it tends to make me bloated but I have plenty on hand if it’s worth adding

Multi Vitamins

Fish oils

Cycle

Test U @ 1000MG every 6 weeks (I am on prescribed trt)

Weeks 1-20 600mg Primo

Weeks 15-20 50mg Winstrol

The main questions I have:

· Based on my current weigh etc - is 1793 kcal aggressive enough? I have a small appetite and can function on a lot less if need be but obviously want to preserve muscle.

· How do my carbs to protein ration stack up? @1.5 – 2g / lb of body weight is more than I have ever consumed before however I am using primo which I know responds best with an extremely high protein diet. Should I adjust my carbs from 80g to 120g and lower my protein down to 260g?

· Is 3 months to loose 3kg/6.6 lbs of pure fat achievable or should I revaluate my expectations

· Any other advice is totally welcome


#2

First of all, good job on taking responsibility for your current lack of progress. That is already a better start than most people asking for advice on here.

How old are you and how many years have you been training?

Some of these answers could change if you don’t meet the generic lifter category I’m placing you in.

Are these %'s based on a DEXA scan/BIA, calipers, scale, etc?
If these goals are purely for the upcoming holiday, I would stick more towards how you look in the mirror vs what %BF you are.

Never say or think this again. This is going to limit your ability to improve because you have this damn crutch to fall back on. “Well I didn’t hit my goal, but that’s because I put on fat REALLY easily and have a slow metabolism.” There are thousands of people ripped out of their skin with SLOWER metabolisms than you who put on fat MUCH more easily. No excuses, if you want it, go get it.

Good plan.

Be careful here. Food choices will matter to an extent.

Keep in mind I don’t have a clue about Primo/Winstrol so maybe my advice can be disregarded if that stuff requires specific dieting.

I’ve found that protein at 1g/lb of BW is fine for me. I wouldn’t exceed 1.5g/lb personally, but this could vary. Do you have a reason for low fat? Personally, I like to keep fat around 80g. Nut butters/nuts, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, fish oils, etc make this 80g up pretty quick.

I think my energy levels would be rock bottom with such low carbs AND fats.

3 months to lose 6.6lbs is absolutely achievable. You have to be consistent and put in the work, but this is not asking for a miracle.

Do you think you are ready to run a cycle? Is this required to meet your goals? Have you maximized your “beginner gains” up to this point? I would ask myself a lot of questions before jumping on a cycle. I’m not anti-“supp” at all. I just realize that there are complications, health implications, and you want to be sure you are doing it for the right reasons. That being said, the cycle you posted, could be friggin’ harmless and risk free, and I wouldn’t have a clue…so take that with a grain of salt.

Anyways, I hope something in this long-winded response can hit home with ya!

Good luck man!


#3

Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed reply, i’ll respond to the questions one by one

How old are you and how many years have you been training?

I’m 32 - I have been training on and off of the last 5 with real focus on consistency for the last 2.5 years +

Are these %'s based on a DEXA scan/BIA, calipers, scale, etc?

These are bases on callipers. I know not 100% accurate but a good guideline.

are these goals are purely for the upcoming holiday,

The holiday is a target date but the aim is to get to a BF level that I can then maintain for 6-8 weeks and then do a structured mass gaining diet without ever looking too fat.

I know this sounds stupid but I carry my fat around lower belly and my face, as soon as I start to go over 15% BF my face/ chin starts to get bigger. When I get the fat round face It makes me look even fatter than I actually am when I’m dressed. I carry next to no fat on my chest, arms ass or legs

So yeh I agree that the mirror is most important, If I look how I want to at 11% then i’ll stop there but I think the best way for me to achieve my overall goals is to shred down long and slow to allow myself a bit of fat gain tolerance when I’m bulking.

Do you have a reason for low fat?

Basically I only have so many calories to play with in a day so in order to keep my protein @300g I need to split the remaining between carbs and fat, 80g is the minimum carbs I want. As Primo responds well to high protein I’m aiming for 300g. I’ll await other peoples input but may drop that down to 250 to allow for more fat/carb consumption

Do you think you are ready to run a cycle? Is this required to meet your goals?

Well I have been on prescribed TRT for years now due to another health issue, adding primo and winny is about as risk free as it gets so not essential but certainly will help


#4

Man, where to start. Lots of things to tweak here to get you on track, but your goal is very achievable without a lot of macro magic and certainly without drugs.

Do you have a pic?

So do I, no excuses. I’m a total natural bodybuilder with a slow metabolism, still possible to achieve stage-level condition without drugs, to stay lean year-round without drugs, as long as you know how to eat. 10% should be no problem if you have discipline and want to reach your goal bad enough.

Also, just judging by your posts, I think you think you put on fat easily because you’re not strict with a consistent nutrition plan and don’t have the knowledge of how to structure one. Not trying to knock you bro, just the impression I get. It’s quite easy to stay lean, regardless of your metabolic rate, when you know how to eat.

Getting to a true 10% is a lot harder and leaner than most people think. But, again, it can absolutely be done.

This most definitely needs to be adjusted. Keeping fats at 20g is a recipe for screwed up hormones, blood sugar, and tanking testosterone. Protein should be 1.5g MAX. On my most recent contest prep (just finished) I was between 1550-1750 cals per day, so I can certainly relate to your numbers. Keeping protein at 1.5 is the very high end of where you’d want it to be, which is important for satiety, and metabolism. Fats should be at a minimum about 25% of your daily calories. I’d shoot for between 40-50g a day. Lower protein to around 250-260 and make to get your healthy dietary fats!

Where are you getting this number from? That’s really very low for a 178lb individual. Are you planning on carb cycling or a steady 80g a day? 80g would be good for a “low day” but performance, metabolism, etc., will maintain better with more carbs.

Yeah man on a well executed cut you should be able to lose 6 pounds in 4 weeks easily, much less 3 months.

I also notice you don’t have any cardio in there, might be useful to help implement some.

IMO you should not not not be doing any drugs other than your prescribed TRT. That’s a serious decision, and all you’re trying to do is cut some weight, not even a lot of weight. If you’ve maxed out your natural genetics completely after like 10 years of rigid consistency with training and diet, and you’ve learned how to master your physique without the use of drugs, that might be the time to consider something like that if you want to go further in the activity. To get to an easy 10% body fat, no, most definitely not.

Just furthering my opinion here that should not be on any additional drugs other than what you’re prescribed by your doctor.

It really isn’t that hard to do if you’ve got the discipline and will power to get it done. If you truly only have 6 pounds to lose, you should be able to do that in 4-6 weeks tops, naturally.

Please be sure to post back with any additional questions. Good luck!


#5

Wow, again I really appreciate the time and input.

I’d rather not post a pic as I’ve got very distinctive tattoos and have mentioned drug use. Don’t think that is a cop out, I’m not some guy who “reckons” he’s 14% it’s through using calipers.

I think I have given the impression that I am really out of shape or over weight, that’s not the case at all. The vast majority of people would describe me as lean and in good shape but I’m not interested in what others think which is why I want to get super lean.

I’m 5’11 not 5’10 BTW typo. Not sure that 1" is relevant but thought I’d mention :slight_smile:

I do genuinely put on fat really easily - when I was in my 20s i was never huge eater and mega skinny, I stopped the clubs and the booze and drugs and moved in with my Mrs, after 2 years of sitting around at weekends eating 3 meals a day and few deserts at the weekend I went from 73kg to 95kg with no muscle at all. Health issues were a factor as well as lifestyle

After being fat and depressed for a year I managed to loose most of that weight by going on ketosis it took me 9 months I was down to 76kg, slim but weak, literally no muscle at all. I have been hitting the gym ever since. Now at 81kg and 14% I’m in reasonable shape (not by bodybuilder standards) but certainly compared to the average guy, but I now need to take it to the next level. So commitment and dedication are not the issue, it’s having a solid plan to get down to 10% that’s missing.

I do stay in reasonable shape and am in control of my diet and really know how to plan, prep and count macros. It’s the only way I can be confident ill not end up fat again.

It’s more the psychology that I struggle with, when I’m trying to build any mass, as soon as I notice the tiniest fat gain I panic and drop weight as I’m scared to end up overweight again, despite the knowledge it wont happen over night.

I know it looks like I’m clueless by the diet I posted. I have read so many people saying x2g/lb is optimal and as I’ve been on really low carb before I wanted to get some input to see what others thought of this approach.

When writing it up I knew what the errors were but I was caught up the the protein count that it didn’t leave enough cals leftover to hit fat/carb requirements.

So to get back on track, it seems like I have 2 options:

if I adopted a more traditional 1g/lb for protein my diet would look more like:

180g Protein
120g Carbs
60g Fat

1740 Calories

Or if I wanted to max out the protein at 1.5g/lb it would look like

267g protein
80g carbs
44g Fat

1780 Calories

These both seem more balanced, my gut is telling me the first of the two optiona may be a better plan.


#6

Given your timeline, I would agree with you that the first option is the way to go and everything looks balanced. Ultimately calories in/out will play the majority role in body composition, and since you’re not in a contest prep and have plenty of time to lose the 6-7 pounds you want to, IMO keeping as many carbs as possible would be ideal for performance, mental state, etc. 1g protein per pound is definitely more than enough to keep your mass. You could also find a middle road and go 1.1-1.2 if you wanted, but I think keeping it at 1g per pound would allow for the most amount of carbs in your plan. If you have any off days you’re not training, you could do a “low carb” day, raise protein slightly, lower carbs, but also raise fats on that day.


#7

Thanks for the advice - it’s really appreciated. I’ll check-in in a few weeks time and update the tread with my progress. Thanks again