T Nation

Dialing in/Derailing the Cut


Would like to ask for tips and ideas on what helped you stick to/dial in during your cut and what factors could/have/did derail such efforts.

I am hoping that with doing enough of the right things and least of wrong things I can understand the process better and more importantly succeed at it.

I realize some of us have or are preparing for contests and that's brilliant (and motivating for me) but I'm not planning to compete anytime soon but tips from contest prep will be helpful, it may even accelerate the achievement of the goal for a regular lifter like myself.

One of my motivations is that I'm 33 and I feel that if I don't perform an honest cut now I will not know if I am capable of disciplining myself through a cut, that I will never know what low body fat feels like to live with and health wise. Also I am becoming a father in a few short months so it's giving me even more impetus to do this quickly and do it right.

Dialing In Factors
1. Not missing scheduled meals due to real life, work, other commitments. I'm taking 6 meals now.
2. Consistent steady state cardio (i.e. perhaps more than 5 days a week?). Perform it in the morning for better progress.
3. Planning meals around and within social commitments. Planning what and when to eat before, what to eat during such commitments etc.
4. More whole food meals rather than protein shake meal combinations (higher ratio of one to the other).
5. Diet soft drinks through bouts of hunger (should I be feeling hunger at all?).
6. Been trying to meditate more and I'm careful with whatever nootropic supplements I've been taking. Supplements wise I am taking fish oil, ZMA, multi-vit, green tea, cissus and a GDA.

Derailing Factors
1. I find that you won't eat what you don't buy. Requires careful grocery shopping/planning.
2. Not enough sleep, sleeping too late. Ruins the next day as well.

1. Are food/photo food logs useful to help adhere to the cut?
2. Challenges - would a call out help? A challenge of some kind? A competition to prime the mind for sticking to the diet and getting the cut done?

That's all I got for now. Thanks.


I'm of the opinion that most people who have been training a while already know what they need to do. Sadly it's their inability to not stand their ground when people around them with different goals make them feel odd about what they're doing that derails them every time.



Yeah, what Stu said.

I can't tell you how many times people gave me shit when 'cutting.' Granted, I was too skinny to be cutting, but people would say, 'why not just have one burger.' Or, 'oh, you're just one of those guys, huh?' Basically just give me shit ALL THE FUCKING TIME.

Same goes now. "Can't you take a day off. Why do you eat so much? Working out so much is unhealthy. Why do you want to be big? Blah, blah, fucking blah."

Basically, people don't understand. It's perfectly acceptable to be a fat, unmotivated, soda pounding-cigarette smoker, but somebody who lifts weights and eats healthful foods is a social leper. Just the way it is.

I try to avoid these people, and when shit ike this happens, just keep making progress and DO NOT LISTEN. The second you start believing their shit, you might as well just quit.


What helped me the most to get into the groove was a food log. I wrote down ANYTHING I ate/sampled/sipped for a few weeks. slight shock by all the invisible food I was eating.
So I wrote down what I should be eating, and for a while ate out of that excel sheet. Extreme solution, yes, but it really got my discipline in place.


Thanks guys, taking note of all this. It's like journeying to the peak of a mountain that I've never seen, but you've seen people up there and they've loved the view, but still seems like a forest to cut through ahead. Not close but not far either. Sticking to the plan, keeping positive friends around me, food log, will put these into practice.