T Nation

What Makes a Good Cut?


Lots of cuts fail for various reasons... whether that be compliance, lots of LBM or strength loss, etc.


What makes a great cut?

Short and blitzy (a la V-Diet) or something longer and slower?

Big deficit and fasted morning cardio... or moderate deficit and HIIT?

A planned duration?

etc. etc...

Would love to know what everyone has to say on the subject of slicing off serious bodyfat. What articles/diets have helped them the most... which ones should be avoided!


A plan, and sticking to it.


A very sharp samurai sword.


Definitely lose a lot of weight during a good seppuku


When I was first successful cutting, I did so following a Paleo diet and training principles from Nate Green. In retrospect, why was it a "good cut?" Simple. I BELIEVED in both my diet and training strategy, and every time I stepped foot in the kitchen or in the gym, it was max dedication. Around that time, I convinced about 5 of my friends to follow the same protocol...none of which had any really notable success. It left me scratching my head at the time. But it's simple, they weren't dedicated and didn't believe in it. It was just something they were "trying out."


small deficit and slow fatloss , keep training(weight on the bar)the same as if you were trying to gain , increase cardio intensity gradually(dont jump straight in with 45/60 mins).


Increasing by 5 mins per day worked for me.


So far the key points seem to be:
- Have a plan
- Have faith in said plan
- Slow and steady
- Keep something up your sleeve (i.e. don't go full out with cardio right from day 1!)
- Disembowelment

A reasonable rate of fat loss?

The coaches on here seem to think 4-5lbs can be lost a week for a short duration with little to no LBM loss (again v-diet, some of thibs plans, etc.).

What are your thoughts on this?

I was toying with the idea of a 6-8 week but still fairly intense cut (averaging around 3lbs loss per week).


Also the training side... metabolicly demanding or strength dominant? (or both?) NEPA walks or road work?


5Ibs flab (not water) lost on the first week is very possible, but I think what is missing here, and I'm not the expert, is how to determine what number constitutes your personal rate of ONGOING fat loss. 1-2Ibs is an average for a very, very broad spectrum of dieters, ie those between 10 and 40% bf, or a male powerlifter at 280 who could easily lose 10Ibs in his first week and follow on with 5Ibs a week, whereas a 115Ib ballerina starts off with perhaps a single pound. You get the idea - I don't think everyone should be shooting for the SAME calorific deficit.

I would say there is a yardstick to guage whether you need to kick up your deficit, but I need to bow out at this point, as I don't know what it is. If anyone knows what it is, post it here and you'll be doing TWO people a favour...



I'm glad my suggestion was included.


1 a realistic goal. I would shoot for 1-2 pounds a week tops, unless you are up in the 40% bf range. Anything else is water and muscle.