In this article/video I’m going to share a few tips and tricks you can use to make cutting as easy as possible. I too started cutting a little almost a month ago, and so far this has been the easiest cut ever. I eat delicious food every day, big meals, I have high energy, and I don’t get hungry.
But this ease was no accident, I designed this cut to be easy. There are certain things you can do to make a cutting plan enjoyable so I wanted to share a few of those things with you.
The Purpose of these Tips and Tricks
First of all I think it’s important to understand the purpose of these tips and tricks. All we’re trying to do is to make sticking to the calorie deficit and macros as easy as possible.
Fat loss really all comes down to eating fewer calories than you burn and getting the right ratios of protein, fats, and carbs. However, the foods we eat to get those macros and when we eat and how we distribute food throughout the day determine if our cut will be easy or an absolute pain the ass.
If you want to learn more about the basics of fat loss, see the article: Get Shredded without Losing Muscle
The Tips and Tricks
#1 Get 80-90% of your calories from filling foods
What is the main reason cutting is difficult? You have to eat less food, you may get hungry and you must stop yourself from eating more.
But what if you could eat the same volume of food, feel just as full after a meal but be in a calorie deficit? Well you can, if you choose lower calorie foods.
For example, I now cut at 2100 calories. With that calorie budget, I usually eat 3-4 pounds (1.3-1.8kg) of food every day. That’s a lot. When I eat this much quantity not only do I feel full and satisfied but I also don’t get cravings.
My absolute number one tip for fat loss is to eat a lot of food for the calorie budget you have. Of course you shouldn’t go to the other extreme and eat mountains of fruits and veggies. That will lead to a very high fiber intake which can lead to bloating, can reduce testosterone (especially combined with a high protein diet and a calorie deficit) and in some cases can lead to health problems. It’s best to keep your fiber intake around 15-20 grams per 1000 calories.
I recommend foods like: chicken, pork tenderloin, lean cuts of beef, tuna, eggs, low-fat cheese and yogurt, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, 1-2 fruits a day, and lots of veggies.
If you want to learn more about the best food choices for cutting, check out the article Best Food Choices when Cutting
#2 Feast at night
For me and a lot of other people I’ve worked with, having the biggest meal at night makes sticking to the deficit sooo much easier. I recommend you save 50-60% of your daily calories and most of your carbs for the evening meal.
Why? Because it’s much easier to eat lightly during the day if you know you get a massive 1000 calories meal at night. I found that the real stress and pressure of a calorie deficit is only felt when you’ve reached the calorie limit for the day and you realize you can’t eat anymore until the day is over.
For example if it’s 5 PM and you only have 300 calories left, that evening is gonna suck. It will take a lot of willpower to stick to your plan and go to bed hungry. Not only that but because you’ll be thinking about food a lot that evening you’re going to wake up hungry and you’ll overeat again in the first part of the next day and again you’ll be hungry at night. This is an endless cycle that makes your life miserable.
Now imagine it’s 6 PM you’re a little hungry but you know you’re going to have a meal like this (a 1000 calories meal) in two hours. Yeah… you can take that.
See? The thing is, you never experience that feeling of reaching your calorie limit in the middle of the day. That’s what makes you feel deprived and creates stress.
So try this out, save 50-60% of calories for your evening meal. And don’t worry, eating big at night won’t make you fat. It’s all about the macros and calories.
#3 Push your first meal back 4-6 hours after waking up
Interestingly enough, fasting has appetite suppressing effects so by skipping breakfast we take advantage of this phenomenon. This allows us to save more calories for the second part of the day.
If you have your first meal around lunch then you only have a 6 to 10 hour window to get all your calories in. Because of that, from lunch until you go to bed you’re going to be in a fed state and you won’t experience any real hunger.
What I usually do is this:
In the morning I just drink water and a cup of black coffee, then around 1-2 PM I’ll have a small meal, then around 5 PM another small meals and in the evening I’ll have the big meal, the feast, around 1000 calories.
This setup is fantastic for appetite control and it allows for some hedonism as well.
I highly recommend you try this out. To learn how to apply it, read the article: Meal Frequency & Food Distribution when Cutting.
#4 Drink black coffee slowly during your morning fast
Caffeine has strong appetite suppressing effects so if you have a cup of black coffee in the morning, fasting is going to be effortless. In fact, you may find it very enjoyable because you’ll experience increased mental alertness which will help you better focus on your work.
To make it even more efficient, drink that cup of coffee very slowly, over the course of 30-90 minutes. That cup of coffee will almost feel like a meal or a treat and will act as a bridge to your first meal at lunch/noon.
Fasting without coffee is not a pleasurable experience for me.
#5 Eat your meals at the same time every day
Studies show that Ghrelin, the hormone which stimulates hunger is released at the times we usually eat. This is important to remember for two reasons:
1. You can choose when you want to feel hunger, by having your meals at those times. If you discover you’re always hungry on 4 meals a day while cutting, you could reduce your meal frequency to 2 or 3 meals a day. Now instead of feeling that real, physiological hunger 4 times a day you can reduce it to 2 or 3 times a day.
This is one of the coolest things about Intermittent Fasting. Once ghrelin adapts to this eating pattern, you’ll only feel hunger in the second part of the day, at the times you’re going to have your meals. Ghrelin takes 1-2 weeks to adapt to a new eating pattern.
2. You shouldn’t eat or have snacks when you’re not hungry because those calories will contribute very little to the feeling of satiety. That’s because ghrelin will stimulate hunger at the time you usually eat, regardless if you already had a meal 2 hours before.
For example I’m used to eating a big meal at 9PM. If I have the same meal at 7PM one day, guess what? Hunger will be triggered at 9PM anyway. Or if I have breakfast, I’ll be just as hungry at lunch as I usually am.
Have you ever experienced this? I’m sure it happened to you as well and now you know why.
That’s also the reason you should avoid snacking. The calories from those snacks are almost wasted because they will not reduce the feeling of hunger on your next meal (or if they do, they contribute very little).
#6 To avoid binge eating when you eat high calorie foods (like desserts), buy single servings
You hear stories of people binging on ice cream in the evening and destroying their progress. Why does that happen? Well, I think the main reason that happens is because the person had a bucket of ice cream in their house in the first place.
Studies show that people are wired to eat until the food is done, not until they feel satisfied. That’s why it’s so easy to overeat ice cream, chips, cookies, pizza, any food that comes in a big bag or container. We have to make a real effort to stop when the food is still there.
But what if you only had the quantity you planned to eat? You wouldn’t have to use as much willpower. Even if you wanted to eat more, you don’t have any food left.
That’s why my friend Greg often eats an entire bar of chocolate when he wants chocolate while cutting. When that bar is done, that’s it. He’s not going to go open another one to have a few more bites. Eating only half of it would actually be much harder than eating the entire thing because you’d have to use your willpower to stop.
That’s also the reason why when I want ice cream I buy one single ice cream cone – the amount I’m going to eat. There’s a store 5 minutes away from where I live and I go there and buy one single cone. Every time I bought a big container of ice cream and put it in the fridge I would eat much more than I planned for the day.
So this is my advice: don’t bring large amounts of desserts in the house. Either buy single servings every time you want a dessert or buy individually packaged servings. Individually packaged servings give people a chance to ask themselves if they really want to keep eating. Most of the time it’s enough to make them stop.
If you’d like to learn more about this topic, read the book Mindless Eating by dr Brian Wansink. It’s a fun and fascinating read.
#7 Don’t leave any delicious food out where you can see it often
This might sound crazy but studies show we make about 200 food decisions every day. Every time we see food we decide if we’re going to eat or not.
If you leave a bowl of fruits or nuts on the kitchen table for example every time you go there you have to stop yourself from taking a bite. I’m sure you can have enough willpower to stop yourself, I have well developed willpower too. But if I have to make these decisions several times a day, the perceived effort of my cut will be so much higher.
It’s much easier when you don’t have to think about food for several hours.
#8 When you’re very hungry, sacrifice some taste for quantity
I’m all for making your meals delicious when cutting, but if you’re very hungry one day I think you could sacrifice some taste for quantity.
For example if you wanted to have pasta for dinner but you know you can only have 250g grams, then maybe you could have boiled potatoes with tomato sauce instead and have 450g.
This is something that works very well for me. When I’m really hungry and I don’t have a lot of calories to work with, I like having a big meal even if I sacrifice some flavour. You can try it out and see if it works for you too.
Alright so this it. There are my 8 tips to make your cutting plan more enjoyable.
I highly recommend you check out my ebook Cutting without Counting, it’s completely free, it explains how you can set up your food environment and eating habits to lose fat without counting calories and macros. Click here to get it for free (while you still can).
Thank you for reading! If you have any questions, leave a comment below. I read and answer all comments.
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