Bodybuilders usually diet before they perform in any bodybuilding competition as it helps them to show off their muscles perfectly. Proper diet helps the body builders to remove the fat that gets accumulated between the muscles and the skin. With well-built muscles coupled with little fat, they look like carven statues with deeper muscle cuts.
While on cutting diet, bodybuilders want to lose only the excess fat not the hard earned muscles. Therefore, cutting diet should be followed properly and is considered as one of the most challenging diet.
While following this diet, the person should take only five or six small meals a day rather than the customary three meals a day and the diet should include more protein rich foods. This is because protein intake helps to keep the muscles intact while burning the excess fat in the body.
Diet For Bodybuilding Cuts
If you are planning to reduce the fat content in the body through a severe diet plan in a short span of time, you may lose your muscular mass up as well. However if the weight loss is gradual, you will able retain most of your muscle mass. For example, with an optimized nutrition and training program you can lose about 1.5 pound per week, without affecting your muscle mass.
A reduction in body weight of more than 2 pound a week will definitely impact your muscle mass, hence provide sufficient time for the body to lose fat and you may even start the diet plan at least six months prior to the contest day.
Role Of Nutrients In Cutting Diet
The calories you consume come basically from three major macronutrients like protein, fats and carbohydrates. The ratio of calories obtained from these macronutrients plays a major role in burning the excess fat and building the muscle mass.
Proteins after digestion gets converted into amino acids and amino acids plays a key role in building the body muscles. The normal standard protein requirement for maintaining the body weight is 1 gram per pound of the body weight. However if you are on diet, then it should be increased to 2 gram per pound of the body weight, as calorie deficient body may tend to utilize the muscle mass as a source of energy.
There are two types of protein foods, complete protein and incomplete protein. Complete protein foods provide all the amino acids required for the body and it comes from animal sources, while incomplete protein lack certain amino acids that the body requires and is obtained from plant sources.
In order to build body muscles, it is ideal to have complete protein and about 40% or more of the total calorie requirement should be obtained from protein sources. Protein sources for bodybuilders include lean chicken, lean turkey, white fish, egg whites, skim milk, protein powder etc.
Carbohydrate is considered as the main energy source of the body and the excess energy we obtain from the diet is stored in the body as fats deposits. Hence it is necessary to limit the carbohydrate intake to the minimum possible. If the carbohydrate intake is too low then the body may start breaking down the muscles for energy, hence the ideal amount of the carbohydrates in the diet should not be more than 40% of the total calories.
There are two types of carbohydrate foods, high glycemic index carbohydrates and low glycemic index carbohydrates. High glycemic index foods raise the blood sugar level rapidly and stimulate the body to store the excess energy as fat, while the low glycemic index foods maintain the blood sugar level without much fluctuation. Therefore, low glycemic index foods are considered as the best sources of carbohydrates while on bodybuilding diet.
During the post workout meal you can incorporate some quantity of high glycemic index foods as well. Low glycemic index foods include skim milk, soy beverage, plain yogurt, sweet potato, all-bran, firm pasta, chick peas, lentils, kidney beans, oat bran bread, parboiled rice, sweet potato, apple, plum, orange etc.
The common medium glycemic index foods include pineapple, oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat bread, rye bread, shredded wheat cereal, popcorn, green pea or split pea etc. Moreover the fiber content in carbohydrate food helps to satiate the hunger. While planning your diet, include one third of the carbohydrate required for a day in the first meal, as it helps to boost the metabolism and burn more fat. The remaining two third of the carbohydrate should be consumed with the meal just before or after the workout, as it helps to provide the sufficient energy required for the body.
Fats are also essential for the proper functioning of the body. Many vitamins are fat soluble, therefore fat is essential for the digestion, absorption and transportation of these vitamins. Moreover, the essential fatty acid that body requires to carry out the proper metabolic functions of the body is obtained from fat.
Most of the fatty foods provide high calories, hence care should be taken while selecting the fats and you should avoid all Trans and saturated fats. You can also take flax seed oil or fish oil as fat supplements and limit the calories obtained from fat below 20% of the total calories.
Vegetables and fruits rich with fibers are excellent for controlling the appetite, as it provides a satiety feeling. Moreover high fiber rich foods help to boost the protein absorption from the food you consume. Green leafy vegetables are a good source of fibers and also vegetables and fruits provide all the minerals and vitamins essential for the body.
Water is an important ingredient for the healthy being of an individual. Water helps to make the muscles appear as larger and also reduce the food craving. Hence, drink plenty of water and keep your muscles hydrated.
Exercise is highly essential for building the muscles mass and bodybuilders should increase their workout time as they reach close to the contest date. Six months prior to contest, you should follow 30 minutes of cardio exercise a day for 4 to 6 times a week.
After a month you will have to increase the workout time to 45 minutes a day for 5 to 7 days a week. Thereafter, slowly increase the exercise timing to 60 minutes and start practicing the mandatory poses for the contest.
Cutting Phase Diet Plan
¾ cup old fashioned oatmeal plus 1/8 cup raisins and a pinch of cinnamon
Five egg whites and one egg
One protein shake and a banana.
One piece of boneless and skinless chicken breast
Half cup cooked brown rice
Half cup low fat cottage cheese
One cup romaine salad with toppings
Toppings can be one piece of chicken breast with skin, one hardboiled egg, one tablespoon sunflower seed and two tablespoon fat free salad dressing.
Post Workout Meal
Protein shake and one banana
One skinless potato, half cup low fat cottage cheese, one steak and half cup green beans.