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How to cut and lose weight

HOW TO CUT (Keep Muscle, Lose Fat): A Step-by-step Guide

You’ve tried to cut before; you’ve tried to go on a cutting diet and yielded little to no result. 

To a person who hasn’t ever succeeded in setting a target weight and achieving it, success seems impossible—at least it did for me. 

And you know the feeling you get when you want to lose weight but can’t. 

You ask yourself: “Why aren’t I disciplined enough to eat less and exercise consistently?”  You even start to think, “Maybe I’m just meant to be this way,” but that’s far from the truth. 

Let me tell you a secret:

The secret to learning how to lose weight FOREVER, is to learn it once.

Faysal.. probably.

It didn’t occur to you, right? But that’s it; if you can do something once, you can do it again and again. 

I’m going to give you a guide I followed that helped me lose 11 kg in less than 3 months (85 kg to 74 kg). Is it impressive, given the unrealistic standards we see online?

Not really, but in reality—the reality where people aren’t trying to sell us a “miracle weight loss product that helps you lose 10 kg in 1 week,” it is. 

This guide is exactly for the person(s) who consider themselves bodybuilders, a person who is passionate about fitness, and a person who wants to learn how to lose fat with precision. 

That all being said, let’s get into the guide. 

Guide to the Cutting Phase 

We’re going to go through everything required for a successful cut, from mindset shifts to how to eat and exercise, and some tips to help you along the way. 

Step 1: Get in the right mindset (This isn’t BS… it’s essential)

What’s the difference between you, the person who can’t seem to cut, and the people who seem to do it effortlessly? They had a mindset shift that helped them go through the immense struggle of cutting body fat successfully the first time. 

Once you overcome the fear and finally beat that dragon, fighting another doesn’t seem as threatening. 

If you want to win at your next cut, you need these shifts: 

A reason why

Without a strong reason ‘why’ you want to lose weight or even achieve anything in life, you won’t achieve your goal.

Because it will get hard, you won’t want to continue the diet, you’ll wake up most mornings, and you won’t want to go for that run.

Your mind and body will fight you every day to revert to your comfortable self.

Establish your reason WHY and cement it in your mind. 

My reason “why” was: “I must prove to myself that I’m the kind of person who can be disciplined enough to cut or lose weight successfully.” And because I really wanted to see my abs, lol.  

The will to cut like your life depends on it

Is it extreme? Maybe, but does it work? Yes! extremely well. 

Look at succeeding at your cut as life or death. Why?

Because if you never achieve this goal, you most likely won’t ever be truly happy with yourself; if you don’t make it through, then you’ll be a LOSER in this aspect FOREVER (until you succeed).

But if you win, you’ve just unlocked an ability that will last you a lifetime. 

Tell your goal to someone you would not want to disappoint

You’ve held yourself accountable by giving yourself a reason why, and you understand that “your life depends on it.” 

Now you need someone to hold you accountable. When you run out of willpower, which at some point in the cut you will, what pushes you to continue is the thought of disappointing the people you told about your goal. 

These are the major mental shifts you need to achieve to complete a cut. 

Step 2: Learn calories (Maintenance calories, calorie deficits, and tracking calories)

Calorie tracking

We’re on to our first actionable step. Getting into the world of calories really changes your perspective on food. 

When you understand calories and start to track them, you realize just how much you’ve been eating and why you haven’t been able to lose weight.

Let’s go through the steps of this section: 

Calculate your maintenance calories

This is the number of calories your body requires to maintain your current weight. It’s the first step, and you can calculate it using a calorie calculator

Calculate your calorie deficit 

This is the number of daily calories your body requires to lose weight. Second step: calculate your first calorie deficit. Keep in mind that this number will gradually decrease. 

Learn how to track calories

This is when you record the calorie value of everything you eat. Tracking calories is the most crucial part of this guide; without it, I would’ve never completed my cut. 

Make sure you read this guide on how to track calories. It also covers a unique method for calculating maintenance and deficit calories. 

Step 3: Nutrition (Carbohydrates, protein, fats, and fiber)

Nutrition tips for cutting

A lot of people give up on diets because they don’t want to give up certain foods, but what if we did something different? What if instead, we added more foods to our diet? Wouldn’t that be more sustainable?

Now that you’ve calculated your calorie deficit, you need to pick the right foods. Eating the right foods will not only help you lose weight, but it will also help you maintain muscle mass.

When you’re going on a cut, protein and foods high in fiber are going to be your best friends. 

So instead of thinking about how you’re going to have to stop eating your favorite foods, think of how you plan on adding more of these nutrients to your diet. 

Here’s why you need protein and fiber:

  • Protein will help you reduce muscle loss as you lose weight, and it’s also filling.
  • Fiber takes longer than other nutrients to digest. This keeps you feeling fuller for longer.

Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about the three major macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and fats. 

There’s a whole debate on the optimal ratio of macros for weight loss. 

I don’t want to confuse you on that, so I’ll make it simple:  

1. Protein: 1 gram per pound of body weight. So, if you weigh 180 pounds, it’s suggested that you take 180 grams of protein.

However, if you’re able to hit 100 grams of protein, you’ll be fine. This is essential for retaining as much lean muscle as you can while losing body fat. 

2. Fats: 0.3–0.5 grams per pound of body weight. So, if you weigh 180 pounds, anything between 50-90 grams of fat is suggested.

However, I personally don’t worry much about fat. 

3. Carbohydrates: This will boil down to around 40–60% of your total calories. As long as you hit your protein and fat targets, you can eat whatever you want. 

Now, you don’t have to go this deep. If you’re new to cutting, I suggest just tracking your calories while increasing your protein. 

I don’t support doing keto when you’re cutting if you’re trying to build muscle because you need carbs for energy to push through your workouts and… for your sanity.

Step 4: Pick your exercise(s)

If you’re going on a cut, you really need to continue resistance training (lifting weights or calisthenics). 

Since you searched the word “cut” instead of weight loss, I assume you already do resistance training. 

So, if you want to retain your muscle and not look like a piece of string cheese after the cut, you need to continue resistance training. 

As for cardio… a word some people get physically repulsed by; you need it more than ever. 

Can you lose weight without cardio? Sure, however, at a certain point, you’re going to plateau. 

You need cardio to burn extra calories and give you some room for more food. 

When you’re in the last weeks of your cut, this will become very important due to the number of calories you can consume being so low. 

Here’s an exercise routine that’ll help you lose weight: 

  1. Pick a cardio exercise, whether that’s jogging, sprinting, or walking, and work your way up to hitting 10,000 steps 3–4 days a week. 

Remember, work your way up. You could start at 3–4k on your first week and be hitting 10k and above on your sixth. 

  1. Do resistance training 3–4 times a week. 

Also, cardio doesn’t have to be dreadful; playing football, tennis, swimming, and riding a bike are all fun alternatives to jogging. 

Check out how to build exercise habits if you struggle with being consistent. 

Essential Tips that Will Greatly Benefit Your Cut

You’ve gone through the fundamental steps for weight loss. Now, you need to know some tips that can help make the cut easier and improve the rate and quality of weight loss. 

  • Edit your environment: Keep unhealthy, high-calorie foods away from your area.
  • Drink lots of water throughout the day, especially while eating.
  • Get long and quality sleep.
  • Go for low-calorie, high-volume foods to get yourself full on low calories. These foods include fruit bowls, cauliflower rice, air-popped popcorn, etc.

For more detailed tips, check out 7 Huge Tips for Quick Weight Loss

Faysal Tahir
Faysal Tahir
Articles: 74

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