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7 Best Cutting Foods to get lean & stay big

The best foods for cutting will reduce body fat and maximize muscle growth. You’ll need to reduce junk calories such as fats and simple carbs to achieve that.

The best cutting foods are high in protein, low in fat and low in simple carbohydrates. Protein and complex carbohydrates have a high satiation effect, meaning you’re left feeling full and satisfied.

By feeling full, you won’t have to worry about eating any junk calories.

In this article, I’ve created a list of potential foods to add to your cut. Let’s dig in!

Warning: Some foods may taste better than others…

The 7 Best Foods for Cutting

Egg whites

Egg yolks are a great source of healthy fats but by eating multiple eggs the saturated fats add up. Your solution? Have more egg whites instead. You can either remove the yolk from the egg or find liquid egg whites in cartons at your local grocery store.

Bro tip: While not so tasty, drinking pasteurized liquid egg whites straight from the carton is quick and easy to increase your daily protein intake and leave you feeling full.

[The egg whites must be pasteurized]

Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is also high in protein while being low in fat and carbs. Have a bowl’s worth and you’ll likely end up full. Over the years, Greek yogurt has become very popular for these reasons.

Because of the popularity of Greek yogurt, you kind find various flavors and styles.

Bro tip: Find the flavour you like to make it easier to enjoy.

I used to buy pouches of strawberry yogurt, consuming one per day. It was very easy to eat because of the pouch form and because I chose the flavor I liked.

Remember to read the nutrition information of the product you buy. Some yogurt brands tend to promote low fat but dismiss the fact that they’re high in sugar.

Watermelon

If you want to be full but minimize calories, you’ve got to try a bowl full of watermelon.

Watermelon is primarily… water, with calories coming from simple sugars. You won’t have to worry about having too much sugar either because… well.. try having a bowl full and let me know how you feel after.

Textured Vegetable Protein [TVP]

Hear me out. TVP is a blank slate that you can make into a great protein snack using the right seasoning and hydration. In its sold form it looks bland and dry, but add something like soy sauce and you may have the reaction of this Redditor

“But I rehydrated it anyway, with a little soy sauce for oomph… and holy crap.

It’s actually good. It rehydrates to the texture of cooked ground beef, with a convincingly springy mouth feel – and all it needs is just a little salt and umami to fill the same role.”

High in protein combined with a decent amount of fiber, you’ll find that TVP could be an amazing snack during your cut.

You just have to give it a try.

Chicken Breast

Part of the bodybuilder trinity; chicken broccoli and rice, chicken breast is a great source of protein and healthy fats. Pair it with rice, bread or pasta and you get a complete meal that will leave you full for hours.

It’s also worth noting that it’s very hard to eat a lot of chicken breasts. (I think at most I could eat 2/3)

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a great addition to meals due to how low in calories they are. They also contain some protein making it great boost to your meals without adding too many calories.

Fat Free cheese

Cheese is known to be high in fat, which is why pizza is something you want to avoid during a cut. But take away the fat and you’re left with cheese rich in protein.

Of course, removing the fat means the cheese will taste different. In this situation, try out various fat-free or low-fat cheese brands to find the one that tastes the best.

Advice from a gym bro

If you eat foods that make you feel full, then you’re less likely to each more than you bargained for.

Eating protein burns calories

Eat more protein. Protein is satiating and has the highest thermic effect when compared to fats and carbs. The thermic effect of food (TEF) is the “increase in metabolic rate after ingestion of a meal”.

Think of this like burning calories by eating. Yes, you’re burning calories while you eat. However, less is burnt when eating carbs, and even less is burnt when eating fats.

Around 20% of the proteins you eat are burnt, 10% of the carbs you eat are burnt, and almost 0% of your fats are burnt. Do you see why you want to keep fats at a healthy minimum?

This is why, by eating something like a high protein diet, you’re at the least amount of risk from gaining weight, in particular, unwanted fat.

Pair your diet with the Bro split or ULPPL split to maximize your muscle gains and fat loss.

Complex Carbs vs. simple sugars

Simple sugars are carbohydrates. They’re rapidly digested, leading to quick spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. While this can provide immediate energy, excess glucose (carbs) not used would be stored as body fat. 

Also, the rapid absorption of simple carbohydrates can lead to a quick return of hunger, possibly leading to overconsumption and potential weight gain.

Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, are digested more slowly, leading to a gradual and steady rise in blood sugar and insulin levels.

This can help maintain longer satiety (feeling of being satisfied), potentially controlling total caloric intake.

Simple carbohydrates are easily consumed. You’re not left satisfied. Rather, you would want to consume more.

Think of candy or soft drinks. Overconsumption is possible therefore increasing fat mass becomes easier unless replaced with the alternative of complex carbs.

After intense workouts, simple carbohydrates can aid in quickly restoring glycogen levels, thus supporting recovery.

It may be better to have a balance of both simple and complex carbs after a workout to support recovery and be satiated.

Examples of complex carbs:

  • Brown Bread
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Vegetables
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Oats

Wrap up

That’s it for this article. In summary, you want to eat foods that make you feel full. These foods will be rich in protein and complex carbs.

You still need simple sugars and a healthy minimum of fats so don’t stop eating them altogether.

The goal of cutting is recomposition.

You’re not trying to lose weight. You’re trying to lose fat mass and increase muscle mass. This means keeping your calories mostly the same but increasing the proteins and decreasing the simple carbs and fats.

Your next step from cutting is to main-gain. You’ll notice that it’s quite similar to a clean bulk. Check out this article for the Best Bulking foods for long-term muscle growth.

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