In the fitness world, you often hear the term: cutting program. What does this have to do with fitness? Is the cutting program hard to run? To learn more, please read our description below.


What is a cutting program?

The cutting program is a diet program that aims to reduce body fat while maintaining muscle mass. Bodybuilders and gym users typically undertake this program with a 2-4 month span as a short-term program before a bodybuilding competition or as part of their training schedule. Using this diet program with other diets is different; cutting programs are usually done by eating foods high in protein and carbohydrates and accompanied by strength training. Weightlifting exercises help maintain muscle mass while reducing the calories in this diet.

The cutting program must be adapted to individual needs. However, before you begin, someone usually does a bulking program first. Bulking allows for a high-calorie, high-protein diet with intense resistance training to build and increase muscle mass. The bulking phase is usually successful in gaining some weight from fat and muscle. So, this cutting program aims to eliminate the fat accumulated during the bulking program while preserving as much muscle mass as possible.


How to create a cutting program

Cutting diets can be adapted to the needs of each individual. That is why it is better to consult a nutritionist to find the right type of diet. However, here are the basic guidelines for following a strict cutting diet:

cutting program diet

cutting diet program #1: calories

If you want to lose weight, your body must have a calorie deficit. Why do calories play an important role in weight loss? When you eat, the calories you put in are only converted into two things, namely energy and fat. When on a cutting program, aim for fewer calories than you burn daily. For example, a normal adult needs 2500 calories to maintain their ideal body weight, 2000 calories to lose weight, or 1500 calories to lose weight faster. Avoid excess calories by avoiding high-calorie and low-nutrient foods like soda and processed foods. You can also bypass the number of calories burned by limiting food portions.


cutting diet program #2: proteins

Because you eat fewer calories when you lose weight and exercise regularly, your protein needs increase. A high-protein diet can reduce appetite, boost metabolism, and even help maintain muscle mass. Aim for 1.6-2 grams of protein per pound of your body weight to ensure you’re losing weight and not muscle. For example, if you weigh 70 kg, you should consume 110-149 grams of protein daily.


cutting diet program #3: Fat

The important role of fat in the cutting program cannot be underestimated. While fat is something to reduce, you shouldn’t eliminate fat intake. Fat supports the production of the hormone testosterone, which is useful for maintaining muscle mass. If you intend to follow a diet program, you need to include around 15%-30% fat as a substitute for calories. Each gram of fat contains nine calories; you need about 33 to 67 grams. This fat comes from meat and can also be obtained from avocados, cheese and salmon.


The best foods for cutting programs

Carbohydrates are easier to turn into energy carriers. You can eat some of the following foods to make the diet program easier:


Chicken breast

Chicken breast is a source of protein and vitamins that can help the body function optimally when cutting. A study was conducted in 2010 and showed that selenium-rich chicken meat could help with weight loss.



Eggs are also a source of protein that is often a staple of cutting programs. Eggs also contain healthy fats and some vitamins. One of the key ingredients for muscle protein synthesis is leucine, an amino acid found in eggs.



Nuts are also a natural source of protein. Protein in nuts can be beneficial for building muscle. In addition to protein, nuts are also rich in iron and vitamins that are beneficial for the body.


Brown rice

Instead of white rice, brown rice has fewer carbohydrate sources, which of course, is good when you’re trying to lose weight. These carbs become fuel when you spend time building muscle through exercise.



Milk is a natural source that contains a combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Pay attention to the type of milk that is consumed. Make sure you choose low-calorie milk, e.g., B. Skimmed milk instead of whole milk.


Types of exercises to support cutting programs

As explained above, this diet will be even more successful when coordinated with an exercise program known as cutting training or cutting exercise. The exercise program for the success of this diet can be adjusted to suit your preferences and conditions. The most important thing is the type of exercise that is continuous, routine, and comfortable for you over a long time. You shouldn’t get bored quickly with any exercise.

The type of exercise that is suitable to be combined with a strict diet program is weight lifting. Almost all diet or weight loss programs must include strength training. Strength training also has its challenges. If you are a beginner, you can start with light weights. Over time, the load can be increased with increasing experience and muscle strength.

Cardio training is also one of the recommended exercises in the cutting program. Cardio exercise can burn more calories than lifting weights. So lifting weights is meant to keep muscles from getting weaker and shrinking. Strength training, which consists of several sets of exercises, also plays a role in muscle building. Of course, with this program, it’s better to simultaneously build muscle all over your body.


Therefore, a brief review of the cutting program is. In principle, this program can be carried out by both men and women. However, this program can be made for women to not as hard as men can live with. As long as you stick to the main principle: calorie intake is less than calorie intake.