Ask any bodybuilder what the hardest part about bodybuilding actually is and they’ll tell you that the training is the easy part and that it is the diet and nutritional side of things that they struggle with the most. Bodybuilders generally go through two stages: Bulking and Cutting. When bulking, the idea is to build as much muscle mass as possible, whilst when cutting the idea is to strip away body fat and water retention and become as lean and ripped as possible. In order to do that, not only do they have to create the right calorie deficit so that they lose fat without losing muscle, they also have to consume the right foods. Here’s a look at a few cutting diet bodybuilding foods that you should include in your diet if you’re looking to get shredded this year.
When people think of cutting diet bodybuilding foods, they often think of high protein foods or basic steamed veggies and whilst we will indeed get to those a little further on, there’s another food, often consumed for breakfast that is a bodybuilder’s best friend when it comes to cutting, and that is oatmeal. Oatmeal is low in fat and for a complex carbohydrate source is also low in calories yet it is a fantastic source of slow-release energy, making it a perfect pre-workout food. Oatmeal is also rich in B vitamins and minerals including iron and zinc, plus it’s a source of soluble dietary fiber as well. This fiber is ideal as it improves digestion and helps suppress appetite helping to keep you feeling full for longer.
If possible, always go for wild salmon as it is even healthier than farmed salmon, though farmed salmon is still very beneficial. Salmon is rich in healthy fats such as omega 3 fatty acids, which help so many of the body’s regulatory systems and internal processes, including metabolic function, which means we burn more calories and enjoy more energy as a result. Salmon is also rich in protein, which is essential for the growth and repair of muscle tissue, and as building and retaining muscle is your objective here, it’s no wonder why salmon is considered such an effective cutting diet bodybuilding food.
- Chicken Breast
Providing they weren’t vegan or vegetarian, finding a bodybuilder following a cutting diet that does not include chicken breast as part of their daily meal plan will be near impossible as chicken breast is the perfect cutting diet bodybuilding food. Chicken breast is virtually fat free, it’s low in calories, it contains natural nutrients, it’s versatile and can be used in many different meals, and as it’s very high in protein. As the protein is also thermogenic, this means that the body burns more calories just by digesting it and breaking it down.
Vegetables are also an important part of any cutting diet, and indeed any diet in general for that matter as they’re so full of nutrients. Vegetables are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and can be added to almost any dish to help increase the nutrient content. Not only that, but they also enhance the taste, and when dieting, foods that taste nice are so important.
Ok, technically water isn’t a food, but even so, that doesn’t make it any less important, in fact, if anything it makes it even more important. Our bodies are comprised of over 75% water, it is essential for all life to thrive on Earth and beyond, and as far as cutting goes, it is also extremely beneficial. To begin with, water hydrates us, which in turn helps improve athletic performance, which means that when we do exercise and workout, we do so more efficiently and we get more done as a result. Not only that, however, but water also helps to keep us feeling full for longer and so it can help suppress our appetites and beat hunger cravings. If we’re hungry and craving unhealthy food, we’re far more likely to cheat on our diets, and if we do that, we’re almost certainly going to consume more calories than we should be, and will gain weight instead of losing it, which is disastrous from a cutting perspective.
Although skinless chicken breast is a fantastic cutting bodybuilding food, if you were to ask any bodybuilder which food he, or she, was sick to the back teeth of seeing and eating on a daily basis, they’d almost certainly tell you that it was chicken breast. Turkey then, is a fantastic substitute for chicken that is just as lean, if not leaner in fact, and contain just as much muscle building proteins. Turkey can be diced, you can purchase legs, breasts, or even mince to make burgers, sausages, and much more besides. There’s also the added bonus that it is very low in calories and has a distinct flavour that many find more appealing than chicken breast.
When cutting, a lot of people tend to shy away from red meat because they believe it to be pretty fatty. In reality, however, not all cuts of red meat are fatty, and in fact, there are many that are just as lean as meats such as turkey or chicken, and venison is no exception. Venison, which comes from Deer, has a rich and gamey taste that is incredibly enjoyable. It is packed full of protein and amino acids, not to mention vitamins and minerals, including iron. In fact, many cuts of good quality venison contain more iron, zinc, and vitamins, than your average rump steak from the supermarket.
- Organic eggs
Eggs are ideal for cutting and building muscle because they’re a great source of protein, not to mention being the only food that boasts a complete amino acid profile of both essential, and non-essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Don’t avoid the yolks either, as a couple of yolks a day certainly won’t hurt you, and in fact the fats they do contain are very healthy and can help to boost the metabolism. Always go for organic, or free range eggs and avoid eggs from caged hens like the plague as they contain very little nutritional value at all.