cutting program

Cutting Program Essentials

Chad Demchik

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IFBB Men’s Physique Pro Chad Demchik explains some cutting program basics to help you get started with your first cut.

It can be confusing to start a cutting program for the first time. Here are some basics to help you get started with your cut.

When cutting and exercising you don’t want to lose the precious muscle you worked so hard for.


Body Type

Determining your body type is helpful is setting a baseline for your nutritional plan.

Ectomorph – High metabolism with low body fat and look thin. These people are hard-gainers. May require more calories per day.
Mesomorph – Naturally muscular and athletic bodies.
Endomorph – Slow metabolism with a naturally thick and broad looking body. May require a larger caloric deficit.

Be honest with yourself in accessing your body type, don’t decide you’re an endomorph if you’re overweight from eating a lot of junk food.


Setting A Baseline

Now that you know your body type, you need to determine how many calories a day you are currently eating.

Use an app to track your daily calorie and macronutrient intake. There are some great apps out there, I personally use My Fitness Pal. Simply enter what you are eating for each meal.


Daily Calories

To begin your cutting program, take your average daily calorie intake and divide it by your bodyweight. For example, if you weight 200 lbs and take in 3000 calories:

3000 calories / 200 lbs = 15 calories/lb

You are taking in 15 calories per pound of bodyweight. Lower that number by two calories and shoot for 2600 calories per day.

15 calories/lb – 2 calories/lb = 13 calories/lb

13 calories/lb X 200 lbs = 2,600 calories

If you see no weight change in two to three weeks, reduce your number of calories per pound of bodyweight by one or two more calories.

If your body doesn’t change, try increasing your activity level slightly, don’t just keep decreasing your daily calorie intake. When cutting and exercising you don’t want to lose the precious muscle you worked so hard for, which brings us to macronutrients.



Your daily calories come from three sources: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

You should take in 1 gram per pound of bodyweight per day. Stick with high quality protein sources such as chicken, turkey, fish, beans, etc.

The remainder of your calories should come from carbohydrates and fats. This is where every person’s body responds differently. If you prefer carbohydrates, eat more carbs than fats and vice versa. You will have to alter the amount of carbs and fats you eat, depending on how your body composition changes. Evaluate your progress every two to three weeks before manipulating your carb and fat intake.

Your fat intake should be moderate. Your fats should come from extra virgin olive oil, nuts, whole eggs, nut butters, seeds, avocados, etc.

The carbohydrates in your diet should come from low glycemic sources with high fiber. These will include but are not limited to steel cut oats, quinoa, millet, Ezekiel bread, brown rice, red skin potatoes, etc.


Nutrition Tracking

Use an app, like My Fitness Pal, to track your daily calorie and macronutrient intake. Just be sure to enter the numbers I outlined above to start.

You can have 3 meals or 8 meals, just be use to track everything and that you meet your daily nutrition goals.


The Take Away

After cutting multiple times, you will learn how your body responds. For example, you might respond better to a diet higher in healthy fats and lower in carbohydrates. The results you get from any cutting program all come down to your commitment to achieve success.

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