During the cutting phase, the athlete’s main objective is the loss of fat mass and the increase in body definition.
There are two essential pillars for this phase to be successfully achieved:
- Physical exercise: having a well-defined training plan is critical to success during this phase.
See some training tips that you can follow during this phase here.
- Proper feeding: exercising is essential, but it may not be enough. The diet has a great weight during this phase, as there are certain nutrients that play a key role during this phase and others that can harm you.
Find more in this article: number of calories to ingest, macronutrients ratio and an example of a food plan for one day.
However, other factors can influence and enhance results, such as hydration and supplementation.
Supplementation will complement your training and your diet and will be important to help speed up the results of your effort and speed up this process.
See now which supplements can help you achieve your goals and some of the characteristics of this phase, namely the duration, how to best measure success and what are the main nutrients that the body needs.
Cutting phase features
How long does this phase last?
When we talk about fat loss, the question of time is something relative. This will depend very much on the percentage of fat to be lost, the metabolism and the rigor that is in relation to food and training.
However, I recommend at least 1 to 2 months at this stage.
How to measure success?
The most effective way to check if everything is going as planned and if you are achieving your goals is to weigh in a bio-impedance scale that allows you to identify:
- The percentage of fat mass
- The percentage of muscle mass
- The percentage of visceral fat
* Bio-impedance scales are used to measure body composition, especially the amount of fat mass.
However, if you do not have the possibility to weigh in, take some anthropometric measurements with the help of the measuring tape, such as the waist, hip, arm and thigh perimeter.
* The anthropometric measurements include:
“(…) weight, height, body mass index (BMI), body circumference (arm, waist, hip and calf), waist to hip ratio (WHR), elbow amplitude and knee-heel length.”
You should always have a measure of comparison, so both weighing, and measuring must be done at the beginning of this process (before you begin this phase), so that you can follow and measure the evolution to compare values.
What nutrients does our body need during this phase and what should we avoid?
At this stage, the nutrients you can’t dispense are protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins/minerals and some complex carbohydrates.
You should pay special attention to fast absorption carbohydrates (such as simple sugars) and exclude them at this stage as they may impair your goals.
Bet on natural foods and not processed because they will provide you with better quality nutrients.
Supplements can help you achieve the recommended doses of some of the afore mentioned food resources, but they can also perform other determinant functions in your body so that you succeed during this phase.
See some examples.
Examples of supplements that can help during this process
The objective of the use of supplements at this stage is to reach the necessary doses of essential nutrients, on one hand, and to potentiate the acceleration of metabolism and consequent burning of fat, on the other hand, always looking for the protection and maintenance of the muscle mass.
It is perhaps one of the most popular supplements in the world of fitness, as it plays a decisive role in our body with regard to muscle construction, maintenance and recovery, since it is the main constituent of our muscles.
The needs of protein consumption are variable, but athletes generally have superior needs.
To complement your day, you can include in your routine the consumption of protein supplements throughout the day, for example in workout meals, in order to enhance the protein synthesis and recover from the damage to the muscle fibers caused by the exercise.
There are several types of protein.
At this stage you can opt for an isolated whey protein, which is virtually free of sugars, fat and lactose and that has a percentage of pure protein higher when compared to whey concentrate.
This way, you’ll avoid consuming fats, sugars or carbohydrates in excess.
The amino acids constitute the proteins and therefore they are enhancers of the protein synthesis and assist in the maintenance of the muscle mass acquired in the phase of bulking.
Some of the most popular are the BCAA’s and glutamine, the most abundant amino acid in our muscle tissue whose reserves can be depleted during the practice of intense physical exercise and should be replaced.
Attention! The cutting phase is intended to reduce fat without compromising the muscle mass.
Although there is a great discrepancy in scientific studies, L-carnitine may be an ally of yours in this process. It is usually used by the possibilities it offers in increasing energy production, using, for that, the fat reserves of our body.
It transports the fatty acids to the mitochondria of the cells where oxidation occurs, giving up the transformation of fat into energy.
Thus, you will reduce the accumulation of fat and have more energy to work out and reach the body you want to remain focused.
CLA (conjugated linoleic acid)
It is a fatty acid that acts on the enzyme lipase and also on the palmitol transferase, enzymes that influence the degradation of fat so that it can be used as energy.
Studies reveal that:
“CLA supplementation also could increase the lipolysis and reduce the accumulation of fatty acids on the fatty tissue.”
Although it has potential benefits in sedentary individuals, the best results are verified when the supplement is associated with the physical exercise.
A supplement that has been gaining more and more popularity is green coffee.
The green coffee is the result of the coffee seeds without being toasted.
It has a component, chlorogenic acid, which is an oxidizing compound, whose action intervenes in the acceleration of the metabolism and the possible reduction of the absorption of carbohydrates, helping to avoid the accumulation of fat in the body.
However, these effects are not scientifically proven and will depend on each metabolism.
Supplements for cutting phase in summary
In short, the cutting phase is a phase whose duration and evolution will depend on each person.
The key is to stay focused and to monitor the results of what is done, to understand whether we are following the right path or whether it is necessary to make changes in the plan.
As you have seen, in addition to training and food, the use of supplementation is something you can consider.
There are varied supplements that you can use that can help you in losing fat and maintaining muscle mass, such as L-carnitine, CLA, protein and amino acids.
Check out Zumub’s catalogue and, if you need anything, at Zumub, they are always available to help you.