The Cut Getting Started

January 06, 2016

The Cut is one of the most gratifying phases of any contest prep or diet plan – but it’s also one of the hardest. So, I’m here to help.


Whether you’re training for a fitness competition or just want to shed a few pounds for the New Year – this column is for you!




So many common mistakes are made during The Cut. But who’s to blame?


Social media, websites and magazines, or maybe the trainer at your local gym that taught you about IIFYM (if it fits your macros)?


All of those failures – forget about them. You do not need them. Besides, you’ve already tried them and it didn’t work!




Getting started on The Cut is simple – you need to plan better. Without a plan, how will you ever achieve your goal? You wouldn’t. It’s impossible.


Be honest with yourself. When you’re preparing for The Cut, you have to review anything and everything that enters your body. Food, drinks, condiments, supplements – everything. Make a list of what you’re currently putting into your body. What you need to do next will be obvious.


Anything that does not help you attain the look you desire (being lean) – get rid of it. No matter how hard you work, you will never outwork a bad diet.


Get rid of: fully-loaded sodas, sugars, unnecessary carbohydrates, excessive use of condiments, candy, or just not having enough meals. Every single bit counts.


Replace the foods that do not help you achieve your goal with the ones that will help.


Try these: water or crystal lite, use Splenda instead of sugar, eat good carbs (brown carbs), use light dressings, replace candies with nuts or small fruits – and make sure you eat enough meals!




Based on the information I’ve shared above – make your plan.  Even more importantly – stick to it!


Anytime I change my diet or routine, I see results in about 3 weeks. So, make sure you are patient with the results. They do not happen overnight. And if you cheat – it will show.


Schedule an 8-12 week plan. Give yourself enough time to be successful. Take before and after pictures to help motivate yourself. You will be thrilled with the results!




On a typical day in The Cut, I am very busy. I’m either prepping food, eating food or working out. Of course, you juggle this with your other everyday activities (work, family, etc.).


When cutting, I eat 6-7 meals per day. You will not “get fat” by increasing your meals – as long as you eat the proper meals. I replace at least 1 meal with a low-carb USPlabs ModernPROTEIN shake.


Cardio increases during The Cut. I am a firm believer in fasted cardio (cardio on an empty stomach). I never go less than 1 hour on cardio. Keep in mind – it is supposed to be hard. If not, everyone would do it. Choose a cardio option that will really push you – stairmaster, running, rowing, or walk uphill at a good pace.


This is the basic framework that you need before moving forward. Review your current situation and make it better. Remove the flaws from your routine and improve them.


Time to test your willpower. You either want it – or you don’t.


The choice is yours.
TEAM USPlabs Dustin Carwile
Written by Dustin Carwile


Follow Dustin on Twitter


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of USPlabs or any employee thereof. Examples used within this article are only examples. USPlabs is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the authors of this article. Content contributors are not employees of USPlabs. Authors may have been remunerated by USPlabs.


The information provided in this article, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.

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