Getting into bodybuilding and fitness requires you to know at least the basics of good nutrition. What this means is knowing how to count your daily calorie needs and calculating the percentages of macronutrients that will make up the same calorie needs. Now, bodybuilders usually go through bulking and cutting phases during the off-season and before a competition, respectively. The phase we all dread is the cutting phase, and knowing your nutrition rules doesn’t help the cut phase get any easier.
There’s not a thing about it that isn’t hard, both mentally and physically. Your strength drops immensely, you have less energy and, the worst part, you actually look a lot smaller. All that with the ultimate goal of getting shredded. It must be a huge reward if the majority of people go through the agony to achieve it. And most of the time, it is.
But the number one obstacle to their progress, that all people who go through the cut phase encounter is actually our body’s natural response to the condition you’re putting it through, and that is hunger. Varying the products that you eat might help you get a diverse set of minerals and vitamins in, however they won’t be of much use if a number of calories you are ingesting daily is too low, or you’ve set such a low amount that you can’t eat anything other except for bland chicken breast and broccoli.
However, there is a way around this. There are some foods you can eat that aren’t exactly one would call “clean” foods, but can actually be the excellent antidote to the hunger you experience while dieting and that is satiety.
What follows is a list of the five foods that will help you go through your cut phase a lot easier:
1. White Potatoes
This might come as a shock since it’s always been parroted in the fitness world that sweet potatoes have a lot more macros and fiber, but that is simply not true. The truth is that white potatoes can satiate you a lot faster and for a longer duration than a lot of other foods, most people will tell you they’re good for you, for example:
- Sweet potatoes
- Brown rice
It’s actually the way in which potatoes are usually cooked that makes them have a lot more calories than they naturally have, like frying them in oil or covering them in sour cream. That’s why you should make sure to prepare them with as less additional fat as possible and you won’t have to worry too much.
Apples are absolutely the best choice for a fruit when on a cut. There are numerous reasons for that. First, they have the highest satiety index per calorie of all fruits. Besides this awesome fact, they have a high content of antioxidants that can aid in the recovery from the heavy workouts you’ll be doing during the cut.
They have a lot of fructose in them and the fructose will help you replenish the glycogen reserves in the liver, which in turn will prevent hunger from creeping in while you are on a diet. There is a substance called pectin that is found in apples which can have a limiting effect to how much fat the adipose cells can absorb.
Who doesn’t like berries, plus all types are excellent for cutting. The only downside is that sometimes they get a bit expensive, so if you opt for a cheaper alternative and want to get the same benefits, you should buy them frozen. What do they contain that makes them so great for cutting?
First of all, berries contain certain compounds in them that decrease your insulin levels. This, in turn, prevents your body from storing the sugar ingested in the form of fat. Low insulin levels also decrease your appetite, since having high levels of insulin is what triggers the brain to give the signal to the body that energy is needed and food need to be brought into your stomach.
Second, they tend to provide a lot of volume in your daily nutrition and enable you to feel as if you are consuming large amounts of food even though your calorie intake may be pretty low.
When you are cutting, sooner or later you’ll be faced with a social setting situation in which you’ll be tempted not to give in to some snacks. There’s a solution to this too. And the answer is popcorn. Popcorn offers you a lot bigger quantity of food for a certain amount of calories than any other snack.
And there are health benefits to it as well. Popcorn hulls have a substantial amount of polyphenols, which are a class of antioxidants that have been shown to have anti-cancer properties as well as benefits to your cardiovascular health.
The amount is 500 mg of polyphenols in 33 grams of popped popcorn, which is approximately half of the daily amount an average American eats. A study has shown that there are more polyphenols in popcorn than fruits like apples and pears. It’s also shown that it has half the antioxidant amount of walnuts and two-thirds of peanuts. In order to make it healthier and make sure you avoid any additional butter and oil, thus adding additional calories than you’d like, air pop it at home.
There’s a reason coffee is the most famous beverage in every country in the world. It is plain awesome. Let’s see just a small list of the hundreds of reasons why you should drink it, as proven by research:
- Those who drink coffee regularly are less likely to have Parkinson’s disease, Type-II diabetes, and dementia.
- Those who drink coffee are less likely to experience strokes, have heart rhythm problems or get certain types of cancer. One study has found that those who drank two or more cups of coffee a day had a 20% lower stroke risk than those who drank less.
- A study made in Sweden and Finland in 2009, had 1400 people followed for 20 years. The ones drinking 2 to 5 cups of coffee had 60% less chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia than those who didn’t drink it or just had an occasional cup of coffee.
- Another study has shown that those who drank one to three cups of coffee a day had 20% less chance to have abnormal heart rhythms than those who didn’t.
Beside the numerous health benefits, it has stimulant properties which make you full of energy and makes you crave less food. What’s more, it also has diuretic properties which get you rid of all the excess water, which makes you look shredded without losing any fat.