- Workout with weights about 3 times a week.
- Eat at least 1g protein / lb of lean body mass a day. (You don't have to buy overpriced protein, Body Fortress protein is sold at Wal-Mart for 15$ a tub!)
- Eat some fruit, veggies/salad, and some essential fatty acids (EFAs) every day.
- Above that eat whatever you want, preferably a wide variety of foods.
- Adjust your food intake so that the desired rate of weight loss is maintained.
The recommended rate of weight loss depends on your current body fat level. Generally, the higher your bodyfat, the higher the rate of weight loss can potentially be. The best indication for the rate being too high is if you rapidly lose strength in the gym. In this case, increase your intake and go for a smaller rate of weight loss. In general, a rate of about 1-2lbs per week is recommended.
Any cutting method that follows the above rules is close to optimal, any further details will not have significant effect on body composition. If you already have a meal plan, just check if these rules are followed and adjust if not.
Measuring Progress and Adjusting Food Intake
- Weigh yourself once a week, always at the same time (e.g. right after waking up).
- Don't panic if your weight stays the same or even goes up for one or two weeks.
- If your weight does not go down for more than three weeks, slightly reduce calories.
- If your rate of weight loss is above the desired value, slightly increase calories.
- The change in daily calories from those adjustments should not exceed 500 cals.
- After adjustment, stay on the new value for at least three weeks before adjusting again.
If you have never done a cutting diet, it's always better to start with more calories and reduce slowly until the desired rate of weight loss is maintained. If you stay patient, you will not have to adjust very often. With more experience, you will not have to count calories anymore, but as a beginner it is a good idea.