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Are Bulking and Cutting Right for You?


Bulking is part of a two-step cycle which ultimately makes your body more chiseled. If you are constantly finding yourself lifting weights at the gym, but are not seeing the definition you seek, or perhaps you are prepping for a competition, bulking and cutting is for you. 

Cutting is then the opposite of bulking. You restrict your carbs, continue to work out, lift less heavy, but more reps, add in some cardio, and the fat begins to melt off. This leaves you with the muscles you previously created without the fat.


The science behind bulking and cutting is rather basic. In order to gain muscle, the easiest way is when you are eating a surplus of calories. This feeds your muscles causing you to gain weight as well, (hence the name "bulk") but underneath the layer of fat will be a hidden gem; strong lean muscles.

This is a lengthy process, just like working out doesn't change your physique in a day, bulking and cutting is a regimen and takes months of dedication. Don't let that deter you though, if you are looking for an amazing body, and are willing to put in the time and effort, the payoff will be big. 

Many people new to bulking and cutting use bulking as an excuse to eat junk food for the sake of increased calories. This, in the long run, does you a disservice. An increase in carbs does not mean to run to the store and buy pints of ice cream.


Here are some awesome foods to add to your diet, or increase your consumption of while bulking:

  • Salmon
  • Rolled oats
  • Avocado
  • Turkey
  • Pasta
  • Yogurt
  • Steak
  • Bread

While bulking you do not want to gain more than 3 pounds per month. If you are gaining more than that, you are most likely gaining quite a bit of fat along with it.

Bulking and Cutting Foods


Let's look at your daily caloric recommendation.
Find out your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE)

Each of you will have a different TDEE based off your activity level, gender, weight/height etc. Once you know the number of calories you burn daily, you can then alter that in accordance with bulking and cutting.

While bulking you want to add 200-500 calories to your TDEE.

Finally, once you know how many calories you need to consume, you must then divide those calories into three basic categories: Proteins, fats, and carbs.

There are 4 calories per gram of protein, 4 calories per gram of carbs, and 9 calories per gram of fat.

Protein: .08-1g / pound of body weight
Ex. 140 lb women with a TDEE of 2000 calories per day.
Totals: 140g protein per day (140X4=560, 560/2000=.28) which is 28% of the total calories for their day.

Fat: .3g / pound of body weight
Ex. 140 lb women with a TDEE of 2000 calories per day.
Totals: 42g of fat per day (42X9=378, 378/2000=.189) which is 19% of the total calories for their day.

Carbs: Remaining calories are put towards healthy carbs.
The remaining 53% (.53X2000=1060) of the calories they will intake during the day should be from healthy carbs.

To help you visualize what that looks like, one medium sweet potato averages 27g of carbs (27X4=108 108/1060=.10) that amounts to 10% of the remaining caloric intake for the day.


The goal of cutting is to rid your body of the fat you accumulated during your bulking period. 

Some great foods to incorporate while cutting:

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Red lentils
  • Mushrooms
  • Chicken breast
  • Apples
  • Lean beef
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Tomatoes



In order for this to work, you must reduce the number of calories for your TDEE by 200-500. When you are cutting calories take into account your body type.

Are you naturally thin able to eat carbs easily? Try out 25% protein, 55% carbs, and 20% fat.

Are you naturally more athletic in your build with moderate muscle? Go with a 30% protein, 40% carbs, and 30% fat ratio.

If you are naturally more big-boned and thick, stick with a ratio of 35% protein, 25% carbs, and 40% fat.

Cutting, unlike bulking, does not have a given amount of time. Bulking usually takes 2-3 months. Cutting is practiced as long as needed to lose the fat you put on, in order to show off those awesome muscles you were building.


Remember, every person is different. Depending on your personal diet (keto, paleo, vegetarian, etc) your macro breakdown can look completely different. The goal is to better understand your body and to be in tune with it as well. If something isn't working for you, think about a few options to alter it.

The key thing is to increase your calories when bulking while eating healthy, clean food, and decreasing your calories while cutting. After completing this cycle many times over, your body will be chiseled and ready for a competition.