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Cutting diet adjustments; Why my meal plans are dull.

Yesterday's meals.

I’m a couple weeks into my 2015 cutting diet, and it is time to trim things up a tad. Starting yesterday I made a couple small adjustments to my diet, for a net daily caloric difference of approximately 260 calories.

Meals 1, 2 and 3 remain the same; for Meal 4 I halved my serving of almonds from two ounces to one ounce (-170 calories, mostly fat), and for Meal 5 I trimmed my serving of brown rice from one cup to a half cup (-90 calories, mostly carbs).

Here are yesterday’s meals after the trims (2,110 calories, low activity day / light recovery ride):

Yesterday's meals.

Yesterday’s meals.


These changes are small, but they will be effective and should get me through several more weeks of cutting.

In a week or two I’ll probably reduce my protein intake at Meal 4 by switching from 7 ounce cans of tuna to 5 ounce cans (about a -40 calorie reduction). As I continue to drop weight and below 8% body fat I’ll probably have to cut my brown rice serving at Meal #3 in half (-90 calories). Further trims can also be made, if required, to my post-ride recovery shake (Meal #2) and even my oats and/or banana (meal #1).

Notice that my adjustments tend to be fairly minor, and I start by trimming back calories from meals that I consume later in the day. The reason I resist tinkering with my morning meals (until I have no choice) is because pre, intra, and post-workout nutrition is critical for performance, and I tend to ride and train in the morning hours.

If you’ve been following my cutting diet on MyFitnessPal, you’ve no doubt noticed that my first four meals are almost always the same from one day to the next, and I tend to rotate between 7 or so dinners (Meal 5). The reason I do this is pretty straightforward: a consistent diet makes cutting body fat easier for me. It’s predictable. It’s foolproof. I don’t have to waste time or energy thinking about what I’m going to eat. My mind doesn’t wander thinking about how good this or that might taste. My diet is… my diet. Period. I like that.

Also–and just as important–eating a consistent diet when I’m cutting literally changes how I view food. When I’m in “all-or-nothing” mode I don’t like thinking of food as something that brings pleasure. When I’m cutting or bulking I prefer to think of food in the exact same way that I think of gasoline for my car. Food is raw fuel to get me where I’m going, nothing more. Food is not the point, it’s a means to an end.

I thrive on consistency, and so when I’m cutting body fat I do everything in my power to smooth out the road ahead. My cutting diet may look boring to most, and I agree that it is. That’s the point.