Weight Loss Guide.

Desire to be lean and muscular.

Everyone would like to be lean and muscular. But no one enjoys dieting. Yet, every year, dozens of magazines offer us the "ideal diet" one month before the holidays. Their slogan: "lose weight!"

And with the help of marketing, many take on the challenge of following this miracle diet that is supposed to get us in shape in one month. There's a strong emphasis on "losing weight before summer." Yet, what everyone wants isn't to be lightweight, but to look good in the mirror. However, losing weight isn't necessarily synonymous with beauty in front of the mirror.

The challenge of cutting.

Looking good in front of the mirror is more about losing unsightly rolls, losing a bit of belly fat; in short, it's more about losing fat, in other words, cutting. And cutting is more challenging than just losing weight. When you commit to cutting, you often commit to becoming a bit antisocial. You don't eat at the same time as everyone else, you don't go to restaurants or order diet dishes from the waiter. You don't drink, even when your friends are partying.

So, you're likely to have a lot of people around you trying to discourage you or tempt you with a phrase often heard: "It's just this once !"

Well, yes! If you start a real cutting phase, a slip-up can be significant. It can give you the taste or desire to have more slip-ups, and it can also make you feel guilty. So, it's easier in the long run not to have any slip-ups than to allow yourself a small "reward" from time to time. A little tip if you don't want to hear all the criticisms that might come your way if you decide to cut is to surround yourself with athletes who are capable of not criticizing your decision, who understand you better, and who will even encourage you.

The diversity of body types in the cutting diet.

Just like in a bulking diet, we're not all equal when it comes to a cutting diet. Everyone has their own body type.

If you are ectomorphic, it's not certain that it's difficult for you to lose fat. It's even possible that you don't have any.

If you are more endomorphic, you won't be able to tolerate any slip-ups, or your diet will drag on.

If you are mesomorphic, you will have the muscle you need to burn your body fat, and the results will show.

But regardless, everyone will have to make efforts and sometimes give up certain culinary pleasures. That's why cutting isn't quite synonymous with losing weight, but cutting is mainly about imposing discipline upon oneself.

When you decide to bulk up, a small slip-up won't cause too much damage. If you decide to commit to a cutting diet, you'll have to be stricter with yourself.

So, prepare yourself mentally! Visualize your goal. If your goal seems too difficult to reach, find something that gives you the strength to go all the way. A challenge such as a photo shoot or some competition. A concrete goal where you'll have to show your body will help you resist temptation during your cutting preparation.

Don't hesitate to aim high! It's better to aim for the moon and reach the top of the mountain than to aim for the nearby hill and miss.

Losing weight: basic concepts.


Every year, just before summer, advertisements in magazines about diets are a hit. And every year, thousands of people rush to the gym, start a "diet" hoping to be in top shape on the beach in July or August.

Is it really realistic to think that all the excesses of the year can be eliminated in a few weeks, simply through a bit of exercise and a "miracle" diet? (sometimes even without exercising).

No, miracle diets don't exist! Yet, every year, different diets are proposed to us. Still, ask yourself why it's different every year. If it were truly the best diet in the world, we wouldn't need to change it every year.

Yet it does get a lot of people moving... that's probably the positive aspect of it.

Losing weight or looking good in the mirror ?

But what most people want isn't to lose weight, it's to look good in the mirror! So the real question is: "Will losing 3 kilos change my silhouette?" No, certainly not. Many go on diets because on vacation, they indulge in food and drinks, and they think that with a few kilos less, they might return to their initial weight after the holidays. But if these miracle diets still allow you to lose weight, if you stop them (because you can't eat unbalanced all year), you'll regain the lost weight just as quickly. Sometimes, you even gain more weight than you had lost. This means that often, after the holidays, the situation is worse than before starting the diet.

It is important to distinguish between temporary weight loss and sustainable weight loss. Losing weight is not difficult; you just have to stop eating. But look at people who are at the end of a hunger strike. They still have fat, but no longer have muscles. What we generally want is to lose fat instead. We are what we eat! If you follow any diet, you will have a result. But can you maintain this diet throughout the year without causing deficiencies or deep frustrations?

What solution then ?

The long-term solution is therefore to control your diet all year round to avoid rushing just before summer. Controlling your diet also means weighing your food, knowing what you eat, and the calories it provides to your body, understanding the value of each food you eat in terms of protein, carbohydrates, and fats.

In short, at the beginning, it won't be as easy as that. However, as you monitor your diet, habits will form both in terms of food knowledge and your body's reactions to these same foods. Once you've acquired these habits, controlling your diet won't be difficult anymore. You just have to manage to adopt this lifestyle, to impose your will on your body.

It's true that there's a big difference between cutting and losing weight. Cutting means losing only fat with as little muscle loss as possible. And that's actually what many would like because it looks good in the mirror. However, cutting will require more discipline and organization. But controlling your diet is the only sustainable long-term solution.

We will further develop this idea.

What does controlling one's diet mean ?

Controlling means being present at every step of the diet or regimen, but also at every minute of the day because for optimal results, the diet needs to be combined with exercise. When we talk about discipline for a cutting diet, it's truly an effort at every moment. Effort to eat at specific times and often outside of normal hours, effort to train regularly, effort to resist the temptations of those around you, effort to organize everything, etc.

This also means that you will have to listen to and understand the reactions you might have in any given situation and try not to find yourself in a situation where you would be tempted to give in: surround yourself with people who won't tempt you, with athletes. If all you hear around you is criticism and jealousy, you won't want to continue. We tend to mimic our surroundings to some extent. Cutting requires a willpower that can be either destroyed or reinforced by the environment in which we evolve. It will be up to you to choose...

So, any element that will allow you to take one step closer to your goal is welcome. If you set an achievable goal for yourself, also set a date to reach that goal, surround yourself with people who can encourage you, take pleasure and confidence in seeing yourself progress by measuring yourself, then you will overcome many difficulties in front of your goal!

Diet: until when ?

It's a question that's often asked: "Do I have to diet for the rest of my life if I want to stay fit?"

The answer is simple: we are what we eat...

However, you will have to decide how your body should look most of the time. So, define a "baseline body" outside of the diet. This will allow you to manage and ensure that you can occasionally indulge.

Example :

Let's take, for example, a woman who weighs 68 kilos and imposes a cutting diet until she reaches 56 kilos. To achieve this, she didn't allow herself any slip-ups, perhaps put a part of her social life on hold, but eventually, after a certain amount of time, she reaches her goal.

She decides to start going to restaurants again, to go out occasionally.

If she doesn't want to regain the 12 kilos she lost, she will have to set a limit not to exceed: For example: When her weight reaches 58 kilos, which is 2 kilos above her best weight, she will have to resume her strict diet until she loses a bit again. As long as she stays below the limit she has set for herself, she will not only be able to have the body she desires but also enjoy her occasional indulgences while managing her figure.

So, it's a good way to manage your diet, your figure, and your social life.

Training program.

general training.

Can we say that training during a cutting phase is different from training during a bulking phase?

In essence, during a bulking phase, you aim to gain as much muscle as possible while minimizing fat gain. During a cutting phase, you also aim to gain, or rather not lose, muscle. So, musculature-wise, the objective is quite similar. However, the effects will be different. During a cutting phase:

  • You have less energy because you provide less to your body; you'll generally be able to lift less weight.
  • You also have less strength because you are more tired and have less energy.

So, when you're cutting and you're doing similar workouts to those you do when bulking, you're unlikely to beat your records. Therefore, you should divide your workouts based on your energy level:

At the beginning of the cutting phase, do slightly heavier training to maintain your muscle mass at its maximum. Then, as calories start to decrease more and you have less energy, reduce your weights and increase your number of repetitions. Adding isolation exercises can also help further define a region. But always try not to stop the slightly heavier exercises at the beginning of the session.

Indeed, you have two types of muscle fibers:

  • The white fibers, so-called because they work without oxygen and therefore for shorter efforts.
  • The red fibers, on the contrary, work for longer duration efforts with oxygen supply.

If we want to stay logical, we need to maintain muscle in both categories of fibers. So, we'll need to vary between short and longer efforts.

At the beginning of the diet, it's not too difficult to do heavier workouts; however, at the end of the diet, it becomes very difficult, if not impossible.

Examples :

You can start your cutting phase with a workout of 10 to 12 repetitions, which is more volume-focused. This will allow the muscles to lose as little as possible even with the caloric deficit.

When the weights start to decrease due to the lack of sugar, you can increase the number of repetitions if necessary, but always train to failure.

Be careful, when you increase the repetitions a bit, your muscle may give you a burning sensation. Keep going until you can hardly lift the weight anymore.

You can also vary your cutting workout with programs like combined sets where you perform several exercises for the same muscle one after the other without rest. You can also work in supersets. Here, you'll alternate between 2 exercises for 2 antagonistic muscles, one after the other, without rest.

You can also vary this type of training in several ways. The triset, quadriset, giant set, ... The goal is to increase the "cardio" aspect of your training by stimulating the "volume" aspect of it as much as possible.


Too often, it can be seen that for cutting, only isolation exercises should be included. Is this true?

Let's ask ourselves the following questions:

  • Which exercise requires more energy and therefore more calories? An isolation exercise or a multi-joint exercise?
  • How does a mono or multi-joint muscle contraction work?

Single or multi-joint ?

Certainly, a multi-joint exercise will require more energy and effort than a simple isolation exercise. So, it will also burn more calories. However, will you still be able to perform it correctly at the end of the diet? Performing a multi-joint exercise 6 times but in an approximate manner may not be as effective in terms of calorie expenditure as performing an isolation exercise correctly.

Is there a moment when isolation exercises will be more beneficial for cutting than multi-joint exercises?

Nothing is proven, but keeping multi-joint exercises in your workout for as long as possible is a good way to stimulate muscle volume.

A single-joint exercise, as the name suggests, will only involve one joint, while a multi-joint exercise will involve multiple joints.

Muscle contraction depends on the nerve impulse you send to your muscles. The greater the impulse, the more fibers it will recruit. As the muscle is composed of muscle bundles, it is possible that when your body is more defined, the visible fibers are simply the different bundles that alternate during muscle contraction. At this point, it will be very interesting to allow them to alternate to accentuate the "sculpted" visual of the muscle. So, it will be more interesting to also do longer sets to accentuate the contours of the muscle area concerned.


No one will deny the importance of cardio to tap into fat reserves.

However, many misconceptions exist about it. Some think that cardio is what burns the most fat. It's not entirely untrue to say that cardio burns fat, but doing only cardio will give you the physique of a marathon runner. That is, very little muscle but not as lean as a bodybuilder or fitness athlete. The reason is simple: the more cardio you do, the more your body will wonder why it needs to carry such muscle weight. So, it will try to eliminate these unnecessary muscles. This is what happens in marathon runners, cyclists, and long-distance athletes. Of course, nutritional intake also plays a role, but long workouts with moderate efforts are more likely to stimulate overall fat loss rather than cutting.

On the other hand, let's not forget that it's the muscle that uses fats as fuel. So, the more muscle you have, the more fat you will burn.

So, a balance between strength training and cardio is necessary to effectively cut. It's the best solution: weight training + Cardio

Which cardio ?

Many specialists have debated their views on cardio: some think it's better before training, others after; some believe cardio should remain at 60% of heart rate, while others think you can increase heart rate.

What about it? Let's ask the right questions.

What fuel in the muscle do we want to eliminate by doing cardio? Fats, of course.

If we start with cardio.

When do fats start to be used by the muscle? Generally, about twenty minutes after the start of muscular effort. We know that the muscle starts by using intramuscular ATP (adenosine triphosphate) during the first few seconds of muscle contraction. When ATP reserves are depleted, intramuscular creatine takes over. Then, the carbohydrates present in the muscle are used as fuel for up to 15 or 20 minutes after the start of exercise, and finally, fats are utilized.

For any muscle contraction, any exercise, it will always be this way. This would also mean that if you start your session with cardio, you will deplete the ATP, creatine, and sugars present in your muscle. The same goes if you start your session with weightlifting.

This would logically mean that if you start your session with cardio, when you move on to weightlifting afterward, your reserves of ATP, creatine, and intramuscular sugar would be depleted! And yet, that's the type of energy you need for a good weightlifting session.

If we start with weightlifting.

On the other hand, if you start your training with weightlifting, you will quickly deplete your cells of their ATP, creatine, and carbohydrates. It would therefore be logical that fats are burned more quickly during cardio.

Training intensity.

Another preconceived idea about cardio training involves the intensity of the workout.

Very often, you'll hear that effective cardio should be moderate to target fat reserves. It's true that since fat is used by the muscle after 20 minutes of effort, as we discussed earlier, it would make sense to do longer cardio sessions that are necessarily less intense.

On the other hand, to restore ATP, creatine, and intramuscular carbohydrate levels to their normal levels before exercise, the body also needs energy, and the more depleted the reserves are, the more it will need. This need for energy will also mobilize fats.

Exactly, it would be reasonable to say that the more intense the cardio effort, the more calories you will consume. Therefore, higher intensity efforts (sometimes also called HIIT) may directly consume fewer fats but more during the post-exercise recovery phase.

Attention, cardio is not warm-up !

Absolutely, warming up is crucial regardless of whether you're in a cutting or bulking phase. It shouldn't be intense but rather aim to mobilize the joints and tendons to prevent injuries. It's an essential part of any workout routine.

That's a great practical approach to gauge the intensity of your cardio workout. It's true that being able to hold a conversation comfortably during cardio might indicate that the intensity is not high enough to effectively challenge your cardiovascular system. Increasing the intensity until you feel slightly breathless and your heart rate is elevated is a good way to ensure you're getting the most out of your cardio session. If you have a heart rate monitor, you can use it to monitor your heart rate and adjust the intensity accordingly.

Examples :

We could define a good cutting workout session in this way:

  • Cardio warm-up for 10 minutes
  • Joint, tendon (flexibility), and abdominal warm-up (4 sets)
  • Localized warm-up (exercise for the muscle you're going to work on) - 2 sets
  • 4 sets of 10-12 reps, multi-joint exercise
  • 4 sets of 10-12 reps, multi-joint exercise
  • 4 sets of 12-15 reps, isolation exercise

Of course, muscles like the biceps are difficult to work in multi-joint exercises, and this is just an example. At the beginning of your cutting phase, take advantage of having plenty of energy to perform more challenging workouts.

The best sport to lose fat ?

It's always a matter of calories burned. The best sport is the one that allows you to burn more calories. Let's still ask the question: do we burn more calories running than cycling?

According to many sports magazines, yes. However, none of these magazines mention the intensity that will be put into each of these activities. It is certain that a professional cyclist will burn more calories in 30 minutes than a casual jogger during the same period of time.

So, what matters is not so much the sport you do but the intensity you put into practicing it. The best sport for you is therefore the one in which you can invest yourself the most!

Our advice !

Don't hold back your efforts, give it your all. Push yourself to failure in each of your sets, without ever thinking about saving yourself for the next set. You'll feel your limits yourself, don't impose any on your body.

Sometimes, you may experience feelings of dizziness. That's your body's way of telling you it's not agreeing with something. Sit down, wait for it to pass, and the further you progress in your cutting phase, the less often you'll experience these sensations. They're nothing more than minor hypoglycemic episodes caused by the lack of sugars in your body. It's also your body's way of reminding you that it doesn't like changing its habits. Once these habits become ingrained, it won't protest anymore.

There's no special "recipe" for training specifically for cutting, except "Give it your all!"

Nutritional program.

Lose weight.

Nothing is easier than losing weight. The only difficult thing is making the decision to do it.

If you have a lot of weight to lose, it's often because you turn to food at the slightest problem. This means you have one more problem: your weight and the health issues that come with it. In this case, you need help. It won't be possible to do it alone. Some associations or groups offer diets where you can eat a little bit of everything but in limited quantities. This can be helpful initially. When you want to go further, you'll need to evolve. But you need to be supported.

If you only have a few kilos to lose, which probably come from occasional restaurant indulgences, outings, or a lack of exercise, you don't have much to do other than avoid unhealthy food and excessive portions. It's certain that a minimum amount of exercise will help you achieve your goals.

Basically, to lose weight, you just need to eat as little as possible.

To cut.

There is a big difference between cutting and losing weight. Cutting means losing only fat and as little muscle as possible. And that's actually what many people would like because it looks good in the mirror.

However, cutting will require greater discipline and organization.

But controlling your diet is the only sustainable long-term solution.

How to cut ?

If it's not possible to naturally gain muscle mass without gaining some fat, then when losing fat, there's a risk of losing some muscle as well. However, it's important to try to minimize muscle loss because muscle is what burns fat. So, the more muscle you have, the more calories you'll burn. Fat being an energy reserve (calories), you'll have a better chance of burning it if you lose less muscle mass.

How to do it ?

Your basal metabolism is key. If you consume the same number of calories that you expend, your weight won't change. If your calorie intake exceeds your expenditure, you'll gain weight. However, if your diet contains fewer calories than you consume, you'll lose weight.

Be careful though! If you provide too few calories to your body, instead of tapping into its reserves, it may react poorly, opting for long-term safety and eliminating parts of your body that require energy, namely muscle. However, this isn't desirable since muscle is what burns fat. If you have less muscle, you'll burn less fat.

So, your calorie intake should be slightly below your basal metabolic rate, but not too much.

What is the right value ?

Each person is different, based on their body type, lifestyle, job, stress level, and other factors, so it's important to start with a specific calorie baseline.

How to quantify the start of my diet ?

You take a piece of paper and you write down everything you eat in a normal day: the foods and also the quantity for each meal. You note any weekend indulgences, beverages, etc. Once you've written everything down, you look up the number of calories for each food item (you can easily find this on the internet). You add up all the meals for the day and you know how many calories you consume on average per day.

Now, look at the result this eating pattern has on your body: Are you gaining weight? Are you putting on fat? Are you losing weight?

Based on this, you take a number slightly below (maximum 200 calories) and now you know the number of calories your body needs to start cutting.

Building your diet.

Once you have the total number of calories for your diet, you must now plan each meal. In each of these meals, you should include proteins, carbohydrates, and, to a lesser extent, fats.


Concerning proteins, you must first determine the amount your body needs. At this point, you need to assess whether you are an athlete or sedentary.

If you are sedentary, you can start with 1 gram per kilogram of body weight. If you are a strength athlete, you can go up to 3 grams. You will then need to divide the protein intake you have defined into at least 6 meals (it can be more depending on the caloric intake you need).

Example :

Let's take an example: you are a man, athletic, who trains 5 times a week in weightlifting. You weigh 85 kilograms and you are 1.70 meters tall. You are 38 years old. Your abs are not visible and your goal is to see them. You have roughly calculated your caloric intake and currently consume 3200 calories per day. But on weekends, you indulge a bit when going out, which results in a slight abdominal bulge, but not excessive.

So we will start around 3000 calories. But of course, we will eliminate the weekend excesses and the snacks in front of the TV in the evening.

You estimate that you need 2.8 grams per kilogram of body weight because you don't want to go to the maximum or drop too low. So, you need 2.8 x 85, which is 238 grams of protein. You divide these 238 grams by 6, which equals 39.6 grams per meal.

Is it really important to keep the same amount of protein in each meal? Not particularly. Meals like breakfast or the one just after the workout will be more conducive to protein assimilation than a snack, for example.

But the total should reach approximately 238 grams without too much imbalance between meals. Once the quantity is decided, you now need to choose the quality.

What proteins ?
  • White meats
  • Lean cheeses
  • Egg whites
  • Protein shakes
  • Fish
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Lean beef
  • Legumes

Based on your preferences, choose the foods you prefer while calculating the protein and calorie intake. Now, you need to add carbohydrates. Opt for carbohydrates with a low glycemic index. In other words, slow sugars:

  • White or whole grain pasta (depending on the individual)
  • White or whole grain rice (depending on the individual)
  • Quinoa
  • Oat flakes or cereals
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Rice or corn cakes
  • Wholemeal bread

For each meal, you will include carbohydrates as well as greens (fruits and vegetables). As for fats, first see how many are provided by the diet you have assembled. If the calorie count is lower than what you had planned, you may consider adding omega-3 and omega-6 fats. If you are just meeting your calorie target, don't add anything extra. However, right after your workout, you can consume fast-digesting sugars: dates, honey, figs, sweetened drinks, candy, etc.

Once you have constructed your diet with its 6 meals, including your post-workout meal with its fast-digesting sugars, you are ready to begin your progress.

Change your diet when necessary!

WARNING! This diet is a starting point! It will be effective as long as you see progress. You should monitor your progress every week or every 15 days. Whenever you hit a plateau, you'll need to decrease your calorie intake gradually to avoid losing too much muscle. You can also follow a diet with two or three different calorie levels. This will give your body a boost on higher-calorie days and help it adjust to lower-calorie days, preventing it from becoming accustomed to a routine.

Duration of a cutting phase.

It's certain that results won't be immediately visible. Don't look in the mirror every day, and don't step on the scale daily either. Significant changes won't occur overnight, and doing so might discourage you. Instead, evaluate progress once a week or every 15 days using objective criteria such as weight, measurements, and body fat percentage with an appropriate caliper.

The duration of the cutting phase will primarily depend on you! You can continue as long as you're not satisfied and are willing to keep putting in the effort. However, generally, a competition cut can last from 3 to 6 months if the athlete isn't in too poor condition.

Difference Women-Men ?

Women tend to accumulate fat more around the hips and buttocks, while men tend to have more fat around the abdominal area. Generally, it's easier for men to lose fat due to the higher presence of testosterone in their bodies. However, the principles remain the same: providing the body with slightly fewer calories than its usual daily requirements.

Female hormones still play a role, and water retention is a more significant factor in women. It's actually more challenging to eliminate subcutaneous water from tissues than fat itself. Therefore, getting a blood test at the beginning of your diet will alert you to any deficiencies and difficulties you may encounter: an abnormal level of aldosterone can hinder you from achieving a well-defined look. Make sure to check.

Foods prohibited.

Basically, anything that falls under the category of processed food is prohibited during a diet and even more so during a cutting phase. Naturally, indulging in grandma's delicious buttery dishes is also off-limits.


They are to be avoided unless you make your own sauce from vegetables, herbs, and low-fat yogurt. Just make sure to include it in your daily calorie intake.

Sodas and fruit juices.

They are also to be avoided. Most of them contain added sugars. As for fruit juices, they are assimilated much faster than a whole fruit with its pulp. Diet sodas do not contain sugars, but artificial sweeteners. However, they also have an effect on your body. They may stimulate water retention in some individuals. Some also say that they stimulate your craving for sugar, but this isn't true for everyone. When you're craving sugar, the psychological aspect plays a significant role. You may think you need sugar and constantly think about it. If an occasional small can of diet soda can help you, it might be worth it and prevent you from giving in to cravings.


It should, of course, be avoided, except immediately after training. Apart from that moment, especially avoid consuming it. If you're addicted to sugar, chocolate, or pastries, the first 15 days can be critical. You'll need to break the habit, and it may not be easy. Afterward, your craving will pass. To help you in your battle, a small intake of chrome can assist you.

Dairy products.

Whole milk contains 3.5% saturated fat, while skim milk contains 0.5%. However, both contain essential nutrients such as calcium, vitamins B2 and B12, and most importantly, protein. It would be a shame to miss out on these nutrients, especially considering that skim milk contains fewer calories than whole milk. Milk has often been criticized for allegedly thickening the skin. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this theory. No study has ever proven it. Yet, many competitors avoid milk, believing it will make them appear leaner on stage. However, this elimination usually only occurs in the last months of preparation. The downside of this trend is that the athletes' social media posts about cutting out milk may influence amateur athletes who are not competing to avoid milk all year round. It's a bit like if your idol did a handstand every morning, and in an effort to become as strong as them in sports, you felt compelled to do the same. It's not really related.

Trends heavily influence athletes through social media. Milk has not been well-regarded lately, leading many to eliminate it from their diets. However, this presents a potential drawback: your body produces a specific protein, lactase, to digest milk. If you stop consuming milk, your body may eventually stop producing lactase, leading to lactose intolerance. Some scientists believe lactose digestion is encoded in DNA, which may explain the growing number of lactose intolerant individuals. Who is right? Perhaps there's some truth to both perspectives.

Margarine and butter.

Many advertisements promote margarines as more effective replacements for traditional butter. However, margarines are originally made from hydrogenated oils, which contain trans fatty acids. These fatty acids are very harmful to cholesterol levels, despite what advertisements may claim. Butter does not contain trans fats but does have higher levels of saturated fats, which are also detrimental to healthy cholesterol levels. Butter is natural, while margarine is highly processed. Butter stimulates the male hormone.

So, what to choose? If you're embarking on a cutting phase, neither. Not because they're inherently bad, but because they're calorically dense. If you consume these products, you'll need to cut back on more substantial items to maintain the same caloric intake. Currently, margarine manufacturers are striving to minimize trans fats in their products, which is a significant improvement compared to a few years ago. However, it still provides too many calories to be worthwhile for our purposes.

If your goal is just weight loss, opt for oils in your cooking: olive oil is a good choice, rapeseed oil has a good balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and there's also sunflower oil, grape seed oil, walnut oil, among others.

However, palm oil and coconut oil are excessively rich in saturated fat and therefore less healthy for the body, contrary to what current advertisements may advocate.

Light foods.

If you want to stay serious and follow your diet correctly, it's preferable to prepare your own food rather than relying on industries. Light products are often well advertised, but I advise you to carefully check the labels before consuming such products. Many of them contain an excess of salt or sugar. While some are acceptable on a diet, others should really be avoided. For example, "light" Camembert contains ONLY 11% fat... So, take the time to control what you buy!


They contain protein, vitamins, but often a lot of calories. While you can include 0% cottage cheese in a weight loss or cutting diet, hard cheeses should be avoided, and other types of cheese should be avoided or limited. Their calorie content is significant and may not easily fit into a diet without sacrificing other essential foods needed for your body's progress.


Alcohol should be avoided in any diet! It only provides empty calories and even disrupts the proper functioning of your intake of sugars and proteins. Not to mention the side effects of excess consumption, of course. You may have also heard that red wine is good for health. In fact, it's the tannins in red wine that are beneficial. However, the alcohol it contains offsets the level of the wine's beneficial effects with an equal level of negative effects. So, if you're on a diet: NO ALCOHOL!

The discharge-recharge.

This concept is only used for athletes competing in bodybuilding or fitness competitions. The goal is to remove water from the tissues to achieve a more defined appearance during the final week of preparation.


Then, we will undergo a 3-day depletion phase, which involves almost completely eliminating carbohydrates (10% of caloric intake), increasing protein intake, ensuring higher hydration, and adding salt.

This maneuver will deplete your body's glycogen stores, especially since you'll continue training (with long sets and circuits). Additionally, your body will start to get rid of excess water. The salt will help retain some of the water in the subcutaneous tissues.


During the recharging period, we increase carbohydrates to 90% of the daily caloric intake, eliminate salt, and gradually reduce water intake until reaching a minimum on the day of the competition. Carbohydrates require water for metabolism, but you provide only a small amount to your body. Therefore, it will utilize the available subcutaneous water. Without salt to retain water in the tissues, the muscles will draw from this subcutaneous water. After depleting carbohydrates for 3 days, the body will overcompensate and "inflate" the muscles with the provided carbohydrates. A successful recharge results in well-filled muscles.

Losing weight is therefore quite simple with a bit of determination. However, undergoing a "cutting" phase is a more delicate maneuver, requiring more determination, more seriousness, and can also last longer.

Required dietary supplements and vitamins.

Many supplements can assist you when you want to cut. However, always pay close attention to their calorie content. You'll need to consider this in your diet. Also, check if they contain fast sugars; in that case, they should be avoided (except after training, of course).

Vitamins and minerals.

When eliminating elements from our diet, we generally try to remove those that are most harmful to our progress. However, as an athlete, we continue to consume more of these than an ordinary individual. Therefore, supplementation with vitamins and minerals is very important to ensure all cellular chemical reactions and allow our body to evolve in the right way.


It's not always easy to manage the logistics of eating 5 to 8 meals per day. Protein powders allow for a significant protein intake without having to spend several hours in the kitchen. However, it's not a product that should be demonized or praised excessively, as some like to do. It's simply milk protein with a good taste, sometimes egg protein, or for vegans, pea protein.

Fat burners.

Fat burners are an important aid during a diet. They help muscles tap into fat stores throughout the day or during training, and sometimes even at night.

Some fat burners have a thermogenic action, which increases the basal metabolism, while others interact with the transportation or utilization of available metabolites for the muscles.


L-Carnitine is a substance that transports fats into the cell. It significantly improves fat burning by facilitating their transportation.

It should be taken just before exertion. If it's in capsule form, about 45 minutes before the effort, if it's in liquid form, 10 minutes before the effort will be sufficient.

When you take carnitine before exercise, you may sweat more than usual.


As food intake decreases, so does the intake of BCAA (Branched-Chain Amino Acids). Therefore, it's important to add a BCAA supplement. These amino acids cannot be synthesized by the body and must come from an external source.

Hormonal stimulants.

During a dietary restriction, the intake of saturated fats is greatly limited. However, these are stimulants for male hormones. Therefore, it's beneficial to add a hormonal stimulant such as Tribulus Terrestris or a natural testosterone booster product.

The growth hormone can also be stimulated by supplementation with NO or AAKG, which also stimulates muscle development and fat loss.

Meal ideas.

The konjac.

When you feel like your stomach is never full with your diet, and you're constantly hungry, konjac can be an interesting solution.

It's a food that comes from a plant cultivated in Asia and is available here in the form of 0% rice or 0% pasta. It helps increase the volume of your meal without significantly increasing the calories. Konjac contains 3 calories per 100 grams.

Cold dish.

When you don't have the opportunity to heat up your food, you need to plan a dish that you can eat cold and that you can store in a refrigerator to keep it fresh.

  • Take a can of tuna (125 g, 158 Calories)
  • One red bell pepper (130 g, 27 Calories)
  • 6 cherry tomatoes (60 g, 20 Calories)
  • 2 egg whites (66 g, 34 Calories)
  • Some chives (10 g, 3 Calories)
  • Some parsley (10 sprigs, 3.6 Calories)
  • Some white rice (50 g, 175 Calories)

This will make an excellent meal for you, with only 361 calories, but 35 grams of protein, 46 grams of carbohydrates, and 3.8 grams of fat.

Of course, this is just an example, and you can adjust the quantity of different ingredients you want to include in your meal, but it's quite appetizing for a cutting meal.

Common mistakes to avoid.

Not changing your diet.

Try to vary your foods to introduce different sources of proteins and carbohydrates to your body.

When you're no longer losing weight, when your body isn't moving anymore, it means you need to change something in your diet. You've hit a plateau. Either you decrease your calories (especially carbohydrates), or you increase your cardio (increasing the intensity of your workout is harder during cutting).

Not checking your progress.

If you blindly dive in, only looking at your mirror, you may progress, but you may also become discouraged because you don't see the progress. It's normal not to see progress when you see yourself every day. The day-to-day change is so minimal that you won't be able to see it. Instead, it will be others who will tell you that you have changed.

The best way to be sure is to take your measurements every 15 days. Some coaches do this very well. Otherwise, you can ask someone to measure you regularly. Caution! Try to have the same person do it every time; they will take your measurements in the same way.

This way, you will see your progress, you will quickly notice when you need to change your calorie intake, and therefore, you will progress faster.

Lack of organization.

If you have to eat 6 times a day and if you take the time to prepare each meal, you might end up spending more time in the kitchen than at the gym. Prepare your meals once a week and store them in Tupperwares in the fridge.

All fats have the same calorie content.

There are good and bad fats, as we've seen, but whether you eat butter or olive oil, it will always be the same number of calories per 100 g: around 800 calories.

Don't think that if you consume good fats, it won't have an impact on your cutting phase!

Yves Bondroit, coach for QNT.

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