Eat More Protein
Protein is the most satiating macronutrient. In addition to leaving you feeling fuller longer, increased protein intake will also help you keep muscle mass when you’re lowering your caloric intake. Basically, it’ll allow you to pack on the gains even when slimming down.
Eat protein every four hours
Frequent, relatively equal-portioned protein feedings are key to optimizing protein synthesis. “Frequent” doesn’t meant “nonstop.” Spread your protein intake out so you are getting at least 20-50 g (depending on necessity) every four hours in order to maximize protein synthesis.
Make green, leafy vegetables your friend
Green leafy vegetables are loaded with nutrients, but not calories. As an added bonus, they keep your body functioning at an optimal level by helping you maintain your system’s acid/base balance. When you’re in your cutting phase, make it a point to have green vegetables at every main meal.
Save starches for after your workout
Low glycemic carbohydrates such as green vegetables, fruits, and beans should make up the bulk of your carbohydrate intake, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid starches completely. Just save them for post-workout consumption. Simple carbs are critical for the recovery and muscle-growth process because, after crushing heavy weight, your body is severely depleted of both glucose (usable energy) and glycogen (stored energy). This is the time to consume high-glycemic carbs (with an index of 70 and above).
Eat for volume
Eating foods that are high in volume but not calories (nutrient-dense not calorie-dense) will keep you full but not fat. Cabbage, spinach, lettuce, and broccoli are great foods you can eat in high volume without feeling like you’ve maxed out on your daily calorie quota. Looking for something in the animal (instead of vegetable) camp? Look no further than the almighty egg. Egg whites expand a lot if you beat them long enough. They’ll make you feel like you are eating a lot more calories than you are.
Drink more water
Dehydration makes you physically and mentally tired. When you’re feeling a little parched—a sign that you might already be experiencing dehydration—ditch room temperature H2O and grab a glass of cold water. Drinking cold water has a slight thermogenic effect, allowing you to burn extra calories while you hydrate.
Cut out unplanned snacks
Calories from unplanned snacking can add up quickly and can wreak havoc on your fat-loss goals. The message is pretty simple: If you didn’t plan on it, DON’T EAT IT.
Make meal prep for the week
Whether you’re cutting or bulking, meal prep is an essential part to any fitness journey. Eat regularly, don’t skip meals, and keep a food journal. A good food log helps monitor progress so you can make accurate adjustments to better meet your fitness goals. Writing things down will also help to keep you accountable and could lead you to snack less.
Pump up the protein
Consuming adequate protein—roughly 30 percent of your daily calories—is so important that I had to include it twice!
Remove nutritional vices
Keeping that half-eaten bag of chips in the kitchen cupboard won’t help you resist temptation. Why unnecessarily test your will power? Clear all the chips, sugary drinks, ice cream, and other processed goodies from your kitchen. If it’s not there, you can’t eat it.