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How to calculate calories for a mini cut

Posted by Ben Disseldorp in Muscle Building

Estimated reading time: 4mins

How to calculate calories for a mini cut

What is a mini cut?

The mini cut is an aggressive style of dieting that drastically reduces calories for a few short weeks (usually 4-6 weeks).

The aim of a mini cut is to enable an individual to maintain leanness with the main goal of putting on muscle over a longer period of time.

Instead of cutting cycles that are longer in nature, mini cuts will allow you to get back into a calorie surplus quicker to enable you more time to put on muscle.

Once your body has gone through this mini cut phase it will be primed to start putting on muscle optimally.

Who fits a mini cut?

  • Anyone whose long term goal is to gain muscle mass at the most optimal rate.
  • Anyone who is reasonably lean already, but has become a bit fluffy during a bulking cycle.

A basic guide to mini cutting

A mini cut will see you drop in to a 30% deficit on your current total calories.

For example, if you are currently consuming 3000 calories daily you will need to reduce calories by 900 calories and only consume 2100 calories a day

The aim is for a 1% body weight loss each week. However, in the first few weeks, you can lose up to 1.5-2% body weight per week.

How to alter your macros for a mini cut

Protein

A study suggests that the minimum recommendation for an individual while in a calorie deficit is 2.3 g per kg of body weight.

Keeping protein high is essential to maintain muscle mass during this phase and protein is more satiating and will fill you up.

An example of how to apply this is:

Ben is 80kg and needs to eat 2.3g per kg. (184g of protein required). As there are 4 calories per gram of protein, Ben will need 736 calories coming from protein.

The minimum protein recommendation for an individual while in a calorie deficit is 2.3 g per kg of body weight.
The minimum protein recommendation for an individual while in a calorie deficit is 2.3 g per kg of body weight.

Fats

During a mini cut fats should be minimised, but not below what is needed for hormonal function. You need to make sure you are consuming all your required fatty acids.

This can be done by supplementing with fish oil capsules. I would recommend aiming for 15% of your calories coming from fats.

An example of how to apply this is:

Ben is in a 900 calorie deficit consuming 2100 calories daily and should consume 46g of fat per day. As there are 9 calories in each gram of fat that would equal:
315 calories divided by (9 calories per 1g of fat) = 35 grams of fats.

So far Ben is consuming 184g of protein (736 calories) + 35g of Fats (315 calories) this equates to 1051 calories. Ben’s overall calorie intake is 2100.

The suggested fats recommendation for an individual while in a calorie deficit is about 15% of total caloric intake.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates will fill the remainder of the calculation.

Ben's overall calorie intake is 2100.

2100 – 1051 calories (Protein and Fat) = 1049 calories left for carbohydrates.

As carbohydrates contain 4 calories per 1 gram of carbohydrate = 1049 divided by 4 = 262g of carbohydrates.

After calculating proteins and fats, carbohydrates will make up the remaining calories in your mini cut.
After calculating proteins and fats, carbohydrates will make up the remaining calories in your mini cut.

Ben's final macronutrient breakdown

  • 184g of Protein
  • 35g of Fats
  • 262g of Carbohydrates

In adopting the mini cut you will be well on your way to continue with your main goal of gaining muscle!

Looking for a different kind of cut? Check out these posts

Bulk Nutrients Product Categories to support a Mini Cut

Bulk Nutrients Products to support a Mini Cut

References:

  1. Helms, E., Zinn, C., Rowlands, D. and Brown, S., 2014. A Systematic Review of Dietary Protein During Caloric Restriction in Resistance Trained Lean Athletes: A Case for Higher Intakes. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, [online] 24(2), pp.127-138. Available at: A Systematic Review of Dietary Protein During Caloric Restriction in Resistance Trained Lean Athletes: A Case for Higher Intakes.

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