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EricT 01-24-2008 01:02 PM

BEER Cutting Versus Fatloss
Just had a thought.

I don't know if the title of this gets the idea across though.

I was looking through the cutting sticky and toward the end of it comments and questions pertaining to the appropriateness of "cutting" and the difference between what cutting is and what is appropriate for an out of shape and more (or severely) overweight person. I've brought this up before and I think it is really important. We've never really had an in depth discussion of it. BUT it is not something I think is generally well understood. I see everyone and their mother having too much fat and talking about cutting. I noticed that nobody but me had any reaction to the question and yet I am NOT the most knowledgable here in this area.

I know a lot of this has been said all over the forum but it would be very difficult for people to find and get at. About the only thing we have is the cutting thread and, IMO, that ain't cutting it for everyone, as great as it is for cutting :)

So if people will get involved in this I think we can come up with the right questions as we go along. So I'll start with the most basic. According to your opinion or understanding:

1. What is cutting and what is fat loss? How do we know when to utilize one or the other.

(I know this may seem basic to many of you but it is not basic to someone knew to this and just beginning to research.)

IronKitten 01-24-2008 03:04 PM

Did you add the BEER part for more views and participation? :biglaugh:

I've got some thoughts on this... I'll get a response cooked up when I have a few more minutes.

EricT 01-24-2008 03:39 PM

Haha, I figured Boob Cutting might not come off very good.

Thanks, IK..I thought you might have some thoughts.

TALO 01-24-2008 05:46 PM

Just off the top of my head.

Right now I am trying to loose some fat. While in the past I have done a cutting diet. THe only difference that I can see is the types of food you would eat.

While on a cutting diet, the fat intake was next to zero. Meaning chicken and fish for main protein source. With rice,potatoes,oatmeal as the main source for carbs...with a shit load of vegtables. Calories were about 2500

For a fat loss. (there are a few different types) depending on how heavy (FAT) a person is. But for myself it is more of a balance of protein, fat, carbs. Carbs do change depending on if I'm working out or off, then every 7th day a refeed day is in effect. ie; 200 (training days) 100 non training days, 350 for a refeed day. Protein stays at 250g/day. Total calories very also, 2600, 2300, 3300.

I think is someone is very heavy (fat) they would benifit from a very low carb diet. Then there are TCD also... Can't say much about these.

hrdgain81 01-25-2008 07:23 AM

IMO the main differences are your starting point, and your goals.

Cutting to me would mean you are already in shape, have a relatively low bodyfat level, and wish to get down to "competition" shape. Primary goals are to trim off bodyfat and keep your hard earned muscle mass. This process can be slow and frustrating as those two goals compete with each other, and getting down past 10% bf is not easy to begin with.

Fatloss on the other hand could denote many different situations. If your completely out of shape, fatloss could simply be walking for 20 minutes every other night, or a change in eating habits. On the other end of the spectrum, you could be in great shape and have a decent diet, but your just holding on to a few extra lbs, and you need to tweak your routine a bit to get the look you want.

IronKitten 01-25-2008 08:35 AM

Here's my take on the differences between the two:


People who are on or are in need of 'fat loss' are those who have little to no exercise background, have higher BF levels with little lean body mass, and need to strip down size before even attempting or worrying about increasing muscle.


There are many phases to go through when doing a fat loss diet. But overall, it mainly comes down to an individual needing to learn WHAT to eat, and also portion control. Most people that need a fat loss diet are people that have little nutritional knowledge, and generally have over eaten for a period of time. So it's more about 'smarter' choices with their food. Which after time, they can move into a more advanced calorie and macro tracking program to further their progress.


Since individuals in need of fat loss programs tend to be the more sedentary type, cardio is a must. Generally it entails just getting out and doing SOMETHING on a regular basis. Burn some calories.


Lifting for these programs is essentially an extra spur in the calorie burning process. Maintaining what muscle is already there is a plus, but it's not always a main point for the program. These people aren't always familiar with lifting, so they tend to start off with what the more advanced lifter would consider fluff work. Reps tend to fall in the mid to high range. It tends to be a familiarization with the gym, the movements, the form, all that fun stuff.


'Cutting' is for the individual that already has a decent muscle base, is more experienced in lifting, and has a body fat that is already lower by 'average' standards. These people are wanting to 'lean out' to show more definition in the muscle they've already built.


The cutting diet is much more precise. Calories and macros are tracked tightly. And the macro amounts are based more on preserving the muscle rather than just being in a caloric deficit.

(And I'm going to disagree with TALO on the 'no fat' approach to cutting. I've done both ways, with fats and without, and I feel that keeping some fats in there helps in a lot of ways. But, it IS based on the individual)


Being that people who are cutting can't make drastic cuts in the caloric intake (due to the fact that they can only go so low with them, and there's the issue of preserving muscle still), cardio is the main way to add in a little extra calorie burning when needed. But this should still be kept to a minimum. Losing fat through 'cutting' should primarily be done through diet (again, with the muscle sparing... too much cardio compromises the muscle mass).


Overall training volume is reduced slightly due to the caloric restriction (to avoid over training and compromising recovery time), but emphasis still remains on doing compound movements, and working in both strength and hypertrophy ranges (with the occasional fluff rep ranges depending on the program). Continuing to lift regularly while cutting is important because... it's muscle sparing! (noticing a trend here? :biglaugh:)

ChinPieceDave667 01-25-2008 10:20 AM

^^^ IK pretty much said what I was thinking.

Just as a side note. I think the term "cutting" is just getting too much use and it is losing it's real meaning, which Hrdgain and IK have both stated in their own way. Not only that but people new to lifting see the word Cutting and just start using it not knowing the difference, which just perpetuates itself.

IronKitten 01-25-2008 11:02 AM


Originally Posted by ChinPieceDave667 (Post 47184)
Just as a side note. I think the term "cutting" is just getting too much use and it is losing it's real meaning, which Hrdgain and IK have both stated in their own way. Not only that but people new to lifting see the word Cutting and just start using it not knowing the difference, which just perpetuates itself.


There's a lot of confusion with the terminology used in this field, especially with people that are fairly new to all of this. A lot of newer people see the term 'cutting' and they think it simply means, 'cut the fat.'

EricT 01-25-2008 11:58 AM

Awesome. Thanks for the great answers.

That is precisely what I was thinking. But unfortunately I rarely see individuals who know better pointing out the difference so that the confusion doesn't arise. I have seen overweight guys come on this forum and be told to "cut". That kind of thing has to stop.

How many people are referred to the cutting sticky on a weekly basis? And how many of them is it appropriate for?

So this leads me to my next question.

Given the definition you guys gave of cutting as that done by someone already in shape, with low bf% who wants to lean out for a comp or other reason, why are people who "want to get big" continually advised to cut and bulk. Some people, of course will want to lean out for the beach, etc, but what I want to know is that why are people being given the message that perpetually gaining and 'cutting fat' is a way to get huge, especially for the natural bodybuilder. What is the value of this for getting big? Some science to this would be great.

I just read a natural bodybuilder and 'writer', in an article about cutting and bulking, explaining why everyone needed to cut and bulk to get huge. His premise being that without steroids this was the only way to go. This struck me as slightly ludicruous since is is precisely steroids that are needed to ramp up protein utilization beyond a certain set point for an individual. Now, I'm not questioning the need to cut when appropriate and the need to eat (for God's sake) but I want to know why this endless cycle of what seems like yo-yo dieting is continually advised.

To further understand my reasoning let me say that it obviously also goes into this misuse and overuse of the term 'cutting'. An individual told to cut and bulk believes that they need to get their bodyfat down to single digits as a prerequesite to then bulk and be able to gain..regardless of their esthetic goals at the time. Even though the guy giving the advice may not actually mean precisely this.

I am not saying you can avoid putting on fat. What I am saying is that people are almost being told that putting on fat is anabolic. That is what it comes down to. You can talk around it but that is what it is. If you tell someone that eating beyond a certain point has some sort of magical anabolic effect, then you are telling them that gaining fat has a magical anabolic effect.

If a person is at 8 percent bodyfat then gaining fat will be anabolic. But most people given this advice are at average to healthy bf% if not higher. I know most of us here alude to what I'm saying when giving individual advice but I wanted to put it in a dedicated thread.

Darkhorse 01-25-2008 12:06 PM

Cutting: SLOW

Fat Loss: FAST

:D Simple as shit!

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