The 6-Week Cut Diet: Guidelines On How & What To Do

A 6-week cut seems like a short amount of time to get shredded, but it’s doable.

a split image of a sprinter and a shredded bodybuilder

You’ve probably read so many articles about getting shredded that you’re most likely thinking that you’ve already heard it all. False. There’s always something else to learn about out there.

I should note this early on: the 6-week cut diet program is not meant for someone with a body fat percentage higher than 12%. This approach to getting shredded will not take someone from 20% body fat to 5-8% in 6 weeks.

However, if your body fat percentage ranges in the 8-12 area, then you’re welcome to give this thing a go and see where you end up, which should be lower than 6% if you’re closer to an 8% body fat level.

a bodybuilder agonizing in pain during workout

On the other hand, if the strategies of this diet are approached for an extended duration of time, then the individual with a body fat percentage close to 20 will be able to lower it down to a sub-10% body fat level.

The 6-Week Cut Diet

As mentioned above, this isn’t a shortcut for the individual with a body fat percentage bordering at 20%. This is a “quick shred” program for the individual who is already at a low level of body fat.

Ideally, the 6-week cut diet is for someone who only has a little time to prepare for a photo shoot or wants to get really lean, really quickly.

Six weeks is more than enough time for someone to lean down by a substantial amount, provided that they’re in the low body fat ranges.

The 6-week cut program is built around carb cycling and intense workout sessions. Therefore, a low carb diet will be followed for the duration of the 6 week period.

What is Carb Cycling?

If you’ve never done car cycling before, then it’s time that you gave it a try.

As the name suggests, carb cycling is the process in which you cycling your carbs. In this case, it’s a cycle of consuming a diet that is either low or free from any carbohydrate sources for a few days in succession, followed by a day or two that includes the intake of carbs.

a picture containing various sources of carbs

By incorporating carb cycling into your nutritional plan, you’re putting your body in a state of ketosis. With ketosis at play, you’ll be able to enjoy an accelerated experience of fat loss occurrence.

Which brings us to…

5 Rules to Optimizing Fat Loss

As with most things in life, to reach a certain degree of success with anything that you do, there are a set of rules that you need to follow — be it the rules of success or personal rules that you’ve set up for yourself in order to achieve your goals.

In this case, it is the rules of success or the rules of fat loss. Without having these 5 rules present, your fat loss achievements won’t be as great as you would have liked or imagined for yourself.

If you manage to hit each of these 5 rules, then you’ll be able to experience and enjoy the benefits of accelerated fat loss. On the other hand, if you miss one or two of the rules, your results will suffer and pay the price for it.

The 5 rules to optimizing fat loss are:

  1. Increase lipolysis (the breakdown of fatty acids into free fatty acids to use for energy via ketosis)
  2. Decrease lipogenesis (the accumulation of fat in the body by keeping to a strict macronutrient count)
  3. Burn the free fatty acids from the lipolysis through intense exercise
  4. Maintain as much muscle tissue as possible
  5. Maintain a high metabolic rate and hormone function

What & What Not to Do

It’s probable that you’ve already read what you’re going to read next. But here’s the thing: it works. When incorporating the instructions below with discipline where keeping track of your calories is concerned, then there’s no doubt that you’ll get the results you’re working for.

a picture with various sources of protein

Here’s what you should be doing for fat loss:

  • Eliminate all bread, grain, flour and gluten-containing products.
  • Eliminate cooking oils that are extracted from vegetables.
  • Cook with healthy fats — coconut oil, butter, animal fats.
  • Replace calories from carbs by consuming more healthy fats like animal fats, coconut milk, butter, cream.
  • Get most, if not all, of your protein from animal sources such as beef, fish, chicken, eggs, venison, etc.
  • Eat when you’re hungry, with the exception of the post-workout meal. Post-workout meals are important for nutrient absorption and growth.
  • Ingest enough Omega-3 fats from quality fish oils.
  • Stop eating or consuming anything containing calories 2 hours before bedtime. This will ensure that blood sugar levels are low before sleeping, allowing for an increase in growth hormone secretion.

The Carb Cycling Process

For this diet, you will follow a carb cycling process that is 3 days low-carb followed by 1-day high-carb.

During the 3 days of low carbohydrate intake, your protein will be at a moderate intake and your fat intake will be relatively high. This will ensure that you still get enough calories in to provide you with enough energy to go about your daily routine.

Your Calories

Before we get started, you will need to know how many calories to consume.

Here are 2 general dietary rules to follow for this shred:

  1. Reducing your caloric intake by 500 calories will be enough to induce fat loss.
  2. Set your protein intake at 1-1.3 grams per pound of body weight.

So, whatever your maintenance caloric intake is right now, you should reduce it by 500 calories for the low carb days. On the high carb days, your caloric intake should be around 250 calories less than your maintenance calories.

If you’ve got that, you can use the example diet below and fill in your own calories and proportions.

Example Diet — Low Carb Days

Upon Waking

  • 15g Whey Isolate
  • 15g Coconut oil

Breakfast (approx. 2 hours later)

  • Whole eggs with cheddar cheese and bacon fried in butter
  • 3g Fish oil
  • Black coffee with cream

Pre-Workout (30-45 minutes)

  • 300-600mg caffeine
  • 15g Whey Isolate
  • 15g Coconut oil

Post-Workout

  • 300mg Caffeine
  • 30-45g Whey isolate/hydrolysate combo
  • 3g Leucine

Post-Workout Meal

  • Chicken breast
  • Steamed green vegetables
  • Salad with virgin olive oil and lemon dressing

Snack

  • Tuna with mayonnaise
  • Steamed green vegetables
  • 5g BCAA’s

Dinner

  • Beef or Turkey
  • Steamed green vegetables
  • Salad with virgin olive oil and lemon dressing

High Carb Days

Upon Waking

  • 15g Whey Isolate
  • 15g Coconut oil

Breakfast (approx. 2 hours later)

  • Whole eggs with bacon
  • 3g Fish oil
  • Black coffee

Pre-Workout (30-45 minutes)

  • 300-600mg caffeine
  • 15g Whey Isolate
  • 15g Coconut oil

Post-Workout

  • 300mg Caffeine
  • 30-45g Whey isolate/hydrolysate combo
  • 3g Leucine
  • 30g Dextrose

Post-Workout Meal

  • Any food that is high in glycemic index, ie. donuts, pizza, fries, Cinnabon, etc. (remember to keep calories in mind)

Snack

  • Greek yogurt with whey protein
  • Fruit
  • Nuts (almonds, pecan, cashews, etc.)

Dinner

  • Beef or Turkey
  • Large salad with virgin olive oil and lemon dressing

Conclusion

In conclusion, this diet doesn’t seem like anything challenging at all, at least not if you’re enthusiastic about it.

a guy showing off his shredded abs

Although, at first, every diet seems easy for the first two weeks, but after that, it becomes more and more tedious and difficult to stick to. But with the inclusion of the high glycemic meal on the high carb day, it’ll give you something to look forward to.

At the end of the day, it’s the results and the end product that should drive you to keep going and pushing through, not a specific meal that you have once a week, although it is a big bonus.

Remember, that there are no shortcuts to getting shredded, at least not naturally. All you can do is put in the work and trust the process.

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