The Ultimate Grocery List For Cutting (Free Printable)


It’s now time to enter your cutting phase after your bulk phase, but you need a great grocery list for your cutting phase to help you shop.

This ultimate grocery list for cutting is designed to help you keep your gains with an emphasis on lower calorie foods with high amounts of protein, great sources of complex carbs, and healthy fats.

Let’s take a look.

Here Is Your Ultimate Grocery List For Cutting After a Bulk

You want the perfect grocery list for cutting after a bulk, because you need to preserve that hard earned muscle.

In this grocery list, there is an emphasis on protein. You absolutely cannot go without an adequate amount of protein in a cutting phase because protein helps to:

  • Preserve muscle mass you just built
  • Aid in cell repair
  • Aid in hormone and enzyme function
  • Boost your metabolism
  • Keep you feeling fuller for longer

You do NOT want to skip out on protein.

You want to aim for 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight at minimum.

If you can get in an amount even higher than this, that’s even better.

The second most important macro group after protein? Carbs.

Carbs are also vital for a cutting phase because you are likely going to continue your lifts during your cutting phase, and carbs will help you perform optimally in the gym by being converted to glycogen to be stored in the muscle and used as energy.

No, you do not need to restrict carbs to shed body fat. Carbs are important for brain and overall bodily function and gaining and preserving muscle.

The third macronutrient is healthy fats. Healthy fats are important for a cutting phase because they will help you feel satiated after meals and help your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins.

So, let’s cut to the chase, here is your cutting grocery list for you to view.

Grocery list for cutting after bulking

You can also print out the printable form by clicking here to take it with you to the grocery store.

Simply open the grocery list PDF, print, and take it with you.

I do want to be clear, there is really no such thing as the perfect “cutting food” or “bulking food” as it really depends on your overall calorie intake and whether you are in a calorie deficit or a calorie surplus.

If you are not in a calorie deficit, you will not burn fat. Plain and simple.

However, some foods are better options over others and contain a far more superior amount of protein and healthy fats.

It is important when cutting to focus on foods that are overall lower calorie and higher volume, but also contain a healthy amount of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.

You might want to read on to learn about the components of this ultimate cutting grocery list and the importance of each.


The first section of the cutting grocery list revolved all around protein sources. Protein is vital in a cutting phase because a healthy amount of protein is going to help you preserve your hard earned muscle.


Your grocery list consists of the following protein sources:


  • Lean Ground Beef (90-97%)
  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Fish such as Tilapia, cod, tuna, or salmon
  • Shellfish such as shrimp, scallops, mussels
  • Lean Pork Loin or Pork Chop
  • Turkey Bacon and Turkey Sausage
  • Ground Turkey or Turkey Breast
  • Preservative free sandwich meats (preferably from the Deli)

Dairy Protein

  • Eggs (whole or just whites)
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Milk
  • Cheese (any variety)
  • Cottage Cheese (low fat)
  • Almond Milk (not dairy milk but a plant-based milk)
  • Whey Protein Powder

Vegetables With Protein

  • Lima Beans
  • Green Peas
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Sweet Corn
  • Asparagus
  • Mushrooms
  • Artichokes
  • Broccoli
  • Frozen Mixer vegetables that you can use in salads
  • Salad Mix


Carbs are essential, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

You need an adequate amount of carbohydrates in your cutting routine to ensure you have the energy to fuel your workouts and continue building muscle.


Your grocery list contains the following carbohydrate sources:

  • Whole Grain Bread
  • Whole Grain Cereal
  • Whole Wheat Pasta (Be mindful of portions)
  • Oats
  • Brown Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat
  • Sweet Potatoes and Regular Potatoes
  • Beans and Legumes such as black beans, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.

Healthy Fruits

  • Bananas
  • Berries such as strawberries or blueberries
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Grapes
  • Pears
  • Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe

Healthy Fats

Not all fats are bad. Healthy fats are important.

Healthy fats are essential for many bodily functions, including hormone production, joint lubrication, nutrient absorption, and triggering amino acids and protein for preserving and building muscle.

avocados on a cutting grocery list

Your cutting grocery list contains the following sources of healthy fats:

  • Olive oil (Extra Virgin)
  • Coconut oil (Extra Virgin)
  • Nuts (Pistachios are a great choice)
  • Nut Butters (Peanut butter Powder such as PB2 to save on calories)
  • Seeds (Pumpkin seeds, Flaxseeds, Chia seeds)
  • Avocados
  • Olives


These extras may not fall into any particular category, but you may want to include them when you go to the grocery store to help you maintain your cutting phase.

These extras are great to include because you will have plenty of extras and snacks for in between meals.

Your grocery list contains the following extras:

  • Protein bars (choose ones low in calories but high in protein)
  • Jerky
  • Dip for Veggies
  • Dried Fruits for snacking
  • Whole grain crackers and low fat cheese
  • SmartPop popcorn or any 100 calorie snack bags such as Baked Lay’s
  • Low calorie Ice Cream (Halo Top, Skinny Cow, etc.)
  • Vinegars such as Apple Cider or Balsamic
  • Salad dressing (ex: Ranch or Vinaigrette)
  • Herbs and Spices for flavor such as salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon, Mrs. Dash, etc.
  • Condiments such as ketchup, mustard, Sugar free BBQ sauce, hot sauce, light mayo, etc.
  • Diet Coke or any diet drinks of your liking
  • Artificial sweeteners such as Stevia

How Much Of A Calorie Deficit For Cutting?

When in a cutting phase, it is a good idea to not start a calorie deficit that is too strict. Instead of aiming for a 500 calorie per day deficit, it is better to start with a deficit of 200-300 calories.

If you start a calorie deficit that is too strict, it is without a doubt you will lose much of your hard earned muscle.

This is due to the fact that the body cannot sustain this muscle in such a low calorie deficit, and it will use some of that muscle for fuel along with fat.

Staying within a 200-300 calorie deficit is a better option because while it may take a little bit longer to lose the body fat in your cutting phase, you will not be sacrificing your muscle gains in the process.

An easy way to figure out what your daily calorie deficit should be is to take your goal weight and multiply it by 12.

If you weigh 230 pounds currently after your bulk and want to lose 30 pounds of fat while keeping muscle, your goal weight would be 200 pounds.

You can take your goal weight of 200 pounds and multiple it by 12 to get a general range of your daily calorie intake.

(200×12= 2,400 calories calorie intake daily)

If you want to be more sure, you can calculate your TDEE using a calculator and then subtract 200-300 calories from this amount and compare if this is drastically different from the above calculation.

Related Post: How to Start a Calorie Deficit With a Low TDEE

The Power Of Bulk Buying For Budget Savings

When shopping with your cutting grocery list, it is wise to consider buying your foods in bulk because it will likely be cheaper and last you longer.

If you are buying chicken breasts, for example, it will be cheaper to buy a 10 pound bag rather than individual packages, and then freeze them.

The same goes for other items such as rice, quinoa, oats, or whatever else you are purchasing off the list.

Buying in bulk is also a great way to make sure you have plenty of food on hand so that you can meal prep and always have something healthy to eat.

Common stores for bulk buying your foods during a cutting phase include:

  • Costco
  • Sam’s Club
  • BJ’s Wholesale Club
  • Local Grocery Stores with Bulk Sections

For most of these stores, you will need to sign up for a membership for which you will usually pay a small fee ($45-110), but in my opinion it is worth it to save money in the long run.

Last Words

This ultimate grocery list for cutting is designed to help you keep your gains but also lose body fat in the process.

Remember, you cannot lose body fat without a calorie deficit. No special diet is going to get you there. There is no magic involved. You must maintain a calorie deficit over time.

While you must maintain a calorie deficit to lose fat, you also need to make sure you are consuming enough overall calories and protein to preserve that muscle you worked so hard to get.

By using this cutting phase grocery list, you will have everything you need on hand to get started.

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