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Cutting is hard. Your choice of food is drastically reduced and you’ll find that many of the “healthy” or low-calorie options that you end up eating are very bland and unappealing.
The reason I say this is because a bodybuilder on a cut will be having chicken, rice, and broccoli whereas a typical person will be opting for salads and bland protein sources. We get a few questions about what you can/can’t eat on a cut and one of the most common is can you eat peanut butter when cutting.
I’ll be honest, this is a high-calorie food that does not lend itself to cutting – it will definitely make a cut harder if you want to have it daily or even weekly. Does that mean it’s impossible though or is there a way that you can eat peanut butter when cutting?
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Can You Eat Peanut Butter When Cutting
You can eat peanut butter when cutting, however, peanut butter is high in fat and therefore high in calories. The calorie content means that most people shouldn’t eat peanut butter when cutting because you’ll struggle to reach your daily calorie target which will be a deficit.
What is Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is a spread made from ground peanuts and other ingredients that modify the taste or texture of the spread. It’s one of the most commonly used spreads in the US and Western world but there is something that everyone knows about peanut butter – it’s high in calories!
Peanut butter is a great source of protein and fats (the kind you want) but any time you have a food with a high-fat content per gram, you’ll ultimately have a high-calorie food. This doesn’t mean that peanut butter is bad though just because it’s high in calories.
Studies show that monosaturated fats – “good” fats – can have beneficial impacts on people dieting for weight loss. These good fats include avocado, olive oil, nuts, and peanut oils.
Therefore, just because you are cutting and trying to lose body fat, you do still need to have a source of fats as they are vital for hormonal balance and overall healthy bodily function so it’s not something that you should be omitting from your diet completely.
Peanut Butter Calories
Per 100g, the nutritional values for peanut butter are:
Peanut butter is a calorie-dense food which means that per gram, the calorie content is high compared to other foods. While the above seems high, 100g serving is a typical serving size for comparison but this isn’t something you’d be having with a spread (I hope…).
What’s more realistic is that you’d have 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter which would be around a 30g serving. This would therefore mean a serving of peanut butter is close to 200 calories which isn’t as bad as 588 calories.
How to Eat Peanut Butter When Cutting
I’ve just mentioned that the two tablespoon serving is closer to what most people would be consuming but the issue is that you’ll have the peanut butter with something else. This means that when you have a meal containing peanut butter, the peanut butter will add a noticeable amount to the overall calorie intake.
When cutting, every calorie counts and you need to be as sparing as possible. It should be noted however that healthy fats do still need to be consumed when cutting and nut butter is a good option.
Therefore, as a first recommendation, I’d suggest finding a way to include a small quantity of peanut butter into your daily or weekly diet. This means that you will need to adjust your diet and cut calories from another meal because you have to ensure you stay in a calorie deficit.
Good fats are needed even when cutting so peanut butter is of course one option for this but just ensure that it fits your daily calorie plan and is factored into an overall calorie deficit.
There is another way to get your peanut butter fix but just know that this next section won’t give you the same benefit that peanut butter does in terms of nutritional value.
Next, I’ll show you some of the best peanut butter alternatives so that you can still enjoy the flavor and satisfy cravings when cutting without the increased calorie intake.
Peanut Butter Alternatives When Cutting
There isn’t a direct peanut butter replacement that will necessarily be low in calories and well suited for cutting. The peanut butter alternatives will still be a form of nut butter (like cashew butter) so you’ll need to look into a different kind of alternative.
One of the best peanut butter alternatives is a low-calorie syrup. We’re living in 2022 and the food industry has responded to what the public want. Low-calorie foods that still have flavor.
A low-calorie peanut butter syrup is not going to be a direct replacement for peanut butter as you won’t get the benefit of the fat content and you also won’t get the texture of satiety benefits that you would with peanut butter.
The key benefit is going to be using it to flavor your food (like oatmeal or shakes) without having to account for the large calorie intake that comes with peanut butter. In the UK we have a brand called Skinny Syrup which offers a low-calorie peanut butter.
Another option is peanut butter powder. This is a more unique product used for flavoring and the benefit of this product is that a serving (2 tablespoons) is just 60 calories and only 2g of fat. If peanut butter is a particular weakness or craving for you, this condensed version could be a great alternative to save you calories.
The final alternative you can use is a flavor drop.
These highly concentrated drops can be added to certain foods (again oatmeal or shakes) in order to give them an enhanced flavor without the additional calories.
These are great for satisfying cravings, especially if you have a sweet tooth and while they won’t have any benefits in terms of satiety (as they are just drops), they can definitely help with cravings when in a calorie deficit.
Peanut butter is not just a great bulking food, it also contains a macro ratio that is well balanced for overall performance. The issue is that it’s slightly too high in calories to really justify having when cutting.
Being on a cut is hard and you want to get quick wins. The best is a low-calorie, high-volume food that will fill you up without costing you a large portion of your daily calories. Unfortunately, peanut butter is the opposite of this in that a small amount of it contributes to a greater amount of calories.
While you still need to include some healthy fats into your diet. If peanut butter is a weakness and you can’t restrict yourself to just 1-2 tablespoons per day, it might be best to look into peanut butter alternatives.
Syrups, powders, and drops are all options to get the flavor of peanut butter without the added calories. Perfect for satisfying cravings when cutting without the strain on your daily caloric intake.
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