Can You Eat Sushi When Cutting

Can You Eat Sushi When Cutting? (Diet Temptations)

To see results from cutting, you have to consistently consume a calorie deficit. This means that food choices are limited, as you’re continually trying to ensure you stay within your daily calorie target.

We’re often asked about what foods you should or shouldn’t eat when cutting, and one food we’ve been asked about is sushi – which most people enjoy as a treat meal.

Different dishes contain different amounts of calories and some are very calorie dense, meaning they contain a lot of calories per gram. 

But does this mean that you shouldn’t eat sushi when cutting, or is there a way to still eat sushi on a cut?

Can You Eat Sushi When Cutting?

You can eat sushi when cutting, however, many sushi dishes are high in calories. This high calorie content means that most people shouldn’t eat sushi when cutting as they’ll struggle to reach their calorie target and maintain their overall calorie deficit.

There are more low-calorie fish dishes that are definitely more suited to a cutting diet. Technically, you can allow for sushi when cutting but it means you’d need to restrict so many other food options throughout the day that it’s better to look for sushi alternatives. 

What Is Sushi? 

Sushi is a Japanese dish that usually involves vinegared rice, raw seafood, and different vegetables in a seaweed roll alongside different sides such as soy sauce. Sushi comes in different forms and there is a huge selection to choose from.

Sushi is often considered as a healthy food because it has ingredients like fish, seaweed, and vegetables which are packed with nutrients. As these foods are nutrient-dense, they have a variety of health benefits.

Whilst sushi does contain key nutrients, as white rice is a key ingredient it is often high in carbs. White carbs in particular aren’t ideal when cutting as they’re low in satiety, meaning that they don’t keep you full for long. 

Also, due to the variety of ingredients within different types of sushi, the calorie content varies significantly and some of the most popular sushi dishes are high in calories, as I’ll go on to explain.

Sushi Calories

Per serving, the nutritional value of these three popular sushi dishes are:

Dragon RollCalifornia RollVeggie roll
Calories (kcal)520255206
Carbs (g)783830
Fat (g)1378
Protein1997

(Source 1, 2, 3

As shown on the table, the amount of calories within these different sushi dishes varies significantly –  dragon rolls are very high in calories per serving whilst veggie rolls are lower in calories per serving.

This wide variation in calories is due to the ingredients. Dishes containing ingredients like rice and added sauces are much higher in calories than those made up of mostly vegetables and fish.

How To Eat Sushi When Cutting?

When cutting, each calorie counts and it’s important to be as sparing as possible if you want to see results. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t enjoy your favorite foods. Instead it means that you need to be careful about how you eat them.

If you want to eat sushi during a cut then as a first recommendation I’d suggest focusing on the lower calorie forms of sushi. 

In general, a lot of the calories in sushi dishes come from the rice and the sauces. So opting for dishes with less rice, or with brown instead of white rice, will reduce the calorie content. 

Related – Can you eat rice when cutting

Going for dishes without sauces, or with lower calorie sauces, will also reduce the calorie content. Veggie rolls (especially if it’s made with brown rice) and rainbow rolls are some of the lower calorie sushi options. 

By focusing on these lower calorie choices you can still satisfy your craving for sushi without adding a significant amount of calories to your daily intake which would make it much harder to stay in a deficit while cutting.

If you do want to eat the higher calorie sushi dishes such as dragon rolls or california rolls, then I would recommend finding a way to incorporate a small amount into your daily or weekly diet. 

This can be done by looking at serving sizes. One serving of sushi is around 6 rolls. If you’re looking to satisfy a craving for sushi, without adding a significant amount of calories, then reducing this intake will help to maintain a deficit.

This means you will need to adjust your diet and cut calories from elsewhere to ensure you maintain an overall deficit and reach your calorie target.

Next, I’ll highlight some of the best sushi alternatives so that you can still satisfy your cravings for sushi, without the high calorie intake.

Sushi Alternatives When Cutting

There isn’t a direct replacement for sushi that’s low in calories and well suited for cutting. Sushi alternatives are simply lower calorie sushi dishes. So to find lower calorie options, you need to look at other forms of alternatives.

One of the best sushi alternatives is sashimi. Sashimi is fresh, raw fish that’s been thinly sliced. Like sushi, it’s packed with nutrients. However, as it doesn’t necessarily contain rice or seaweed it’s typically lower in calories.

It’s best to only have sashimi in reputable sushi restaurants, as there are possible health risks with eating raw fish.

If you’re looking for protein and want to eat fish, then another option is tuna. Tuna is immensely popular amongst athletes, bodybuilders, and gym-goers because it contains plenty of protein whilst being low in calories which makes it ideal when cutting.

Also, check out low calorie sauces. As many sauces like mayo and soy sauce will add a considerable amount of calories to your sushi dish, you can reduce the amount of calories by going for low calorie sauces. 

In the UK, the brand SkinnyFood  has a variety of low calorie sauces available.

Check them out here.

Final Thoughts

Sushi is a popular food that comes in a huge variety of forms. Sushi dishes are packed with nutrients and they’re often high in protein too. Unfortunately though, many sushi dishes are high in calories which makes sushi less than ideal when cutting.

Being on a cut is difficult and if you want to see results then you need to be consistently consuming a calorie deficit. The best options are low-calorie, high volume foods that are going to fill you up without adding a significant amount of calories to your daily intake. 

As many sushi dishes are the opposite of this, it’s difficult to include when cutting.

That being said, if you want to eat sushi while cutting it’s best to go for low calorie options by focusing on dishes that have brown rice, lots of vegetables, without high calorie sauces. If you are going for higher calorie dishes, then it’s best to have a small serving size.

Also, check out sashimi, tuna, and lower calorie sauces, which can also help to satisfy your cravings without the added calories. 

Related – Can you eat pasta when cutting

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