The End Of The Best Diet Plan

If you’re reading this, then it appears that you’ve made it all the way to the end of my free (and awesome) guide to creating The Best Diet Plan. Sweet!

At this point, I have just 4 things left to say.

1. Congrats!

First of all… congratulations are in order.

You’ve now learned more about diet, nutrition, and how to get the results you want than the majority of the population will ever learn in their lifetime. Congrats!

2. Put It To Use!

I hope you liked the guide and actually use what you’ve learned to create the diet plan that will work best for you and your specific goal.

Because honestly, reading and learning and understanding is great and all, but the only way it’s truly going to work is if you actually put it into action. So… do that.

3. But Wait, There’s MORE! So Much More!

Believe it or not, I still have a TON of information to share with you here at A Calorie Counter.

While The Best Diet Plan was pretty damn comprehensive, there actually is a whole lot of stuff that I purposely left out, skipped over or just felt didn’t fit right as a part of this guide.

And the more I think about, the more I realize just how much additional important and useful stuff there is to say about diet, nutrition, supplements, losing fat, building muscle, and really just improving your diet, your health and the way your body looks or performs.

Luckily, I fully plan on sharing all of it right here on a regular basis. To make sure you never miss any of it, be sure to subscribe to A Calorie Counter via email using the form directly below this article or on the top right side of this page.

You can also subscribe via RSS if you prefer it.

4. Give Me Your Feedback!

And last but not least, I want to hear your feedback. In fact, I want 3 different kinds of feedback.

  1. First, I want to know what you thought of the guide.
    I want to know what you liked best, what section was most useful, what you wish I covered in more detail or explained better, what you felt was missing (if anything), and basically your thoughts and opinions on the guide itself.
  2. Second, I want to answer your questions.
    If you had any questions about any aspect of diet or nutrition, creating your diet plan, reaching your specific goal (losing fat, building muscle, etc.), or anything else while reading any part of this guide, just leave a comment below and ask me. I will answer.
  3. Third, I want to hear how well it’s working for you.
    Once you start using the information contained in this guide, guess what’s going to happen? You’re going to start getting the results you want. Sounds good, huh? Trust me… it is. And when that starts happening for you, I want to hear all about it in the comments below.

The End

Well, that’s about it.

Once again I hope you liked the guide (and if you did, be sure to tell your friends about it) and I hope you actually use what you’ve learned from it.

I also hope you subscribe because I plan on writing similarly awesome and useful guides in the future.

And again, if you have any questions, comments, feedback or just want to tell me how well it’s working for you, just leave a comment below.

Enjoy your results.

(This article is part of a completely free and amazingly awesome guide to creating the absolute best diet plan possible for your exact goal and preferences. Check out the entire guide here: The Best Diet Plan)

image description Comments (826)

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  • Drew March 15, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Absolutely amazing job!

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter March 20, 2011 at 8:13 pm

      Thanks!

      Reply
    • Sandra May 18, 2012 at 9:35 am

      This was unreal!

      thankyou so much for breaking everything down for me it makes so much more sence now! i cant believe how easy it is! thankyou for doing this website i can now finally organise my proper diet and hit my goal and hopefully soon getting on stage and competing!!!!
      :) once again you are the BEST!

      xxx

      Reply
      • aCalorieCounter May 18, 2012 at 10:10 am

        You’re quite welcome, Sandra. Keep me updated on your progress if you can and definitely let me know when you’re ready to get on stage!

        Reply
    • Sandra May 18, 2012 at 7:55 pm

      I have a question-

      my carb in take workour to be 420 calories divided by 4 = 105g per day is that right? im 55.5kg at the moment which is 122.4 Pounds im on a 1200 calorie per day diet im 5ft 2′…how can i split up 105g per day on carbs? would i just eat it have Post workout and half pre workout? or have i calculated the carb amount wrong? thaks for your help :)

      P.S i will deffinetly keep you updated im not far off just need to get my diet down packed to 100%.

      xx

      thanks for all the help! :)

      Reply
      • Sandra May 18, 2012 at 7:59 pm

        Sorry also i forgot to put in there 25% of my diet is good fats? thats about 300 calories? 5ml of fish oil is 45 cal x 2 coz i have this morning and night is that to much? that leaves me with 210 calories unaccounted for. am i working this out right?

        thanks heaps :)

        Reply
  • Steve March 20, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    This is excellent. Thanks. It’s awesome of you to provide all this hugely helpful and unbiased info (here and on your workout routine site) for free, without pop up ads etc. Not that I’m complaining but a man’s gotta make a dollar !

    Couple of questions:

    1. Sometimes I hear ‘experts’ say that, when you are on a cutting / losing fat diet, you should basically pig out one day every week or so and eat a load more calories than you are usually restricting yourself to on a daily basis. The idea being that it jump starts your metabolism out of the starvation mode that it might have slipped into when on a calorie restricting diet. Is this another case of totally unfouded crap?

    2. When you calculate how many calories you should consume per day (whether that be for losing fat, gaining muscle or just maintaining), I think you said that you should count your post work-out meal (e.g. shake) which makes sense. On those days where you don’t work out, you wouldn’t have your post-work out shake. Without that shake, your calorie intake for that day will be below the daily level you have set yourself. Should you increase the portion size of one of your other standard meals so that you still intake the same amount of calories for that day or should you just settle for eating less calories for that day? I tend to do the latter as I figure I haven’t the need for those extra calories cos I won’t be burning them in the gym, but not sure if this is the best approach.

    3. I’ve also heard ‘experts’ say that you should not have any fat in your post workout meal cos they say fat slows down the digestion of the protein and carbs that you’re trying to get your body to absorb asap. I personally don’t have any fat in my post-workout meal (i.e. for me, a whey protein and glucose shake) so not really an issue but just curious whether there is any truth in it.

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter March 20, 2011 at 8:32 pm

      Awesome to hear you liked it. One day I’ll release some kind of product and charge 10 times the price… so it will all work out in the end. :-)

      1. There are such things are refeeds, which are common and beneficial (refills glycogen, increases leptin, keeps you sane, etc.) on more extreme diets with more extreme types of deficits, but for the typical fat loss diet where you create the type of deficit I recommended, it’s a lot less important and necessary. However, the longer the diet goes on for and the more of a toll it takes on you (being in a deficit for a long time gets draining mentally and physically), doing some type of refeed or even just taking a full break from the deficit for a week or two and going back to maintenance or slightly above can be a huge help.

      2. Is your goal to lose fat? In that case, either option you described is usually fine as you’d either end up with the same deficit, or a slightly larger deficit with the second option (which might annoy some people and make them extra hungry on those days, in which case that option isn’t right for them). When the goal is gaining muscle/weight, then those calories will usually need to be replaced somehow because you’re usually trying to avoid being in a deficit.

      3. I still keep fat out of that meal and usually recommend others do as well, but honestly, the difference of having some fat in that meal probably isn’t THAT significant.

      Reply
  • Jan Hilley March 21, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Question: If I determine, using your guide, that I need to eat 128 grams of protien daily, how do I know how many calories are contained in the 128 grams?

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter March 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm

      1 gram of protein contains 4 calories. So, if your daily protein intake is 128 grams, that means protein will account for 512 of your daily calories.

      Make sense?

      Reply
  • Eric March 24, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    In your guideline for pre and post workout meals it says that you should consume 0.25g of protein and 0.25g of carbs per pound of your “TARGET BODY WEIGHT”. Could please define “TARGET BODY WEIGHT” for me. Is that the current weight you are at? or is the weight you are trying to get to by gaining more muscle? and how do I calculate “Target Body Weight” for myself. Also If I were to use my current body weight of 185 pounds with this formula it would require my pre and post workout meals to be around 45g of protein each(185×0.25=45g). I was once told that most people can only effectively process about 30g of protein in one sitting and the rest is wasted, is there any truth to this and if so should I limit my pre and post workout meal to only 30g of protein each?

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter March 24, 2011 at 1:07 pm

      Your target body weight is the weight you are trying to get to.

      As for only being able to digest 30g of protein per meal, that’s a myth. Ignore it.

      Reply
  • Jackie March 26, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    This is excellent. Thanks. It’s awesome of you to provide all this helpfull information, It all makes sense..

    Okay so here goes day one :)

    Reply
  • Xema April 03, 2011 at 5:23 am

    Wow! I spent my whole morning reading the whole guide. Thanks a lot for your work and sharing!

    I was expecting to find at the end some links about how to actually count the calories in food. I’ve tried several times to build a diet plan, but when it comes to count calories, I get bored :( If I didn’t miss those links in your guide, which do you recomend?

    Thanks again for your excellent guide!

    Reply
  • Michelle April 06, 2011 at 11:37 am

    This is excellent. I had somehow managed to stumble through figuring out to reduce calories and that was the real key but helping me figure out the protein/fat/carb intake is way helpful. I will also get off my carb wagon and eat a potato here and there again :). I am not happy about the fish oil thing, but I will do it. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Scott April 14, 2011 at 2:58 am

    Hi, thanks for the guide. It’s been really helpful. I’m just wondering how much casein I should be taking before bed? My target weight is 200 lbs. Thanks very much.

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter April 14, 2011 at 7:37 am

      Pretty much just whatever is needed to reach your ideal total for the day. So, for example, if you needed to eat 200g of protein per day, and you’re at 180 by the end of the night, 20g of casein would be the amount to use.

      Reply
  • Steve April 22, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    It’s time for me to lean up again so am tinkering with my calorie deficit diet.
    Question on protein intake:
    I always make sure I am getting at least 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight but I tend to go over (eg sometimes 2g of protein) not because I think I need that much protein but I enjoy eating a bigger portion of steak than a bigger portion of rice for example. Is there any good reason not to have more than ideal protein intake? In other words, is it better that I replace that excess protein with carbs?

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter April 22, 2011 at 10:44 pm

      If your goal was performance oriented (training for a sport) or building muscle or increasing strength or something like that, then it’s possible you might perform better if those extra calories from protein came from the energy nutrients (mainly carbs, fat to a lesser extent).

      When the goal is fat loss instead, that issue probably shouldn’t matter as much. But then again, the deficit itself is already reducing your work capacity/recovery/performance to some degree, so it’s possible it could effect you in this case too.

      In either case, it’s hard to say how significant of a difference there would be. The real best advice is to replace some of that extra protein with carbs for a week or two and see if you notice any boost in workout performance or just in general. That’s the only way to know for sure.

      Reply
      • Steve April 24, 2011 at 4:09 am

        Cool. Makes sense. If there’s no benefit in consuming more protein that I need (other than enjoying a larger chunk of meat), and there’s a possible/likely benefit to performance at the gym by maximising energy supplies, I’ll replace that excess protein with carbs. As you say the difference may not be that noticeable but I always like to choose the best possible option.

        Reply
        • aCalorieCounter April 24, 2011 at 7:33 am

          Yup, sounds about right. Unless of course your overall diet adherence is higher/better as a result of eating that higher amount of protein because it’s what’s personally preferable for you.

          So if replacing those calories with carbs bothers you mentally to the point where you might stray from the diet altogether… then you’ll have a decision to make.

          But I truly doubt that’s the case, especially with you.

          Reply
          • Steve May 08, 2011 at 9:10 pm

            So I was scratching around trying to find another complex carb to boost my carb intake (as I already eat enough sweet potato and brown rice) and saw your suggestion in “The Best Diet Plan” of quinoa. I had no idea what it was but looked up its nutitional breakdown and it’s good stuff. Cooked up a batch this weekend, ate it this morning and I’m now giving it a permanent place in the diet. Thanks for that !

            Reply
  • Mike April 24, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    I’ve read in many places about cycling creatine, for the various methods of consuming it. You’ve recommended taking it 5 grams a day for a month and then decreasing the dose to 3-5 grams. Is there a point when one should stop taking it for a set period of time and then restart?

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter April 25, 2011 at 9:37 am

      Nope, there doesn’t appear to be any significant reason to cycle creatine, especially when taking the sane dosages I’ve suggested.

      And I’m not really recommending decreasing the dose after the first month, more that once you’ve taken 5g for a month, you’ll only need the same 5g or slightly less to maintain that level of saturation.

      Reply
  • Gretchen April 28, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    First I just want to say Thank You, I have never felt so optimistic about improving my overall health. My biggest problem with diets to date has been the complete lack of background information. Most plans say “eat this” or “don’t eat that” but no explanation as to why? I read your guide, took lots of notes and feel wonderful about all the information I have. I can never thank you enough for everything. I have so much hope and I know what to do now.

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter April 28, 2011 at 6:34 pm

      You are quite welcome. You’ve pretty much given me the exact type of feedback I was hoping to get when putting this thing together. Awesome to hear it had the intended effect.

      Let us know how well it all works for you.

      Reply
  • Gretchen April 28, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    I do have one question….I noticed that on the nutrition facts right under calories it says calories from fat. My question is whether the calories from fat are included in the overall calorie total or whether that’s added to it? For example if there’s 150 calories and 70 calories from fat, would that be 150 calories total or do I add the 70 calories from fat for a total of 220 calories? I’ve started keeping a diary and I want to make sure I’m getting the right amounts of everything.

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter April 28, 2011 at 9:48 pm

      Yup, calories from fat are already included in the total calories. In your example, 150 calories would be the number to use.

      Reply
    • Marilee July 03, 2011 at 2:59 am

      Thanks alot – your answer solved all my problems after several days stgrugnlig

      Reply
  • Colette May 02, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Really needed to know the totals needed each day, I read the whole article and figured it all out, very very good!!!

    Reply
  • Clint Allen June 04, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Started December 2′ 2010 at 324 and currently weigh 262!! I am thrilled with your diet!!!!

    I have a question; how do I determine my activity level?

    Thanks,

    Clint Allen

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter June 06, 2011 at 9:32 am

      Amazing progress! Great job man.

      As for your activity level, are you asking for the purpose of estimating your calorie maintenance level?

      If so, just take your best guess. It really doesn’t matter in the end if you get it wrong. The goal is to just come up with some kind of estimated maintenance “starting point” and then try it out. If it’s good, you’re good. If it’s off, then just adjust it based on what’s happening.

      Reply
  • Clint Allen June 06, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Yes….your calorie maintenrnce calculator asks for “activity level,” as a component of the formula for determining maintenance calories, I imagine. I’m between lightly and moderately active. I lift weights three days a week and do a cardio workout three days on an exercycle, giving myself Sunday off. I have been using ” moderately active” in my calculations. Does that seem reasonable?

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter June 06, 2011 at 11:51 am

      Yup, sounds like a good guess. But again what’s most important here is that you monitor what your body does as a result of that guess and then adjust accordingly if necessary.

      Reply
  • Clint Allen June 06, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Terrific! Thanks for your prompt reply…much appreciated. For an old football player who, for 40+ years has been trying to take off the “post playing weight gain”, your simple, basic, easy to understand program worked!! I’ve talked a few pals into using it as well.

    One suggestion; I wish you would incorporate a daily food diary into your site. I use one from another site and it has made all the difference in staying on track in your program.

    Thank you for a first class program!!

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter June 06, 2011 at 2:37 pm

      You are quite welcome, and it’s awesome to hear that the program has worked so well for you. If you have them, it would be very cool to see your progress pics. A 60+ pound weight loss is always impressive/motivating as hell to see.

      Regarding the food diary, what do you mean exactly? The ability to enter in all of the foods you’ve eaten for the day and see their total nutritional content? If so, the site actually gives you that ability right now. Just sign up for a (free) account and start logging your daily diet: http://www.acaloriecounter.com/user/signup

      Unless of course you’re talking about something else?

      Reply
  • Clint Allen June 06, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    Yes, I’ve seen the calorie counter on your site. As good as your site is, I suggest you might look at the food diary on http://www.myfitnesspal.com since I believe it is much more user friendly and a powerful monitoring tool.

    But again, I really enjoy your site and it has worked very well for me ( and my cardiologist loves me)!!!

    Reply
  • Cindy June 17, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I also highly recommend myfitnesspal.com, also sparkrecipies.com for lower cal/sodium versions of foods you like and most importantly/impressively it has a recipie calculator that you can use to calculate your recipes and you can portion them out as well. It’s a nice way to try substitutions and see if they are worth the calorie savings.

    Thanks for the guide, lots of good info I hadn’t found and cleared up some of the mysteries of creatine and the “wth am i supposed to do for weight training schedule?” question, turns out I was over training (no rest periods) I implemented mwf starting this week so we’ll see if it helps. I anticipate that it will. ;-P I’m also doing HIIT and still working at the same intensity on weight days but for less time, good/bad indifferent?

    For my wrestler son, creatine during off season for training purposes then drop it once the season starts? And does BCAA actually help and is there a way to get rid of the nasty bitter taste?

    Thanks for your work!

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter June 21, 2011 at 7:14 pm

      Awesome to hear it!

      Regarding HIIT, it’s much too complicated of a subject to cover in a quick comment, but I think it can be both good and bad depending on the situation and the person. A cardio specific guide is definitely on my to-do list.

      Regarding creatine, what would be the reason for dropping it during the season? To make weight, or something else?

      And as long as you’re consuming an ideal total amount of protein each day from quality sources, taking a BCAA supplement is unnecessary.

      Reply
  • Katy June 20, 2011 at 4:40 am

    Thanks so much, this was wonderful to organize and I’m already feeling better and seeing results. Great job!

    Reply
  • Cindy June 20, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Oh and the question about BCAA helping, what I mean is helping with the lactic acid build up, or are stretching and heat the only way to get relief, of course along with working agian?

    Thanks again for everything.

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter June 21, 2011 at 7:17 pm

      With some very rare exceptions (like if you’re training fasted and using BCAAs as your “pre workout meal”), as long as your total daily protein intake is what it should be, additional BCAAs really have no real benefits at all.

      Reply
  • Bill June 23, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Excellent guide! I especially liked the sections that expose most of the myths of dieting. Having personally done both the 2-3 meals a day and 6 meals 1 every 2-3hrs methods, both worked just fine. It’s a personal thing for sure. For me every 3hrs or so keeps me out of the junk food and from overeating and fits in with my training better.

    Again, excellent guide, one I will be sharing with family and friends looking to shed some fat.

    Reply
  • George June 29, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Do you have to lift heavy to gain muscle and does creatine really work?
    I weight 140lbs, 17 years old, how much should I be bench pressing for my chest to gain muscle and how long does it take to notice changes?

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter June 29, 2011 at 3:39 pm

      You have to lift progressively heavier weights to build muscle… yes. So whatever “heavy” is for you, you need to lift that amount and gradually try to increase it over time.

      Regarding creatine, yes, it’s one of the VERY few scientifically proven muscle building supplements there are.

      Regarding the other questions, there is no good or useful answer. Eat correctly, lift correctly, and do it consistently. The results will come as fast as they can.

      Reply
  • janice July 19, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    So much valuable information and all for free. I love you.

    Reply
  • Vicki July 23, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Hi – this site is phenomenal! I happened upon it looking for a free calorie counter and stumbled into this amazing nutritional gold mine. What I’d like to know is – who are you (the author)? Where did you this wonderful education? I really appreciate the way the site is easy to read and understand and I’m looking forward to sharing it with my friends.

    THANK YOU!!

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter July 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm

      Glad to hear you liked it. As for where I learned it all, it’s impossible to pin that down to a singular answer. It’s really just been 12+ years of obsessive research and firsthand experience.

      Some people like to call it the 10,000 hour rule. Spend 10,000 hours doing something, and you’ll get pretty good at it.

      Reply
  • Rhonda August 03, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    I have spent the day (on and off) reading the info you have provided. It is by far the best and most real-life, down to earth, helpful information on diet I have ever read….and I’ve read quite a lot. I have recently started my journey to a better, healthier me, and I have been keeping a food diary as part of that journey. The food log is the greatest tool I have ever used! It makes the most of my valuable time by allowing me to enter custom foods and frequently eaten foods so that I can just click there next time. Your list of foods is also the most comprehensive I’ve found. The fact that it calculates fiber, protein, sugars, and fats is an added bonus that I love! In one sentence: Your site is awesome!

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter August 03, 2011 at 6:40 pm

      Thanks for the compliments and feedback… VERY happy to hear it!

      Be sure to keep us updated on how well it all works for you.

      Reply
  • Fern August 08, 2011 at 7:14 am

    I bet You’ll motivate allot of people in losing weight with this diet plan. It was fun to read and intelligently written.
    Keep up the excellent work!

    Reply
  • Satin August 14, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    This guide is awesome. This site is awesome. I am definitely going to try to eat things loaded with the good stuff more that my body needs at the right amount of calories to get the result I want plus take supplements for health. As far as working out I am basically doing what I love which is sports & dance aerobics. I will implement the pre and post work out thing since you broke it down why I should….I just dont know about the weight train thing. I HATE LIFTING WEIGHTS…I mean is there an alternative for people who want to build muscle doing things they love? Kind of like burning calories doing something you love. Since I hate running or going to a gym and hop on a treadmill, I instead burn calories doing what I love instead of doing what I hate (because I wont do it if I hate it lol)….but as far as “weight training” can I just build/maintain muscle doing what I love (dance aerobics, volleyball, basketball, bicycling, swimming, etc)? Look forward to your response. YOU ROCK BY THE WAY!

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter August 15, 2011 at 12:00 pm

      Ha, thanks. Awesome to hear you liked it all.

      Regarding building muscle… it requires some form of heavy progressive resistance. Stuff like volleyball and dance aerobics just doesn’t really provide that type of training stimulus.

      Weight training (or really any form of resistance/strength based training) is primarily the only realistic option.

      Reply
  • Leonie September 07, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Hey, Love the whole concept and planning on writing my own diet plan. However I was wondering if you could offer a bit of extra advice when it comes to fats.
    I don’t like fish or nuts or anything on your list. So I was wondering if you could advise on some other foods I could get my fat intake from…
    Thanks

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter September 07, 2011 at 10:27 pm

      Beyond what’s on that list and various other nuts and oils, there’s not much that comes to mind besides supplements (fish oil, flax seed oil, etc.)

      Reply
      • Leonie September 08, 2011 at 9:11 am

        Ok thanks, I’ll have a look see what I can find, I might be able to get some of it from the other foods and stuff but I’ll see what I end up with. Thanks

        Reply
  • nishad October 24, 2011 at 7:38 am

    i m really thankful to you.i have been searching this sort of information for long time which you provided in a concise,digestible and friendly convenient way so that it enabled me to complete whole articles in acaloriecounter and aworkoutroutine in just 2 days.thank you very much and please continue such works…

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter October 24, 2011 at 9:20 am

      Thanks for the feedback… awesome to hear you liked it.

      Reply
  • Tamara November 15, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    AWESOME! Thank you so much for all of this FREE information. I also stumbled upon this website while looking for a calorie counter and am so glad I did! It was so nice to read through all of this wonderful (and much needed, in my case) info without being asked to pay for something at the end. How often does that happen? I greatly appreciate it and have passed it on to friends. Thanks, again. You rock!

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter November 15, 2011 at 6:49 pm

      You are quite welcome… glad you liked it (and its nonexistent price tag :-)).

      Reply
  • Vince December 03, 2011 at 4:23 am

    I’ve been searching around for comprehensive guides (workout and diet) and I must say this is one of THE best ones out there. Informative. Concise. No BS. And FREE! lol Thanks for taking the time to put this all together. I’ll be definitely implementing this diet into my regimen.

    If there is one critique that I could add, maybe if there was some way to provide a section to site your sources/research. I am ok going along just taking your word about the “scientific research” since fitness and health has been a recent interest of mine, so I can take your word when you say that the research is warranted. However, it might help those, just getting into this, to provide that scientific data to cover your bases. Just food for thought!

    Other than that, I suggest you publish this information at like a Barnes and Nobles or something! cause this is gold! Wish you had a physical copy of the book. AWESOME MAN! and THANKS!!!!

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter January 11, 2012 at 4:25 pm

      Awesome to hear you liked it… thanks for the compliments.

      And honestly, I agree with you in that I also like to see the sources people reference in the stuff I read. However the only real reason why I USUALLY don’t include them is pure laziness.

      If I had to provide the source every time I mentioned any sort of study or research of any kind, I probably wouldn’t ever mention it. It’s just an additional job that would take up time I could better spend writing something else (that’s my opinion, at least).

      So yeah… I just don’t like doing homework. Simple as that. ;-) Maybe I’ll change one of these days.

      Reply
  • Bill December 12, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Finally some honest common sense without any BS! I subscribed to your rss feed but I noticed there is not much activity on there or on your Twitter account. Hope everything is ok. I would love to hear more of your wisdom.

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter December 13, 2011 at 8:36 am

      You’re welcome, you’re welcome, you’re welcome. Glad you liked it.

      And yup, everything is fine. Just super busy working on some big things (you’ll see some of them in the next few months) and also doing a ton of writing at A Calorie Counter’s sister site, A Workout Routine: http://www.aworkoutroutine.com/

      Reply
  • ROSY January 07, 2012 at 11:58 am

    This is by far THE BEST Information i can find to answer all my questions and concerns!!! Absolutely AMAZING..THANKS ALOT!!!!

    Reply
  • Henry January 11, 2012 at 2:14 am

    Hi, I just wanted to say that this site really is amazing. I’d echo Vince’s point that if there is scientific research, it would be great if you could point me to the reference.

    Personally I have lost about 35kg over the last year or so applying some of the principles that you noted on your site and this is the first time I have seen it laid out in such a systematic manner.

    I just wanted to ask a question about carbs though – while I also agree that the most important factor is total caloric intake, I am still very afraid of carbs and its effect on my hunger. I wanted to ask if it is safe to eat no refined carbs at all i.e. no rice, no bread, no pasta, and only lean on vegetables and some beans / nuts.

    Thanks again, it was such a great read!

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter January 11, 2012 at 4:31 pm

      Glad to hear it dude, congrats on the 35kg lost!

      Regarding references, see the reply I just left to Vince’s comment above for my excuse.

      And regarding carbs, of course it’s safe to avoid refined carbs. As long as it fits your preferences and keeps you happy, feel free.

      Reply
  • Kathryn January 19, 2012 at 2:30 am

    Hi there,

    Just a quick query regarding protein.

    I’ve read that the body can only absorb 25g at a time / per meal?

    I reckon this is crap and think that it’s the overall amount of protein grams that count.

    What are your thoughts on this?

    Thanks heaps! (I love your website…. Just stumbled upon it!)

    Reply
  • Kathryn January 19, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    I thought so. Thanks for clearing that up Jay! I’ll have a read of that article right now…

    Just another quick query if you wouldn’t mind.

    I’m 30, 5″4′ and weigh 115lbs. According to my very unreliable body fat scales, I also hover around 21-22%. Basically, I’m “skinny fat”.

    I’d love to get down to about 15%, but more important than all the numbers, just look lean, sculpted and feminine in a bikini. :)

    I’ve been working out with weights and cardio for a little over 6 weeks now… and I’m not afraid at all to ramp up the weights even more.

    I’m a bit confused though about what my goal should be. Should I focus on losing fat or building muscle?

    I thought a good first step would be what your fat loss section suggests; maintaining (or gaining if I’m lucky) strength under a calorie deficit with little/no cardio. I’d stick with this for a month or so and then, depending on my results, maybe go into calorie surplus and go gung ho with gaining strength with a smidge of cardio thrown in for fitness and stress relief. My theory behind this is that the rebound effect after a while of low cal could make it easier for me to put on lean muscle.

    What do you think? I really appreciate your common sense approach.

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter January 21, 2012 at 1:58 pm

      Your plan sounds pretty good. Building muscle/losing fat at the same time is a complicated subject that will definitely take a full article or two to cover (don’t worry, it’s on my to-do list).

      But the short answer is that with a few exceptions (most notably beginners, steroid users and people returning to weight training and re-gaining lost muscle), most people will fail to do either when trying to do them both simultaneously.

      So, the best way for the non-exceptions to do it is to break them up into phases and alternate between them. And more often than not, getting leaner first is the way to start it off.

      So, create a moderate deficit to cause the fat loss (and eat enough protein, get your omega-3s, etc.), and focus on maintaining your strength levels (or increasing them if possible) in the weight room. The goal here is to lose fat WITHOUT losing muscle/strength. (More about that here: http://www.aworkoutroutine.com/how-to-lose-fat-without-losing-muscle/)

      Once you’re leaner, switch your focus from a deficit to a moderate surplus and from weight training maintenance to consistent progression. The goal here is to build muscle WITHOUT gaining excessive amounts of body fat.

      Then, depending on your results and overall goals, repeat each phase as many times as needed.

      Reply
  • Candice L. January 25, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    I really enjoyed the write-up! Very unbiased! Just one question…who are you? lol What is your background?

    Reply
  • sue February 13, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Hi I’m very ready to start. You have a wonderful amount of info! I think I get the gest of things. Thank you for all your hard work.

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter February 13, 2012 at 11:00 pm

      Glad to hear it, let us know how your progress goes!

      Reply
  • German February 15, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    First of all I wanted to thank you for all the extremely useful information on both workouts and diet in your blogs. Ive been using your beginner’s workout for a couple of weeks now, and I gotta confess at first it felt like I was doing way too little, but then started making huge gains in my lifts consistently afterwards, which I had never been able to do the way I was working out before. So thanks!
    My question was regarding your Best Diet plan. I down my calories, and I have been VERY rigorous in my calorie counting. I started about a month ago and in the first week I had a massive drop in weight. My guess is I was eating about 3k calories before or something because I lost a lot of weight! However, after that, I kinda hit a wall, and I downed my calories again, but it seems like my body automatically slows down when I do that, because I dont seem to lose any more weight after that. Its been two weeks where Ive been downing my calories like you said, but no loss! I was wondering: Do you think I should continue to down my calories, or do you think I should try carb cycling?

    Reply
    • German February 15, 2012 at 10:47 pm

      And thanks again for all your wonderful help! I just wish I wouldve have run into this place a long time ago.

      Reply
    • aCalorieCounter February 16, 2012 at 3:16 pm

      Awesome to hear both sites have been helpful. Also glad to hear the beginner routine has been working well for you and that you didn’t try to screw with it/add more when it “felt” like too little at first. Smart move. ;-)

      Regarding your question, if you’re not losing fat now (which would mean no deficit is present), then carb cycling (which I am a fan of) won’t make any difference there. If anything, it would just over-complicate things at this point.

      To best answer your question, can you give me a week-to-week breakdown of what your weight has done and what your calorie intake has been?

      For example:

      Week 1: 180lbs, 2000 calories per day
      Week 2: 179lbs, 2000 calories per day
      etc.

      Also, when you weigh yourself, are you doing it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach? And, are you monitoring your fat loss progress through any other method besides just scale weight (measurements, pictures, pants getting looser, etc.)?

      Reply
  • Marvin February 16, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Hi,

    Great info. I already lost 15 pounds and down to about 14.5% body fat from about 17%, a loss of 4.5″ on my waist, following your guide here.

    Questions:

    I’m 5’7″ male started at 155 now at 140lbs. My maintenance level is about 1950 cals, subtract 500 and I’m stuck at 1450. I’d like to start bulking so I can at least have a better calorie count range and start getting to my 160 lbs goal. Do I need to wait for around 12% body fat before going for it?

    Also, I tried to take the Optimum Nutrition’s Micronized Creatine Powder and it’s not getting along with me. Any other suggestions if you can’t take this? It’s giving me the runs. (no photo included, so you’re welcome)

    Anyway, feel free to edit that out. Thanks for the info it’s much appreciated.

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter February 16, 2012 at 3:22 pm

      Congrats on the fat loss, happy to hear the guide helped.

      For bulking, a male should ideally be 12% body fat or less before going into a surplus. Starting higher than that will just hinder calorie partitioning and cause you to A) gain more fat than you should, and B) limit how far you can go before having to stop and switch back to a deficit again to lose the excess fat.

      Regarding the issues with creatine, how much are you taking? That sort of “problem” tends to happen when taking too much.

      Reply
      • Marvin February 20, 2012 at 11:20 am

        Thanks for the reply. I just took 5g in the morning with my morning protein shake. I’ve been drinking a lot of water too, about 3-4 32oz water a day for the last 2 months so I just continued doing that . Then the problem strikes a few an hour or so later.

        Reply
        • aCalorieCounter February 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm

          Are you taking more than that 5g per day total? Or were you at any point taking more than 5g per day?

          Also, what brand and type of creatine (monohydrate powder?) is it? And does it contain anything besides creatine?

          Reply
          • Marvin February 20, 2012 at 7:04 pm

            No more than 5g. It was the same brand you suggested here on your site … just the daily suggested dose. Thanks!

            Reply
            • aCalorieCounter February 20, 2012 at 11:08 pm

              Well, in that case, it may just be you. Your body might just have an issue with creatine.

  • Humberto February 19, 2012 at 12:18 am

    I’m a little bit confused on how to read nutrition labels. For example, lets say the total amount of calories in a certain food is 150. Then it says, the food has 25 grams of carbs , 7 grams of protein, and 3 grams of fat. Since carbs = 4 calories, protein = 4 calories, and fats = 9 calories, does that mean I’m actually taking in 305 calories? Or are the calories from the carbs, protein and fat are already included?

    By the way, your articles are…………….. sorry i don’t have the best words to explain it. Let me go to a thesaurus…

    Okay i’m back and here are synonyms for AWESOME.

    alarming, astonishing, awe-inspiring, beautiful, breathtaking, daunting, grand,impressive, intimidating, magnificent, majestic, mind-blowing, moving, overwhelming, real gone, shocking, striking, stunning, stupefying, wonderful, wondrous!!!

    I had to take out some words because the thesaurus said that “horrible” was a synonym for awesome…. wtf?

    Anyways.. Thanks a lot for the articles. I bet it took a significant amount of time to create it. I praise you for it. Your helping out millions out there!! Imagine that… I wonder how many times this site has been visited. I should take part in about 500 visitations. :P

    Thanks for the info though! Its much appreciated.

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter February 19, 2012 at 6:35 pm

      Ha, thanks man… very happy to hear it! Your (awesome!) feedback is definitely appreciated.

      Regarding your question, the amount shown on a food label for calories already takes into account the calories from protein, fat and carbs. So, you definitely DON’T need to add anything else to it.

      Reply
  • Humberto February 22, 2012 at 12:59 am

    Haha, Thanks =D.

    I have another question. The daily body intake of calories,(mine is around 2200), is based on how many hours? A day meaning from 6am – 12am, which is 18 hours? Or is the daily body intake of calories a full 24 hours?
    How many hours is this (daily calorie intake) based on?

    Thank you!

    Your the best =D

    Reply
  • Humberto February 22, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    I have another question. I’m sorry ;( haha. I must be a nuisance.
    By dieting alone, i want to loose 15 pounds no later then by the end of June. I wan’t to look good naked by loosing some fat. Will dieting alone do the trick or do i have to exercise to? I am 5 foot 8 inches and weight 157 pounds at the age of 17 and a half ( male ).

    Will dieting alone make me look good naked? I do some squats here and there, jog once a week, and lift some weights everyday. However, i don’t do it that much. I probably burn less than, but no more than 100 calories a day exercising. The cause of all this is insufficient weight supplies and no time. I have to work on school and keep my 4.1 GPA up! =D

    Another question. Will the fat be lost all around the body? I ask this because i want some of the fat surrounding my gluteus maximus to be gone. I also have a double chin if i retract my head backwards. Will the skin under my chin retract or tighten up once i loose sufficient amounts of fat?

    Thank you for the answers! I really appreciate them.
    Would you mind if i ask you more questions if i ever think of some?
    Don’t be afraid to say yes. I don’t want to be a nuisance.

    Thank you for for your time. =D

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter February 24, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      If your only goal is to lose fat, this can be accomplished perfectly fine through diet alone. No exercise is required whatsoever as long as your diet is successfully creating the deficit. Now if you want to build/maintain muscle as well, that’s another story. In that case, some form of weight training would be needed, too. But solely in terms of fat loss, it’s not needed at all.

      As for your other question, yes… fat is lost from the body as a whole in a pattern that is predetermined by your genetics and can’t be altered. So as you gradually lose fat, some will come from your stomach, some from your butt, some from your face, some from your legs… etc.

      Loose skin under your chin is something else altogether and honestly not something I have much experience with.

      And yes, you’re welcome to ask more questions. Just keep in mind that there are only so many hours in a day and I too am busy as hell, so I may not always have time to answer them all.

      Reply
  • Janet February 23, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Thanks for the information in laymen’s terms. Didn’t scare me off…I’ll let you know how I do!

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter February 24, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      You are quite welcome. Looking forward to hearing how it goes!

      Reply
  • Kristy March 01, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Hi,

    This really is great, I have been wondering for so long how to effectively lose weight with no answer. I eat a very healthy diet but it never occurred to me that I could infact at ‘too much’ fruit, vegetables and lean meats etc despite not drinking alcohol and not eating fast food at all. I went to slimming world and they told me to eat more and not calorie count etc and they couldn’t understand why I wasn’t losing weight looking at my food diaries and advised that I see my GP about my thyroid!

    I simply was eating a little too much despite 6-7 hours of exercise per week in combination with healthy eating!

    The only question I have is how does slimming world work for everybody else as I know people who go and don’t exercise at all, eat alot and still lose weight, it just seems unfair!

    I hope this works for me :)

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter March 01, 2012 at 3:07 pm

      I’m not too familiar with Slimming World, but if a person is losing fat, they have most definitely created a caloric deficit. So even if they seem to be eating too much or exercising too little, the reality is that if they’re losing fat, they’re in a deficit.

      Often times the deficit is accidental. Meaning, people try all sorts of unnecessary stuff with their diet because they think these things will cause fat loss. They don’t. These things (like not eating after 6pm, avoiding carbs, etc.) just cause you to accidentally eat less calories… AND THAT is what causes the fat loss.

      I’ve written more about this topic here: http://www.aworkoutroutine.com/how-to-lose-fat/

      Reply
      • Kristy March 05, 2012 at 5:49 am

        Thanks, I understand it all now and feel a bit stupid that I didn’t know the answer before. I totalled up my calories for my food diaries over about 3 weeks and i was averaging between 1800 and 2100 calories a day, plus alot of exercise (700 – 1000 cals burned per session 6 times a week) and so this obviously wasn’t enough for me to lose weight as i was maintaining, so I have cut it down to 1500, this should hopefully work as going too far below this will probably be dangerous. Thanks again,

        Reply
  • Kim March 01, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Thank you, thank you for writing this Best Diet Plan! I just read every page, have all of my numbers figured and am ready to get started. This is EXACTLY what I was looking for when I googled, “how to lose fat and not muscle”. I really appreciate your help!

    Have a great day!

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter March 01, 2012 at 3:01 pm

      You are quite welcome. Awesome to hear you liked it.

      Reply
  • Chris Ortiz March 09, 2012 at 1:13 am

    hey man, just got done reading this article (damn it was long!) and I have to say I am going to start using this now. I have always had trouble trying to gain muscle but I took notes and can only begin to start working on my appearance again. Im 5’6 140lbs hoping to get up to 160-175 range before the end of the year, and Im also a USMC Vet.; the last thing I want to do is lose the shape they put me in, who would? Anyways, I plan on forwarding this off to a shit ton of people to just so they can jump on the bandwagon and maybe get a better idea. Love the fact you used real words instead of that mumbo jumbo bullshit people try and feed me. Spent hours trying to look for something that can put me in the right direction and give me some guidance in getting my happy ass back into shape the way I was before.

    Thanks again

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter March 09, 2012 at 10:00 am

      Ha, you’re welcome dude. Thanks for the compliments. Keep us updated on your progress!

      Reply
  • Karen March 12, 2012 at 6:28 am

    Thanks for an awsome site – so much outstanding comprehensive information put so simply.
    I just wanted to ask the following question. When I first read this in December I worked my protein intake out to be 125g per day as
    my weight was 125pounds. However now I am at 119 pounds so must I reduce my protein to 119g per day as I want to keep losing weight.

    Thanks again!

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter March 12, 2012 at 10:37 am

      Nah, I wouldn’t recommend adjusting until progress stops and you actually NEED to make an adjustment for progress to start again. Plus, reducing your protein intake by 6 grams is just too insignificant to even bother with, so as long as fat loss is still taking place, I’d keep everything as is.

      And even if progress was beginning to stall, protein is the last nutrient I’d reduce.

      Reply
  • Andrè March 31, 2012 at 9:23 am

    This may have been asked before. I was going through the myth s &nonsense
    section and came acros the 6 meals a day mith and you have it that one
    must consume one gram of protein per pound of body weight but most other sites claim that protein can only be stored a certain amount therefore the reasoning behind 6 meals a day. Myth or reality?

    Reply
    • aCalorieCounter March 31, 2012 at 10:06 am

      The ’1g per pound’ protein recommendation is usually a pretty solid one for most people with most typical goals. And since it was thought that the body could only absorb a certain amount of protein in one sitting (usually 20-30g), this worked out to mean most people would need to eat 5-7 meals per day. Combine this with the idea that more frequent meals increased your metabolism, and the 6 meals per day “rule” came to exist.

      But the truth is that it’s all bullshit. As mentioned in that article, a higher meal frequency does NOT magically speed up your metabolism, and the body CAN absorb significantly more than that 20-30g per meal amount that’s always thrown around. It’s all just a silly myth.

      Reply
  • Betty April 03, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    I want to thank you for a great explanation of foods – nutritional value and requirements for losing weight. I have never had a weight problem until hitting menopause. I’ve put on 10 stubborn pounds that I cannot get rid of. I’m going to read through the chapters thoroughly and give it a try–cause nothing else is working for me! I’ll let you know how I do. Thanks again!

    Reply
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