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.

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.

UPDATE #1: If you want to lose body fat as quickly and effectively as realistically possible… WITHOUT losing muscle, without giving up the foods you love, without feeling hungry all the time, without doing tons of cardio, without metabolic slowdown, without annoying diet rules and restrictions, and without the countless problems and mistakes that cause most people to fail, I just spent a year creating the perfect program for you. Learn all about it right here: Superior Fat Loss

UPDATE #2: If building muscle is your primary goal, and you want to do it as quickly and effectively as possible WITHOUT gaining excess body fat along the way… I have the perfect program for you as well. Learn all about it right here: Superior Muscle Growth

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)

1,012 thoughts on “The End Of The Best Diet Plan

  1. Brilliant! All in a nutshell. Everything I knew but was afraid to follow because it wasn’t a “fad”. Straight to the point. After all these years of fad diets I’m going to try this,

    “The One Fact: A caloric deficit is what causes weight loss”

    WOW! Thanks for taking the time

    PS What do you think I was looking for yet again, I googled “the best diet plan”. Glad I found you. For some reason it just clicked.

  2. Great guide! I spent the whole morning reading the entire thing. I grew up in sports and considered myself athletic thus believing I knew mostly everything about it. But this was a very brilliant refresher and lots of great new advice.

    As I have said I grew up active and in shape. Before I was married I weighed 220 lbs fit at 6’1. Since my marriage I am now 280 (My wife hates how I reference marriage in this story) and I’m looking to get back into shape. I’m will be using your common sense guide and working out to cut back down to 220 lbs with the intent as being as close as I can for my 30th birthday in July. Just wanted to say thanks for the motivation I found within your guide!

    P.S – I don’t look forward to counting calories on every label and was hoping for a preset menu…but that’s just me being lazy.

  3. Hi first off this is an amazing blog and I intend to feature it in a speach I’m giving to my local high school principal. I just would like you to add something to your fish oil segment. Fish oil is not the only place for you to get your omega threes in pill form, another great option is flax seed oil capsules which are great for people like me find themselves queezy all day if they take even the highest quality of fish oil tablets. It’s also an alternative for strict vegetarians or people allergic to sea food. Thank you very much for reading this and it would be wonderful if you put that into your blog.

    • Glad to hear you liked the site.

      Regarding flax seed oil, yes… it’s another source of omega-3s, but it’s just vastly inferior to fish oil. Fish oil contains EPA and DHA, which are the omega-3’s we’re really looking for. Flax seed oil however only contains ALA which then needs to first be converted into EPA and DHA within the body, and studies have shown that it’s just a pretty inefficient conversion process.

      So, fish oil is the better source by far. Of course, if you an issue with taking fish oil, then flax seed oil can be a good second option.

  4. Hello,
    I just wanted to say THANK YOU for your site. 🙂 I was never taught proper nutrition and eating habits and grew up eating the worst things possible! I’ve read countless articles in magazines and tried numerous fad diet plans, and highly advertised supplements. While some things might of worked for the time being, I never understood WHY. I tried reading labels at the grocery stores, but honestly had no clue as to what I was reading or looking for! LOL. So now I feel I have a greater understanding. You broke it down simple enough for anyone to understand. I took alot of notes along the way and have what I need to help me make better choices for myself and my family. So again, Thank you. 🙂

  5. Hello! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the information and delivery of it all. Am super excited about implementing for myself and family. I do however have a couple of questions. 1st regarding alcohol consumption… can I? 🙂 Is it as simple as counting the calories and subtracting them from somewhere else? Or do I burn extra calories at the gym to cover the extra calories from alcohol consumption. That brings me to my final question. I read something in an earlier post regarding workout day calorie consumption and non workout days consumption and wondered why/when they would be different. I wear a heart rate monitor and clock in anywhere from 500 to 750 calories burned. My deficit calorie intake is 1878. Should I be altering thing based on calories burned? Thank you for your time and good work!

    • Yup, some alcohol from time to time is perfectly fine as long as it fits in with your total daily calorie intake. So for example, if you happen to drink 100 calories worth of alcohol, you can either A) eat 100 less calories somewhere else, B) burn 100 additional calories, or C) a little of both.

      As for why a person would eat more or less calories on a workout day vs a non workout day, it sounds like you’re referring to ‘calorie cycling’ which is something I do myself and will definitely be writing a lot more about in the future. Unless of course you’re asking about something else?

  6. Thanks – what a fantastic unbiased document. I have now worked out my ideal protein, fat and carb intake and will devise my own meal plans plus my cheat/free meal once a week.

  7. Amazing guide simple and direct. i just want confirme something.
    Higher glycemic carbs are like junk food or it can enter in the diet?
    Protein and fat intake are the same for build muscle and loss fat so the main diference of then are the calouries obviously but that generally will come from carbs right?

    • Typical “junk food” is usually higher glycemic, but I wouldn’t say all high glycemic food is “junk.” For example, white potatoes are high glycemic and I think they’re awesome.

      And yes is the answer to your second question.

  8. Excellent website, good reading and nothing boring!

    Appreciate all the effort you put in to this website… and for free!!

    I have my workout routine, and now my diet (goal = building muscle). I will be starting on the 28/04, and will let you know how I get on.

    Keep up the good work.

      • Hello again,

        Wanted some advice if possible please…

        Been looking in to Whey and Creatine products as I’m going to make them my post-workout meal (mixed with water most likely) and was wondering if you have ever used the brand Sci-Mx? It’s readily available in the UK and they seem to have all of the properties you recommended in both products (specifically the Creatine), and the value compared to Optimum Nutrition seems about the same. Any thoughts?

        • Nope, never heard of it. But really with the exception of the usual big brands, I’ve never heard of most smaller supplement brands.

          But in general, as long as the ingredients and price are right, it’s usually fine.

  9. Just wanted to say I loved this article! You were completely honest about everything and I loved that! I have tried losing weight for years and I always go back to my bad eating habits and wind up gaining any weight I did lose plus more. My problems have always been: I hate vegetables, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE carbs, bad with portion control. I always deprive myself of what I love and force myself to eat things I hate and wind up miserable. Thanks for giving me a real life approach to losing weight. My main question- how do I determine calories from homemade recipes? I have some homemade recipes but I have no idea what to consdier a serving size and how to determine the number of calories. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

    • Awesome to hear you liked it. As for homemade recipes, you’d just need to look up the nutritional info of each individual ingredient, add them up and then estimate how much of it you are eating per serving.

      So let’s say you put in 500 total calories of X, 500 calories of Y and 500 calories of Z. That’s 1500 calories worth of whatever you made. Now, let’s say you eat about 1/3 of that total amount of food. You’ll then know you ate 500 calories.

  10. The simple, clear no-nonsense layout of the site reflects the simple, clear, no-nonsense information it contains. I found reading the articles was very enlightening and liberating. As someone who prefers to eat only two meals a day (breakfast and late dinner), I particularly liked the section which blasted the myths surrounding how often and when you should eat.

  11. 1. I usually work out 5 times a week for 25 minutes, and I burn 300 calories in each session, so would this be counted as light activity?

    2. And if so, I have been eating 1300 calories when the suggested amount of calories for weight loss was 1435, and have not lost weight in a good while – Would the 1300-a-day calorie thing be why?

    3. Every other week or so, my family takes me out to at, and I know I eat more than I ought to; could this be what is stopping my weight loss?

    4. Why should the diet be changed in 250 calorie increments?

    Thank you in advance. : )

    • 1. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter. All that matters is that you pick some amount of calories to eat as a starting point and adjust it based on what happens (if needed) to make your body do what you want it to do.

      2. More likely, you’re probably eating more than the 1300 calories you think you are (and/or burning less than you think you are).

      3. Could be part of it… see #2.

      4. It’s usually easier and more manageable from a tracking and sustainability standpoint.

  12. Excellent information and very well organized!
    I’ve read a lot of the health and body building information the last few years. This covers a lot of the same topics, but does it for free and explains everything in an easy to follow process.

    Everyone who is interested in healthy eating should read this!!

    Keep up the great work and thanks!

  13. Hey there, great information. I just have a quick question. I am 6’2 and 165 pounds. i want to get to 200 pounds so i have decided to eat 200 grams of protein per day. On the days that i work out for the pre work out meal and the post work out meal you stated that 0.25 grams of protein of the goal weight should be consumed. So 0.25 divided by 200 is 50 grams which in total would be 100 grams of would that would be a total of 300 grams of protein on my work out days… so should i eat 200 grams on regular days and 300 on work out days? or should i keep it to 200 every single day? thanks ..i hope that question wasnt to confusing

  14. Wow you sure cut through the BS here. I have never been fat but my eating habits were horrible. 4 chicken nuggets in the morning and a glass of apple juice, then chicken, bacon, a chicken nugget and corn at night and another glass of apple juice, then a whole can of pringles after that. That was all I ate for years. Thought I was a picky eater, but turns out it was just a routine, i.e.…a friend told me I have to eat 6 times a day or my stomach will eat itself later on in life from no digestion there, pffft riiight! Also told me ritz crackers have no trans fats so I could switch them with pringles, riiiight!

    Anyway surely changing my diet around now and I’m changing it all for me, not for anyone else. Hate diary so that isn’t happening, found I like brown rice, toast, many fruits and vegetables, hate bananas but they do make my body feel better with the potassium so I cut them up and mix them with my whole grain cereal and they don’t taste bad at all that way. Of course there is the chicken that will always stay and such, but yeah long story short done listening to people and doing it for me, if I want a snack it is an apple or something now, no damn ritz crackers that have “no trans fat” pffft and no damn pringles.

    You really cut through the BS and I always knew supplements were a load of crap, now I’m going to chuck out the ritz crackers THANK YOU very much, as those suckers are just as bad for you as pringles, at least pringles are honest about what’s in them, more so than those dicks. AWESOME job. Going to stop that damn eating 6 times a day too, cutting it back to three or maybe four as that is what I like. I did believe in that no eating after 7 thing though, guess that is BS too, works for me.

    What about water and such? I hate drinking it as I find just water plain nasty, but I drink one coffee in the morning and some green tea here and there, some orange juice and apple juice, no soda or anything what so ever, just those, and it works for me, is there anything I should add?

    • Ha, glad to hear it man.

      Regarding drinks, some coffee is perfectly fine, as is green tea. Most fruit juices have a ton of crap added to them, plus I’m not much of a fan of people drinking their calories (it’s much more satisfying to chew them). But beyond that, water, water and more water.

  15. I just completed your article and it truly is amazing. I’ve been “winging it” all along with the nutrition ratios and no wonder my results have been lackluster. I hate math and was always intimidated by the “scientific” formulas that so many half assed articles out there preached with little to no detailed information. You get right to the point with just the right amount of sarcasm! Clever and captivating!

    I just have one question that may be off topic and if this has already been covered please forgive me….and don’t judge! I’m a brunette honestly! Ok here goes…Should you measure your protein BEFORE meaning (raw) or AFTER (cooked)??? I only ask because to get the numbers right I have to measure portions and for instance raw 4oz chicken breast is a hell of a lot larger than a cooked shrivelled up piece of chicken after grilled or broiled.

    Hopefully you’re still smiling 🙂

    • Ha, awesome to hear you liked it. Thanks for the compliments!

      As for measuring meat raw or cooked, both work. It mostly comes down to what serving size you will be using. For example, a package of chicken might contain the nutritional info for X ounces raw. Some also include the cooked serving size as well. And if you’re just looking it up online somewhere (like using this very website), you can usually find both the raw and cooked info just as easily.

      Having said that, people using find raw to be slightly more accurate for the reason you mentioned, but cooked is usually slightly easier to deal with when measuring. So basically, use whichever you want.

  16. I just STOPPED Medifast. I have a really hard time with the “food”. They call those 5 servings (The 5&1 Plan) meals when in fact they are snacks. Plus I just get so complicated.

    with all due respect though, I wonder what your credentials are? It’s so hard to know who to listen to these days. I did lose 10 lbs in 1 month but HATED every minute and second of it.

    Good job on the content. Well thought out and easy to follow.

    • If by credentials you mean fancy letters that come after my name indicating degrees and personal training certifications, then I have none of those. I understand why that may make me a bit more trust worthy and listen-to-able, but on the other hand, the majority of the horrible information and advice that exists in the diet and training world is put out there by people with every cool degree and certification you can think of.

      My true credentials are nearly 13 years of obsessive research and first hand experience. More about that here:

  17. ps. In the comment above I meant to write (in the first paragraph) Plus i just get so constipated on that plan).

    Also … How does one know if they are “lightly active” or sedentary. I have a desk job BUT I go to the gym 4 days a week.

    Monday/thursday full body workout – 45 minutes long (with a trainer)

    Wed/Friday – Cardio/Interval Training – 30 minutes long which includes 5 minute warmup/5minute cool down

    I do the usual housework,gardening and live in a 4 level townhouse. I am 59, female and5.3. I am in great health.

    thanks for a comprehensive website.

    • Honestly, it doesn’t really matter all that much. Just take your best guess.

      All you’re getting there is an estimated starting point. The crucial step that DOES matter is then monitoring what your body does as a result of that estimated calorie intake. If everything is going the way it should, then you’ll know the estimate was spot-on and you’re good to go. But if not, and your body isn’t doing what it should be, then just adjust your calorie intake up or down until it does.

  18. THANK YOU… It was AWESOME…. 😀 😀

    Today I was looking for how to make a diet chart(first in my life) …. and GUESS WHAT I found this article. Frankly, I was not too confident about sticking to the diet chart. But after reading this article …GEEZ… I am feeling an urge to stick to it from within. 😀 It gave me such such a kick in my A** that now My dedication is running like an Supersonic Jet Plane…. 😀 😀 Arigatou… You’re Awesome… 😀 😀

    • Hard to disagree with anyone who calls me awesome. Thanks. 😉

      Glad to hear you liked the guide and that it made you more confident, dedicated and kicked you in the ass. Keep us updated on your progress!

  19. hey man great guide!you really put everything in order in my head cause i was pretty confused from all the bullshit myths i have heard for so still confused though about the glycemic index as i’ve heard many different opinions.the advice of people i really appreciate like lyle mcdonald or alan aragon is that its not worth worrying about at all as its pretty inaccurate.could you please explain it a little bit further cause i really like the way you simplify complex things.thank you very much.greetings from greece
    PS could you please give us a little hint of what you re planning to do in the future(like a new site, a book or whatever it is)?

  20. i’ve read your article about carbs but you say that we should take GI into consideration while the info from these two guys says that it’s pretty useless as it doesn’t tell the whole truth about insulin spikes and all that.that was my point of confusion

    • Read my article again. I say the same thing. For example…

      “high glycemic foods vs low glycemic foods doesn’t appear to make any real direct significant difference in terms of fat gain, fat loss, building muscle, etc. as long as everything else (especially total calorie intake) is what it’s supposed to be.”

      I may say to take it into consideration from a hunger controlling standpoint, in that lower GI foods are usually more filling than higher GI foods. But from a body composition standpoint, GI doesn’t really matter.

  21. I currently weigh 311 lbs and I was trying to figure out if there was a max amount of calories a person should a person should consume in a day if they are wanting to lose weight. Based off of BMR calculations it says my BMR is between 4354 and 5287. I am confused about this because this would mean I could eat 3900 calories a day and lose weight? That seems like a heck of a lot of food to loose weight so I was wondering if someone could let me know if there is a point where calories max out rather than being caluculated by your weight?


  22. When we are trying to lose alot of weight shouold you really be trying to take in a gram of protein per pound of body weight because that means I would be eating around 300 grams of protein a day.
    I was also wondering if it would hurt to stay under 2000 calories a day to lose weight or if that would be unhealthy since I weigh over 300 lbs?

      • That makes sense. I guess that why I was wondering if it would be the same thing for calorie intake because at my current weight it says my BMR is 4354 which seems like it would be awful hard to lose weight taking in that many calories. So multiplying my goal weight x 14-17 would be a bad idea?


        • Protein and calories are different. Protein requirements are based more on lean body mass whereas calories are based more on total body mass.

          So like I said before, estimate your maintenance level and set your 20% deficit. If you’re losing weight at a good rate for someone your size, you’re good. If not, adjust it.

  23. AMAZING guide! I have researched and spent countless hours on the internet educating myself over nutrition and how to burn fat most effectively, which has helped me greatly in losing fat over a 4 year span. I feel more confident over my knowledge about nutrition after reading your guide as it reassured me that all my information was correct! The information I found the most useful is that meal frequency does not maintain a high metabolism and that breakfast does not ‘jump-start’ your metabolism! I fully agree with you too on both issues as you explained them thoroughly well.

    I have a question…

    On my rest days, should i still be aiming for 1 gram of protein per pound? I think i do because my sore/tired muscles still need the protein to recover from the workout the day before.

    Also i’d suggest for you to add (into the section at the end of this paragraph) that muscle loss is bad because it lowers metabolism which will then stop the fat-loss the individual is experiencing as their calorie deficit disappeared as their metabolism lowered…if you understand what I’m saying! ”9. Putting it all together > The Best Fat Loss Diet Plan > It’s an absolute requirement for maintaining muscle and strength.”

    Also, in that same section i think you should emphasize how fat loss through only diet and no workout is TEMPORARY as the metabolism will slow down eventually to match the new calorie intake which will cancel out the calorie deficit. I think it works like that anyways from what I’ve read!

    One last thing…i forget if this was somewhere in your guide (took me a week to read this), but if not, you should add that drinking 1 liter of water burns 50 calories 🙂 hopefully it will motivate people to drink more water as that really can add up over the months!

    Thanks for the guide again. It feels AMAZING to know that there’s someone else out there who made their diet into a lifestyle and cares a lot too about what foods they eat! You are not alone as I am like that too and have been since I was 15 years old (soon to be 18!). What’s the point in eating crappy foods that only taste somewhat good TEMPORARILY when you can be eating healthy foods which CAN be enjoyed which will help you look good PERMANENTLY. Not trying to brag, but the amount of compliments I have been getting lately from countless people over my physique beats fast food and sugary drinks any day! I’m sure you can relate as well.

    I am off to read your workout guide now! I don’t think I’ll be disappointed 🙂

    • Awesome to hear you liked the guide, I definitely appreciate the compliments. Now about your questions…

      “On my rest days, should i still be aiming for 1 gram of protein per pound?”

      Yup, you should be aiming for a sufficient amount of protein every day of the week.

      “Also i’d suggest for you to add (into the section at the end of this paragraph) that muscle loss is bad because it lowers metabolism which will then stop the fat-loss the individual is experiencing as their calorie deficit disappeared as their metabolism lowered…if you understand what I’m saying!”

      Muscle loss sucks for many reasons, but the metabolic effect of muscle loss is WAY too small for it to “stop fat loss.” A pound of muscle only burns 5-6 calories per day (a pound of fat burns 2). More here:

      “Also, in that same section i think you should emphasize how fat loss through only diet and no workout is TEMPORARY as the metabolism will slow down eventually to match the new calorie intake which will cancel out the calorie deficit. I think it works like that anyways from what I’ve read!”

      I don’t know what you’ve been reading, but this is wrong. In terms of being temporary or permanent, fat loss from diet alone is 100% equal to fat loss from exercise alone or fat loss from diet + exercise.

      And I’ll be covering water intake at some point in the future for sure.

      Enjoy the workout guide.

      • Thanks for the answers. For the third last paragraph, let’s say a person burns 2000 calories daily and they decide to start dieting with a daily calorie intake of 1700 calories with no exercise at all. They would have a daily calorie deficit of 300 calories which would help them lose fat over the short-term (a few weeks maybe), but in the long-run (maybe months?), wouldn’t their metabolism of 2000 daily calories fall down to 1700 calories to adjust to the current conditions? Which would then produce a calorie deficit of 0 calories and the person would experience no further weight loss.

        I’ve seen it happen with my friends who have tried dieting with no exercise and had good results at first but then the results stopped coming in as the weeks passed by even though they were doing the exact same routine they were at the beginning of dieting. Or maybe it was due to something else..

        • If a consistent caloric deficit is created and weight is gradually lost, people with additional weight to lose may eventually hit a “plateau” at some point and stop losing. This is totally real and true.

          It’s caused by a few things… some of it has to do with metabolic slowdown which is caused by being in a prolonged deficit (this happens whether your deficit is created through diet, exercise or both) along with the fact that your maintenance level has changed as a result of weighing less than you did before (the deficit that worked at 250lbs won’t work at 200lbs).

          But none of this has anything to do with how the deficit is created. It happens just the same whether it’s all diet, all exercise, or both.

  24. Are Nilla wafers terrible for you when losing weight? They say that there 220 calories per 16 cookies. I was just wondering if it would be a healthier choice if you ever get a sweet tooth.

    • Excess calories are the only thing that can be considered “terrible” when losing weight. So as long as your total calorie and macronutrient intake remains what it needs to be each day and the majority of it comes from higher quality, natural, nutrient rich foods, then getting some of your calories from nilla wafers is fine on those occasions when you’re craving something sweet.

      On the other hand, if you won’t be able to control the quantity and frequency of how many and how often you eat them, or if eating them is just going to lead to you eating more junk (and therefore more calories), then you’d have a problem.

  25. Thanks for the guide! Hard to believe you’re just giving this away, haha. I decided to start counting calories today, and my search for more information led to your blog. I’ve now got my diet plan set and will be spending the evening looking up tasty-looking recipes that fit my requirements. (Any pointers to resources which let you search recipes by nutrition data would be great!) From here on out, I just need to make and eat those foods. Once I feel like I’ve settled comfortably into the new diet, I’m going check out your weight training guide as well. Thanks again!

    • Awesome to hear it dude. Regarding recipes, I’m probably the worst guy in the world to ask. I’m a super boring and basic eater, so tasty recipes have never been something I’ve paid much attention to at all.

      Search around though, I’m sure you’ll find something.

  26. So just giving an update. This guide is awesome and works great! I started it three weeks ago and decided not to do any weight training or cardio yet because I really wanted to focus on my nutrition and getting used to how to eat properly. I also wanted to kind of put everything to the test in this article about losing weight and not having to exercise at all.
    Well so far its working GREAT! I am under 300lbs for this first time in 8 years and all I have been doing is exactly what was taught in the article. I have not exercised once but I am going to start cardio and weight training on monday just because I want become stronger and train for a 5k.
    I just wanted to say for helping making everything make sense. I actually used to be a personal trainer and I learned more from this than I did when I got certified! The best part about this is I havent been hungry at all! I have just been keeping track of what I am actually eating and its working..

    Thanks for everything!!

  27. This site is great. Finally read everything! After I’m done with my supplements I’m going to test without it to see any difference in progress and bodily functions! He’ll if reducing supplements can drastically save me money, why not! Will update my comment after trial run of no supplementation besides the recommended ones in your guide! Thanks for the complete guide and making it enjoyable to read especially with very nice mark ups to enhance the readability of the article and etc! Definitely something I’m goi to try to help implement with my coworkers when I sit down with them and go over weightless and other goals!

  28. why isnt the comments starting at the top of most recent comment. if you want to read older ones you can always scroll down but i think it is most important to new comers is whats being said now. just my thought

    • Honestly, it’s mostly just a matter of experimenting with different approaches (planned cheat days, intermittent fasting, meal frequency and size, making better choices when possible, etc.) until you find what works best for you in these situations.

      That, and/or just using a little more will power so you don’t screw up a week’s worth of consistency with a weeekend’s worth of crap.

  29. You are a living legend! Thanks for the great article, I loved it! A quick query though… Should I be focussed on counting the grams of Protein, Fat, Carbs in each ingredient or should I be counting up the calorie content? For instance, if I consumed my daily amount of protein (in grams) which I got from chicken per se, that may have less calories than if i got my daily amount of protein (again in grams) from something like eggs. Know what I mean? Looking at it another way; if I consumed my entire amount of (protein) calories from chicken, this might not meet the required protein in grams. Am I missing something here?
    Cheers dude.

    • Ha, thanks man.

      About your question, I’m not 100% sure I understand it. Here’s my best guess, though. First, figure out your what your daily calorie intake needs to be. From there, it’s just a matter of getting those calories from a sufficient amount of protein, fat and carbs.

      When setting your protein intake, you’re doing it in grams (e.g. 1g per pound of body weight). Once you figure that number out, multiply it by 4 and you’ll get the amount of calories that amount of protein will provide (which you then factor into that calorie intake you figured out first).

      Any additional fat/carbs in those protein sources will count towards your fat/carb intake, so even if eggs have more calories than chicken, all of those extra calories are still being accounted for when calculating carbs and fat.

      Am I close to answering what you’re asking?

  30. Thanks for the quick reply! Just to clarify… To correctly count all calories I consume, I need to look at the nutritional info on packaging and multiply Protein x 4, Fats x 9, and Carbs x 4 to get the calorie content of each ingredient? Is this correct?

      • …But that total doesn’t tell me how much calories are from the protein, how much from the fat and how much from the carbs. Know what I mean? For instance, if the total calories were 350, how would I know how much calories to subtract off each of the big three?
        This may be a big advertisment for my stupidity but I’m willing to put it out there! :0)

        • Ah, I think I see what you’re saying now… you’re trying to do a bunch of extra unnecessary work here. You don’t need to calculate how many calories comes from protein, fat or carbs in each individual food you eat. That info isn’t important.

          You only need to pay attention to the totals of everything for the day.

          So if a food has 500 calories, 30g of protein, 50g of carbs and 18g of fat, all you need to pay attention to are those numbers. Count that food as having 500 calories, 30g protein, 50g carbs and 18g fat.

          Do the same thing with every other food you eat, and just make sure the totals of calories and grams of protein/carbs/fat end up at the amounts they are supposed to (which I assume you’ve already calculated? if not, that’s step #1).

          • Aha! Im with you now! Much appreciated my friend. I’m gonna start this next week along with your beginners muscle building program. I’ve messed around for years with various diets/exercise programs and I now feel I have a solid understanding of what I need to do to achieve my goals.
            Thanks again! :o)

  31. This was incredible! I’m very new to the fitness world but I’m so glad I found your website because I have learned SO MUCH. I can’t wait to wade through the rest of the articles you’ve written (the ultimate weight training workout routine is open in another tab right now). =)

    1) Dairy doesn’t like me. Will the protein powders, both dairy based, mess with my digestive system?

    2) Also, I’m having a hard time reaching my caloric surplus. I’m small (5 ft, a little over 100 lbs), nursing a 1 year old (which burns around 300-500 cal/day, I’ve heard), very very active, and on a weight training program – all that combined tells me I need around 2000ish with a surplus that I rounded to 2200 because I really want to gain some weight along with the muscle. (I hope my math is right.) On my best day, I’m getting around 1800-1900 (just enough fat, 80% protein, and lacking in carbs). Any suggestions on packing more protein and carbs into my diet? If the powders don’t disagree with me, I’m sure they will add to my calories, but I don’t know if that will be enough. Chasing after a toddler doesn’t give me a lot of time to cook and I don’t want to fall back on packaged junk, which I don’t really like in the first place.

    Thanks! You’re my new best friend.

    • Awesome to hear it! And you may be one of the first women I’ve ever heard from who recently had a baby and are trying to GAIN weight. Now that’s pretty rare.

      1. Dairy hates me too. It’s possible that certain powders/brands may be better/worse for you than others. I’ve definitely found that to be the case myself. The specific product I recommend in the guide (Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Whey Gold Standard) has been significantly more “friendly” for me than any other, so I’d recommend giving that a shot. I’d also recommend avoiding casein (the more problematic of the two) and just stick with whey.

      2. A few things. When you say 80% protein, do you mean you’re only getting 80% of your ideal protein intake, or that 80% of your total calorie intake is coming from protein? In the first case, a supplement will help for sure and also add a small amount of calories. If it’s the second case, that’s way too much protein.

      But if your fat intake is sufficient, and your protein intake is close to (and soon will be) sufficient, then it’s really just about getting more calories from carbs, and that mostly comes down to picking foods you like AND are convenient for you. Do you like potatoes? Rice? Pasta? Those foods are pretty easy to eat a lot of and don’t require too much time/effort to cook. Plus they taste awesome. I eat potatoes and rice on a daily basis. I’d never reach my calorie goal without them.

      • Yeah, I lost the weight so fast (50 lbs in the first 6 months after having the baby and 10 lbs in the months following) that I actually didn’t have clothes that fit me for a while. But of course, I couldn’t complain cause all the other women would give me dirty looks. Now I’m feeling too skinny (again, not “allowed” to complain) and am really looking to get stronger and maybe even see some curves again.

        I’ll try the Whey. I was definitely planning to use it pre-workout, as I work out in the morning, but maybe I can add it to other meals if I still need to reach my ideal protein intake (which is at 80% right now – NOT 80% of total calories, yuck).

        I like all three of those foods. I’m kind of still new to not having dairy (I stopped when my daughter couldn’t handle it and when I tried adding it back in, I couldn’t without getting sick). So I would normally put butter and cheese all over those foods. haha I’ve utilized salsa as a quick and easy condiment (pretty tasty on rice). But do you have any other suggestions for getting some flavor without spending a long time on herbs, seasonings, gravies, etc etc?


        • Yup, you can use the whey at any time of the day as part of any meal to help you meet your protein requirements. That’s perfectly fine.

          As for flavor, as I’ve mentioned to someone else in the comments not too long ago, I’m soooo the worst person to be asking. I’m the world’s most boring/basic eater, so plain rice, plain white potatoes, etc. all taste good to me.

          Although, the rice is usually eaten with grilled chicken cut up and thrown in (usually along with peas as well). and for potatoes… I cut them up with a drop of oil, salt and pepper and roast them (one of my favorite foods in the world).

          • I’m pretty bland now that I’m not adding cheese to everything. I feel like I’m actually tasting vegetables and grains for the first time (and they taste fantastic). I just didn’t know if you had any go-to recipes.

            One more question. Do you know where I can get some samples of the whey before I buy a huge amount of it?

            • I’ve been doing your beginner work out and counting calories for a couple weeks now. I’m really trying to gain muscle and weight, but I still haven’t been able to reach my caloric surplus goal. I’m trying to add rice and pasta but on the days when I’ve counted calories, I’m still below 2200. And I’ve also lost quite a few pounds since starting my workout routine (I’m down to 94 now). Do you think I should keep up the routine and just continue getting as much food as I can or should I workout/exercise less and gain some weight and then up the activity level again in a few weeks? I don’t want to be unsafe. I absolutely love working out (I can already see more muscle in my arms), so I really don’t want to stop, but I don’t think I should lose more weight than I already have. Thanks for your input!

            • Honestly, you just need to eat more. If you want to gain weight and you’re not (or you’re losing weight), there is and always will be one solution… eat more calories.

              Search around for shake recipes. You may find it easier to drink your calories than eat them.

  32. I have yet to read this all. But I love how solid this information is. And I like the responses too. You may not realize it, but in everything you wrote, there is a revelation of Jesus Christ, and a revelation of Man. Because words are received the same as food, into a body. There is good and there is bad. And what comes OUT, is a result of what is IN. The way you delivered this information reminds me of the Apostle Paul. Straightforward, and dealing firmly with the MYTHS that people create. Makes me excited about doing well, and being well. I hardly see it as condescending, but as a sort of firm understanding, that the MYTHS cannot contend with. Anyhow. May Jesus bless you.

  33. BEST advice I’ve read! I’ve been struggling with calories/food/weight training/cardio/when to eat/when not to eat and so on and so on. This summed up EVERYTHING I’ve ever wanted to know and more! I couldn’t be happier right now! The only question that I have and I continue to struggle with is this:
    I’m looking to lose about 10-15 pounds. I workout pretty hard about 3 days per week (crossfit) which I can burn upwards of about 800 calories an hour. With that said, should I then adjust my calories per day to make up for some of the calories burned? Based on all of your equations I should be eating about 1500 calories a day to lose fat. However, isn’t it true that eating too few calories isn’t good either? That my body could start holding on to fat if I’m not eating enough because it’s in too much of a deficit? I guess long story short should my caloric intacke be slightly higher on days when I work out vs days that I dont? Again AWESOME info…..absolutely LOVED it!!!!

    • Glad you liked it Abigail! Regarding eating too few calories, yes… that can be a bad idea for many reasons (I’ll be writing a full article explaining why in the future… it will cover “starvation mode” too).

      As for your main question, if the daily calorie intake you’ve found to be right for you is 1500, then you should adjust calories eaten and calories burned to meet that amount each day. So if you burn X calories through exercise a few days a week, you should eat X additional calories those days to end up at the 1500 amount you’re shooting for.

  34. Thank you for taking the time to write this awesome blog! I have really packed on the weight in the last 2 years and now, at age 35, I am looking at shedding the fat (again!) and getting leaner for my new career. I have taken your advice and ordered the following items:

    Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Whey Gold Standard
    Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Casein Protein
    Optimum Nutrition’s Micronized Creatine Powder
    Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega
    Nature Made Multivitamins

    I also have drafted a detailed 3 month workout plan with mainly vegetable meals for my new “eating right” menu (I really dislike the word ‘Diet’) lol.

    I do have a question about another supplement that I was also hoping to find on this awesome blog and that is Bee Pollen. Bee pollen contains vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, lipids, and protein and studies have shown that it increases your strength and stamina 25% to 50% but can only be taken short term.

    But I wantneed your opinion..I can’t take it without your okay…lol. Can you help me with this? Thanks!

  35. Since getting back to a healthy weight this past year I have fallen in love with the study of nutrition. I am so excited to have found your site! So much great, scientifically backed information unlike much of what is out there. It was really helpful to read many of your myth busters on the “When and How Often” section though I was hoping you could comment of one further myth/truth I didn’t see mentioned.

    I have read that while it does not matter overall what time of day/how often you chose to eat, there are benefits to doing whatever it is you chose to do at consistent times each day. That your body “likes to know what to expect” and that when you do this consistently, you release less stress hormones and experience less hunger signals. Is there truth to this?

    Thank you!

    • Awesome to hear it!

      Regarding your question, the only real benefit to eating at similar times every day is to basically create a habit of good eating that you’ll be able to follow and regularly stick to. Eating at significantly different times every day is probably not as ideal in terms of sustainability.

      Of course, as long as your total calorie and nutrient intake remains what it needs to be, it really doesn’t matter at all. Creating a regular ‘eating routine’ may just be easier for most people in terms of making this happens.

  36. Hey

    First of all, great content and very very well presented. The way the entire logic progresses is simple, straight forward, to the point – and makes a lot of sense. I’ve spent the last 3 days reading and re-reading every bit 🙂

    I have a question about the pre/post workout meals. I workout very early in the morning – start at around 5.30 am. Pre workout I either have a banana/apple, or a glass of warm water with honey. Post workout tends to be a protein smoothie with whey protein, milk, almonds, oats, and a banana all blitzed together ( I need to workout how much protein/fat/carbs this contains)

    I’d like to incorporate what you’ve said about pre/post workout meals. Only I can’t think how I’m going to be able to eat that much in a span of 2 hours early in the morning. What would you recommend?

    Thanks again for a very informative site.

  37. Thanks for this great site (along with the corresponding workout site) – very clear, comprehensive & motivating!

    I’m male, 43 years old & 6’3″. I’ve been following your diet plan & beginner’s workout routine for the last 5 months. My progress so far:

    Beginning weight: 208 lbs
    Target weight: 175 lbs
    Current weight: 194.25 lbs
    weight loss so far:-13.75 lbs

    I’m very happy with this progress (even though it averages out on the lowest end of the weight loss rate: 0.5 lb/week – was faster of course at the start). This is entirely down to your diet plan & workout routine – I do minimal cardio outside of this (walking/golf).

    Some (very) random observations during this:

    – to get results, I found the actual daily calorie intake rate had to be lower than the various “rule of thumb” calculations
    – once I got into a routine, it wasn’t that hard to stick to. Pigging out the odd time didn’t seem to have any negative effect
    – I did plateau about halfway through: substituting a large salad for a bread-based lunch seemed to get me moving again. I seem to be plateauing again now so need to reassess things again
    – I find it hard to organise the pre-,post-workout meals around my normal meals – still working on getting that down
    – while I’m confident I’m sticking to the correct calorie intake, I’m being a bit casual about the protein/carb/fat balance within that. Maybe that’s my next step which might get me off my plateau…
    – I don’t use any protein powder – don’t like the idea
    – I workout with dumbbells at home: getting the right set of dumbbells is ridiculously hard! I had to buy several sets to get enough weight + the right combinations. This meant it took a long time before I got up to the point where I was really exerting myself
    – weight training at home with dumbbells is really easy & takes very little time – so much better than a gym for me

    I think its about time to go back and read over both sites again to see if its time to move to the next step in the plan.

    Once again, thanks for this great site!

    • Awesome to hear it man… 14lbs is great consistent progress. Congrats! Glad everything is working well so far. And those are some good random observations, and I agree with just about all them (although I see nothing wrong with protein powder… it’s basically just powdered food).

      Keep me updated on your progress if you can. I’m a big fan of success stories.

      • Thanks.

        I agree with what you’re saying about the protein powder. I suppose I just have that typical irrational idea of what constitutes “real” food. Anyway, I will reconsider it when I look at rebalancing my protein/carb/fat to get off this plateau.

        I will try to report back on my progress after a second 5 months (I imagine they’ll be less dramatic than the first 5 🙁 )

        • Yeah… if you need some quick and easy help reaching your protein requirements, protein powder is awesome. But if not, there’s really no need for it at all.

          And don’t think of it as less dramatic progress. Think of it as less progress left to be made because you’re closer to reaching your end goal.

          • Just updating my progress that I started describing 5 months ago above. So, I have stuck with the plan (diet & workout) and am now 10 months in and this is the situation:

            Beginning weight: 208 lbs
            Target weight: 175 lbs
            Current weight: 186.75 lbs
            weight loss so far: -21.25 lbs

            So, I lost 13.75 lbs in the first 5 months and 7.5 lbs in the second. I’m very happy with that as, as you said, I’m getting closer to my target. Actually, I’m thinking that I might review my target weight & maybe increase it – I only picked it because it is my understanding of what a “perfect” BMI is: 21.75.

            • Awesome! Thanks for the update.

              Regarding target weight, I find BMI to be mostly useless in that regard. The weight that allows you to look/feel best is what your target weight should be, and the thing about that is it’s pretty hard to know exactly what that weight will be until you’re fairly close to reaching it.

              So using BMI to set a broad fat loss goal is fine. But use your own eyes (mirror/pictures) to get more specific as more and more progress gets made.

            • Yeah – that seems to fit with my experience: once I’d made my initial fat loss aiming for “perfect” BMI, I’m no longer sure if that’s the target I want to actually aim for. I’ll try to go from here like you recommended.

              Once again, thanks for all the help and let’s see how the next 5 months go…..!

  38. Great work! This has cleared a lot of misconceptions I’ve picked up during weeks of research.

    It may be my math, but I’m getting more protein in my diet than carbs and I’m not sure if this should be the case.

    I’m trying to lose fat so my daily calorie intake is at 2010. Right now I’m 220lbs so I plan on eating 220 grams of protein which is 880 calories. Based on that, I want to get a daily fat intake at 25%, which will come out to around 503 calories. All of that leaves just 627 calories left for carbs. Percentage wise that means my calories will be 43% protein, 25% fat, and 32% carbs. Based on what you say in the article and what other people say, most of my calories would probably come from carbs, which is not the case for me. Is this an issue? If so, how could I resolve it?

    • An issue? Nope, looks fine. Unless of course you’d be happier and more likely to stick to your diet if your carb intake was a bit higher. In that case, you can bring protein down to 1g per pound of your target body weight or bring fat down to 20% and make up those calories from carbs.

      Also, I don’t know your age/height/activity level, but is 2010 a 20% deficit? Or is it more than that? The larger your deficit is, the less carbs you’ll end up with.

  39. Thanks for the great site. It was very interesting. I do have a few questions. #1 I have read many places that you can burn more fat if you exercise before you eat in the morning. Is there any truth to that? #2 I am a little confused on the ideal daily calorie intake. Do I figure different ideal daily calorie intakes depending if I will be working out that day. The days I workout I would figure it as being moderately active that day and the days I don’t work out maybe the sedentary. So does that mean I would have 2 different ideal daily calorie intakes to go by which would change my protein, fat and carb intakes also. I hope this makes sense to you. Thanks again for all the great information.

    • 1. Not enough to truly matter 99.9% of the time.

      2. You can, but that would be over-complicating things and relying too much on the estimates given to you by the calculator. All you need to do is find the daily calorie intake that allows you lose weight at the ideal rate you should be. If you are, you’re good. If you’re not, adjust it up/down in smallish increments until you are. No need to make it any harder than that for most people.

  40. I have looked for years and asked around trying to get someone to explain in plain English how I can have a better diet. I read articles, but they assume you know a lot of things. Your article is the most easy to read, down-to-earth, well written articles I have ever seen. You explain things in simple terms. I feel like I now understand the difference between good/bad food groups and how things affect the body. You answered so many questions I’ve had about when to eat before/after workouts, protein supplements, and nutrition. Thank you. I’m surprised you don’t identify yourself, you could be a star 🙂

  41. I just want to say a big “thank you!” You have laid out an excellent diet plan and have explained in plain English what so many others don’t seem to be able to do. I have poured over the information for the past couple of days and it has changed my eating plan significantly. I was just counting calories and while I know that will ultimately lead to weight loss, I was very interested in the part that the different nutrients play and so now feel much better equipped to make each calorie count. I loved your honest and straightforward approach. No nonsense in a day when every other site is spouting nonsense. Thank you again and I have already recommended your website to several friends.

  42. Wow. Seriously, wow. This is the most informative and simply written webpage (or any type of written document for that matter) that I have ever come across in my life. I have been working out for almost 15 years now, and have searched and searched for a thorough, yet easy to understand explanation of nutrition–and that is exactly what you have put out for everyone to read. So, I just wanted to say thank you! It has already begun to change my husband’s and my life for the better (he read it and is was also extremely pleased with the information). I think this is the final piece to the puzzle of understanding everything we’ve heard over the course of a lifetime seeking out proper fitness and nutrition. Anyway, I do have a question. I was wondering after reading it, when trying to lose weight, you have your target calorie consumption number (for me 1600). If I work out for an hour and burn 400 calories, should I eat an extra 400 calories that day or just stay with the 1600? Thanks a lot!

    • Thanks for the compliments Jess, awesome to hear you and your husband liked it. Keep me updated on your progress!

      Assuming the 400 calories burned during your workout weren’t already taken into account when arriving at the 1600 calorie number you came to, then yes, in order to end up at that ideal 1600 calorie amount, you’d need to eat an extra 400 calories that day.

      Or really, it should be thought of the other way around. You’re eating 2000 calories that day but then burning 400 through exercise to get you to your goal calorie intake of 1600.

      So, what you’re really doing here is using exercise to create that day’s deficit as opposed to “eating back the calories burned.”

  43. hey man.about pre workout nutrition.when i follow your recommendation about eating a solid meal 1-2 hours before the workout i always feel too full and bloated and my workout kinda there any difference if i eat 2-3 hours before the workout instead of 1-2?

  44. Great site! Very informative and easy to follow. I have been emailing links to everyone I know since I found it just a few days ago. I was wondering if you could tell me what you think about Rasberry Ketones which seem to be the latest diet craze today, so much so that even Dr. Oz is recommending them. Also… I know from reading your articles that when you eat doesn’t matter but what about when you exercise? Is there an added fat burning/ calorie burning effect from exercising in the morning as opposed to the evening?
    I’m sure you have heard that exercing in the morning can raise your metabolism up to 18 hrs and that by exercising later in the day one is missing out on this effect as the metabolism basically shuts down while you sleep. Myth?

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