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. Common sense and no bullshit, rare these days especially concerning diets.
    So naturally I love your articles!
    I have gained weight , lost weight many times over the years and always works exactly as you have laid it out.
    Eat less, exercise more…. Simple!
    I don’t have a real question so much I’m observing that since I have been faithfully reducing my calories and taking my daily walks i am not coming close to budgeted calorie intake daily ( except on days i have drinks, ;). I don’t feel like I’m starving at all either. Do you suppose it’s because I do have a high Bmi (34)? I tend to think that’s the case right now. I man i don’t feel deprived at a net of like 800-900 calories. I know that as I get more fat burnt that will change…
    Anyway, really appreciate your knowledge .

  2. I know it’s too low, I’m not to concerned yet because I do have a lot of body fat to lose
    I don’t have a scale so I don’t know exactly but my best guess is probably @2 lbs. I know my pants are feeling less tight!
    I am eating when I’m hungry and I’m feeling full….
    I have totally changed my food choices from quick fix processed shit to real food also and I eat as much as I like.
    I’m not so gung-ho to lose weight that I’m starving myself trust me i wouldn’t.
    I am just surprised that I have been soooo under my calorie budget and I’m not hungry.

  3. I stumbled across this last week and trying to find a protine calculator. I love this site I have been on the roller coster my whole life,went to a gym got a personal trainer and was so dissapointment that I could not get this information, This is the best site ever and I am telling everyone about it! I started my diet plan and back to the gym today.
    For years I have not been able to get to the point and tell me the fat,protine,and calories, now that I have it all put together it will finally work. I will send photo of before and after. Soon

  4. I was wondering if you have heard anything about Charles Dangelo in St. Louis MO and his book Think and Grow Thin? I just wanted your opinion on it because he is very strict on drinking shakes in the morning with dry cereal along with everything being very strict.

    • Never heard of it, but I can only assume that if it’s based on being super strict and forcing you to eat in a manner that you don’t actually need to eat in to lose fat and be healthy, then it’s probably crap.

  5. Hi,
    So this is likely the best article I have read on explaining everything. I started with a trainer and simple meal plan on Jan 12/13 at a gym called Flynn Fitness (amazing trainers and atmosphere). To date I have lost 33lbs and feel amazing. I am currently 138lbs, 5ft 8inches and my BMI is roughly 22% (used a calculator not a calibrator). My goal is to do a fitness contest and was searching for a more customized plan, when I happened to stumble on this. I think for me timing is everything. So for the last two days I have hardly left my home (besides to go to the gym) and have gone through step by step what works for me and am super excited to put it to good use. My only question after going through this is that the meal plan they had me on was 1305cal and I was losing weight quite quickly. I want to focus on muscle growth and according to the calculator I am supposed to consume 2136cal to maintain plus 125-250cal extra for muscle growth. It seems like a big jump. I was thinking of going up to roughly 1600cal and see where that gets me, but at the same time I don’t want to be working my butt off at the gym trying to gain muscle if my calorie intake wont allow me to. Any suggestions?
    I am still working with trainers to prep for a show (possibly doing a show on May 18th but that depends where my body is at) and I want to make sure I am doing everything in my power to do this in the most efficient way possible. My trainers have me on some other supplements, they are BCAA’s, ZMA and glutamine. What is your option on those? Thank you for your help and this article it has been truly helpful Believe me I don’t post on anything, so this article is one of the very few that are totally and completely worth the read. Every step!
    I look forward to posting my results as I move forward with this plan.

    • Yup, definitely make slow and gradual changes to your calorie intake and adjust based on what happens. So if you’re eating 1305 cals per day now (and losing weight) and want to go into a surplus to build muscle, add 250 or so calories to the 1305 you’re eating now and see what happens over the next week or two. Then, adjust from there in equally small increments and continue to monitor what happens/adjust if needed.

      As for those supplements you mentioned, assuming you’re getting a sufficient amount of protein per day, they are all mostly useless.

  6. Thank you for the wealth of information. I have one clarification question regarding the calorie maintenance level & the ideal daily calorie deficit.

    If I use your formulas for calorie maintenance level, my average result is about 2000 calories. However, I wear a calorie tracker, which gives a more accurate day-to-day count of calories burned. On days where I don’t work out and have been sitting most of the day, I can burn as low as 1750 calories. On days when I work out, I can burn as high as 2500 calories.

    Knowing this, should I calculate my ideal daily calorie deficit based on those very different days? In other words, on non-work out days, base the 20% deficit off 1750/1800 calories. And on workout days, base the 20% off 2300-2500 calories.

    OR… should I keep every day’s calorie deficit the same, regardless of these large variations, & just base it off the formulas you provided (20% off 2000 calories)?


    • Yup, you can definitely do it that way. As long as tracking that closely doesn’t drive you insane to the point where it becomes too annoying to stick to your diet, it’s perfectly fine.

  7. Hi;
    thank you for putting this info up. I decided to cut what I was eating in half and see if I could lose weight. I have lost a lot of fat from my body and was very surprised by this. I have tried every diet known to man and had no success. Cutting calories and fat has finally worked for me. Katy

    • Cutting your calorie intake in half is pretty extreme and not something I’d recommend. But, the overall idea of eating a little less than you’re currently eating is the sole cause of fat loss.

  8. I have used all of these calculations and adjusted my numbers on the SparksPeople site but am finding it impossible to get enough protein and stay within my numbers. The protein powder I use has 140 calories/ 30 grams of protein. I weigh 195 pounds and am aiming for 1600 calories/day. I’ve done all the numbers twice to be sure they’re right… Please help? Thanks!

  9. First of all, just want to say how refreshing it is to finally find such a straight-up, no bullshit guide to weight loss, and its free! fantastic! and it all aligns with the latest research ive been reading about meal frequency/timing etc. (i’m so glad to know I don’t have to eat 6 meals a day – who the hell has the time for that?!)
    Anyway, just wondering what your thoughts are on combining the macro nutrients in each meal, i.e. apart from pre/post workouts where we know we need to eat carbs and protein, do we need to combine fats/carbs/proteins in our other meals, or can I for example just eat a handful of nuts here, and a chicken breast there (as long as i’m still reaching my daily calories and macro ratios).

    Thank you!

    • Glad to hear it Kate!

      As for your question, as long as you reach your totals for the day, you could technically eat them however you want.

      However, the good general recommendation (mostly for satiety) is to try to consume a decent amount of protein at each meal (and to avoid just eating a large meal comprised of nothing but like plain white rice by itself).

  10. Hi! I love your article! And I’m definitely going to try it… I have been doing the weight watchers program and Zumba classes… But I don’t feel like I’m losing any belly fat(I’ve had 2 babies in the past year)… I’ve lost 25lbs and some inches… If I begin taking the fish oil supplements and counting my calories/protein/fats/carbs should that help to get rid of the baby fat? Also where is a good website to calculate my ideal intakes? Thanks Abunch!!

    • Fish oil is nice, but it’s calorie intake that will determine if you’re going to lose fat or not. So yes, if you track calories (and macronutrients) and eat the amounts you need to eat for fat loss to occur… it will.

  11. Hi!

    I completely love this Diet Plan. It’s the best one that I’ve come across, and I’ve been searching and searching for a really long time. It’s super refreshing, and I feel a thousand times better about my goals. The gratitude that I’m feeling towards you is amazing. Lol. I shared it with my Twitter followers, and hopefully they’ll learn what I have. You’re super amazing. My meal prep starts tomorrow for my 2000 caloric intake with 580 calories coming from protein and 500 coming from fat.

    Also, thanks for not being nutrition and fitness obsessed. It’s OD stressful for people who just wanna live a normal sexy life.

  12. This was very informative, thanks for posting. I’m 44, am 5’8 and weigh 144lbs. After reading this I feel like I’ve been doing everything right but haven’t gotten any positive results. For the past 6 weeks I have been completely committed to losing weight: I do zumba, walk and weight train 6 days a week and only consume 1400-1500 calories per day. I wear a heart monitor and just my workouts alone burn 800 calories per day. If anything I would think I would have either lost weight or at a minimum maintained my weight but instead I have gained 6 pounds. All my pants are tight so I know I haven’t lost inches either. My abdominal muscles are usually firm but now I actually see some flab on my belly. I eat healthy and almost never cheat.Can you offer me any advice on what I should do differently to finally see some results. I’d really appreciate it!

    • If you’re consuming 1400 calories per day and burning an additional 800 calories from exercise 6 days per week… you’d be losing weight for sure. So the fact that you’ve actually GAINED 6lbs over this time is proof of one thing… you’re not actually eating as little as you think and/or burning as much as you think.

      Recalculate. Assuming you’re healthy and there are no underlying issues at play, you’re simply messing something up somewhere. Where exactly? Most of the time when I get a question like this, the person is eating more than they think.

      • I’m being pretty accurate with my calorie intake, if anything I may be underestimating by 100 calories at the most. As for my calorie burn, I am wearing a heart monitor that shows how many calories burned. I reduce it by 20% because I read online that most people that have that monitor find it runs a little high. It’s not unbelievable to think that doing an hour of zumba, 15 minutes of weight training and 30 minutes of walking uphill could burn 700-800 calories daily, is it? Do you think I am eating too few calories for that amount of burn and could that make me gain weight??

        • Nope, that’s the thing. The idea that eating too little causes you to gain weight is a myth. If you’re gaining weight (and it’s not just water retention), odds are you’re eating too much, not too little.

            • It wouldn’t be a long term thing. If week after week is passing and you’re not only not losing weight but actually gaining weight (and you’re healthy/not taking any medications, etc.), it’s not water retention.

  13. Wow! I learned a lot and I’m eating healthier. What workout suggestions do u have to train for an event such as the Spartan Beast (my friends talked me into it). I’ve done a 5 mile mud run but not sure how to get up to 12 miles. I also can’t find a place to learn to climb a rope and I don’t have a good tree in my yard.

  14. I can’t thank you enough for this article.
    I’ve been stopping and starting with gaining weight, essentially doing no calorie counting whatsoever. Now it is time to change. This no nonsense, non bullshit, unbiased article answered pretty much everyone of my questions. I’m going to recommend this to everyone interested in gaining/losing/maintaining weight. It’s a nice change of pace to the diet fad-ers who simply won’t listen.

    A question. It may only be from misinformation, however, does creatine have any side effects regarding kidney failure?

    • Glad to hear it Tom… keep us updated!

      Regarding creatine, it’s been shown to be quite safe for healthy adults with healthy kidneys. If you already have preexisting kidney problems however, that might be another story.

  15. First of all I loved your guide, it’s rare to stumble upon something this valuable from all the crap available online. Keep it up 🙂

    My question is if I wanted to get my pre workout protein and carbs 30-0 minutes before in the form of a liquid, what are my options for getting the required carbs into the protein shake?

    Thanks in advance 😀

  16. Hello!
    Thanks for your wonderful work, I’m pretty sure it took you a long time of work.
    I’m aiming to 1560 cals/day since almost two months . It’s working and I went from 85 to 81 kg (1.84m M 28yrs).

    I’m aiming to 78 to have a six pack once in my life 🙂
    I however eat a lot of carbs and I never reach ur suggestions of 1g prot/pound.That for me would be 180g/day which is difficult unless you start having eggs at breakfast and snacks.
    My question is: given that the last kilos are the hardest to lose and that I eat a overall lots of carbs (but I stay under calorie limits), do you think I should start eating whey in the morning , regardless the workouts, to fill my day with more proteins?
    If yes, how important would you say it is?


    • What’s important in terms of protein intake is that you get a sufficient amount of it each day, ideally around 1g per pound. And if you need/would prefer to use whey to help you make that happen, it’s perfectly fine.

  17. I’m so glad i came upon this guide. I feel you have done a great job at explaining everything and talking about the myths. I have a question when reading nutritional facts on food should we pay a lot of attention to the sodium content you didnt mention this with the calories, proteins and carb intakes. Thank you once again.

    • The only people who probably need to pay “a lot” of attention to sodium intake are those with health issues effected by high sodium and/or have doctors orders to keep sodium to a certain level.

      The average person eating a diet comprised primarily of higher quality foods probably don’t have to pay too much attention.

  18. Hi, i think your Best Diet Plan is interesting and very informative, thank you for putting it together.

    the answer to my first question i believe is obvious, but to make sure…as one loses weight, the maintenance caloric intake reduces, whereby the ideal daily calorie deficit reduces, along with the ideal protein, fat and carb daily intake, correct?

    my second question pertains to protein, you said that your target body weight should be use to calculate daiy protein intake, and your example was for losing 100 pounds, if you want to lose over 100 pounds should you use that as your target weight, or use the 100 pounds, and continually adjust as you lose weight? I am not sure if wanting to lose 150 pounds, you should start that low regarding protein intake.

    thank you fou your feedback.

    • 1. You’re right, but it’s not something I’d worry about until you actually reach the point when weight loss stalls for a couple of weeks. At that point, adjust.

      2. Hmmm, not really sure I understand what you’re asking here?

      • Ok, thanks.

        Regarding protein intake per day. You stated that if you want to lose 100 pounds, to use your target weight as the weight to calculate protein intake per day. So if you weigh 300 lbs and want to get down to 200 lbs, to use the 200 lb target weight as the weight to calculate daily protein intake, correct? Or did i read what you stated incorrectly?

        Presuming I read it correctly, my question is, lets say you weigh 400 lbs and want to lose 200 lbs, should you still use your target weight of 200 lbs to calculate daily protein intake, or, use a target weight of 300 lbs to calculate daily protein intake and then continue to adjust daily protein intake as you lose weight? I hope i clarified what I am asking, sorry for the confusion.

  19. This is one of the best articles I have found on diet and working out. No bullshit, easy to understand, but on top of that the wealth of information you provide is non-biased I feel, it makes it easier to accept 🙂

    Question on loosing fat and gaining muscle. To achieve both, you effectively need to create a calorie deficit and a calorie surplus. for someone who wants to achieve both(I.e., me) would you recommend to FIRST create a deficit, then once the desired weight is reached create a surplus and start working out?

    • Building muscle and losing fat at the same time is a complicated topic I get asked about all the time, and it really needs a full article or two to properly cover. It’s definitely on my to-do list.

      But the basic gist of it is that most people will not be able to do both simultaneously (at least not at anything close to an acceptable rate) and will instead need to focus on one for a while, then switch to focusing on the other.

      However, there are some exceptions here… namely steroid users, people regaining lost muscle, and fatter beginners.

      Now if you happen to fit into one of those last 2 categories, a moderate caloric deficit (and sufficient protein intake) combined with a proper weight training program focused on progressive overload will allow you to build some muscle while losing fat.

      Otherwise, you’re mostly going to need make losing fat your primary goal first (or at least that’s what most people should do), but while still weight training properly so you can, at the very least, maintain your current levels of muscle and strength while you get lean. Then, once you’re as lean as you’d like to be, you can switch your primary goal to building muscle.

  20. Very informative articles. Im 24 yr old female weighing 148 pnds and im 5’8. my body fat is at 29%. My bmr is 1482 calories. My issue is im a houskeeper at hotel on my feet for 10-12 hours a day for 21 days straight with no rest. I have no idea how many calories im burning in a given day just from working at my job and not excercising so i dont know how much extra calories i need to maintain/lose my current weight until i determine my loss from my job. Should i assume im very active and multiple my bmr by factor of 2 ? Also i want to build muscle and lose fat. So if i created a surpluss of calories to build muscle then would my fat just be sitting right under it? Lastly if an individual was not consuming at or under their bmr and stopped losing weight what does that mean?

    • All you need to do is pick some kind of starting calorie intake using whatever estimation you want. The real important step is to then monitor what your weight actually does in the real world as a result of eating this amount of calories. If it’s doing what you want it too… awesome. If not, adjust accordingly.

      If you build muscle, it will be UNDER any fat you have on your body. Fat covers muscle, not the other way around.

      When a person stops losing weight, it usually just means their deficit no longer exists.

  21. Loved the guide and am looking forward to getting started.

    The question I have and I am sorry if this has been asked before but what do you suggest in terms of eating when you are on holiday? Most of the time while on holiday you are eating out and nuritional information is not readily available. How do you stick to your daily targets?

  22. If one was to build muscle and then start a diet geared toward fatloss than wouldnt there also be muscle loss since theres a deficit of calories. It does take a surplus to build muscle so would a deficit in calories burn some muscle gained prior to fat loss. Can people lose fat and gain muscle at the same time?? I would love to read an article on that!!!

  23. Using the tools provided I determined to lose weight I should consume 1740 calories per day (moderately active 61 year old male who is 5′-11″ and weighs 195lb).

    1 gram protein per lb is 195 grams of protein (780 Calories). If I allow 25% of my calories to allocated to fat it leaves me with 525C for carbs. The carb/protein/fat porportions are a little odd. 30/45/25.

    Is this expected or did I just do somethine wrong.

    • Just eyeballing it, those numbers look about right to me. If you’d like, you can drop protein back to 0.8g per pound, and then increase carbs a bit to make up the remaining calories.

  24. I LOVE your guides! I learned so much from reading this and the workout routine guide. Every time you make fun of dieting/workout idiots or dispel an irrational myth I laugh my ass off. Keep up the good work.

  25. Thanks for the awesome articles! I just had a quick question- I dislike eating meat (don’t like the taste) and even with two single scoop protein shakes a day (isopure and optimum nutrition whey), I still can’t reach my daily protein intake. I weigh 136 lbs so if I calculated correctly, I need at least 136 grams of protein, especially because I recently started weight training. What do I do? Every non-meat protein source doesn’t seem to have enough protein. Please advise. Thank again!

  26. I’ve heard several times that if i’m trying to put on lean muscle mass (muscle not fat), I should avoid sugar entirely. The only times I can eat sugar is in the mornings and post workout. However, I like to occasionally have a fruit with my meals at lunch or dinner. Why do you think they say that and should i be too concerned with fruit sugar throughout the day? How about larger doses of sugar like from fruit yogurts or cereals?

  27. You totally made my day! This is a whole course not just a guide!! I will print it and read it carefully. I am a psychologist and also getting prepared for my degree as a dietician too. This is absolutely useful and cannot believe it is free. Congratulations to the author!

  28. I have Fibromyalgia. I have been suffering for years now. I have been recently by a nutrishonist that Fibrmyalgia is a symptom not a disease. It is caused by too many complex carbohydrates. What do you say?

  29. Thank you for your great information…im 60 years old and want to drop body fat to 8% -10%, currently im 18.3%. The past 3 weeks I’ve been applying the information you have provided and I was wanting some reassurance that im on the right track…I work out 4 days a week with weights and do 4 aerobics class a week on the same days, my maintainace calaries are 2,500 daily, so I’ve been eating that consistantly each day…the 4 aerobics classes plus the gym work outs burn over 4,000 Kcals per week..over this 3 weeks I’ve reduced my waist from 36″ to 35″ also lost over 1 kg….however because lve maintained a 35″ waist and 80.3 kg weight the past 3 weeks I’ve reduced my maintainance Kgs by 250 kgs daily….am I on the right track?

    • If you were consistently losing fat just fine, but then hit a period of time (I like to give it 2-3 weeks just to be sure) where progress stalled completely and no fat was lost, then making a small reduction to your calorie intake is the right idea.

  30. Love the article, best one I have found on line and trust me I have read a lot of them. You managed to be honest, informative and interesting all at the same time:) I started my “diet” 4-24-2013 and have lost 30 pounds as of today. I have cut my calories to 1000 – 1200 per day and I exercise everyday by walking 4 to 6 miles, doing HIT on my elliptical and strength training on a boflex. I am taking the fish oil, b-complex and D3 supplements. I have not felt this good since high school and I am 38 years old now. I just ordered the protein powder and it should be here this week!! My goal weight is 135 so I have 20 more pounds to go. Once I reach my goal weight I plan to concentrate on building muscle and really sculpting my body. I am very excited for the new me and hope that I can keep this going for the rest of my life. As of right now it is very easy and I am enjoying it. I am never hungry and I have tons of energy!! Thanks so much for all the information you give!

  31. recently i rescheduled my diet to fit my preferences better and i decided to have a whole meal postworkout instead of a shake. in this meal(which i made the biggest of the day) i have some amount of fat(20-25gr).

    do you think that’s a problem or not cause i’ve heard it’s actually a myth. would you recommend drinking a shake and then having that meal a couple hours later in order to have even more macros post training? thanks a lot

    • “do you think that’s a problem”

      I doubt it.

      “would you recommend drinking a shake and then having that meal a couple hours later in order to have even more macros post training?”

      Completely up to you and your own preferences.

  32. Just thought I would drop in & let ya know, I’ve been doing your diet plan (& beginner workout plan) for 2 months now. I have dropped 10 lbs & 13 inches. Your plan has been very easy to follow. I have done fad diets in the past with ok results, but never have I felt this good. Thank you for sharing!!

  33. Just thought I’d let you know I started your plan 3 weeks ago.
    On Jan 1 I weighed 185 and by end of May i was 154. I did this simply by exercising and cutting out all the unhealthy foods I ate. Typically after Dinner i would wear out the hinges on the fridge. I never counted a calorie until Ist June.
    I have set my daily calories and corresponding protein, fats and carbs around 3000 cals a day as I continue to walk every day ( 1.75 miles ) and do gym and swim 3 days as well as weights on the other days. I rest on Sunday.
    I take the multivitamin, fish oil and whey protein as advised but i restrict myself to half the creatine amount per day.
    First week I gained a pound , second week 3/4 so we will see Sunday if I need to adjust at all.
    I can visibly see muscle growth and a big increase in my capabilities when lifting.
    I only lift light weights ( Dumbbells mainly ) with plenty of reps but am pushing the number of reps and the weights up all the time.My reasoning behind this is I do not wish an injury at my age. I am 64.
    I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

  34. Hey, I’m needing some advice on how to build strength AND muscle, while putting on some quality weight.

    See, I’m a teenager, I’m sixteen and a half years old, and I’ve been sort of chubby my whole life, so last summer, I saved up my money and bought P90x, and completed it. Now for a year I’ve purchased more programs like it from the company who markets it, and while I have enjoyed the workouts immensely, I’ve unfortunately worked myself into a very bad position. When I say I’ve been chubby, I mean that I’m sort of and endo-ectomorph, I always gained fat fairly easily, despite being taller and lankier, with skinny wrists, forearms, and twig like calves… SO, to sum it up, the one area which would make someone looking at me think I’m chubby is my stomach, it has always stuck out, and no matter what I did nutrition-wise while working through these home fitness programs, it wouldn’t go away. Unfortunately, as I was focusing on changing this one aspect of myself, I didn’t notice how the rest of my body was changing- Slowly but surely, I lost all of the “good” fat reserves on my body, and now have virtually no fat whatsoever, except on my abdomen. My weight has dropped to an unhealthily low level (114 lbs and I’m 5 foot-seven inches tall, and male) , and recently I noticed symptoms of extreme fatigue, so after having some bloodwork done, my doc told me that I’ve had a virtually non-existent testosterone level for upwards of 2 years, so even before I started trying to lose weight.(this is according to him, why I could never lose the belly fat, as low T makes your body have a predisposition to store fat on the abdomen, around the organs.) Also, with his advice, I had a “bod-pod” test done, an extremely accurate body fat test, and it reported my BF levels at 4.3%, to within half a percentage point accuracy…… Given my age, this is REALLY bad…

    Just as a side note, I’ve done countless hours of research and learning into nutrition and exercise physiology in the past 3 months, and your website is absolutely golden in my opinion, it busts through all the BS “conventional wisdom” crap that I too thought was true until I started researching myself, and it’s all laid out in an easy-to read and understand format. THANK YOU SO MUCH for that!

    OKAY, but HERE IS WHERE I NEED HELP- I have almost no experience actually lifting weights in a traditional manner, I tried stronglifts 5×5 over a year ago, but stopped after 4 months because I realized I was too young to really start weight training, and I never saw much progress. However, I know from my research that long, sport/athletic training-based, sub-maximal and “chronic” cardio workouts, like the types I’ve been doing (p90x, p90x2, insanity, etc) are not optimal for helping to get me out of this state of affairs…. I know how heavy lifting stimulates the CNS to help produce hormones and such, and so I figured THATS what I needed to be doing, and I’m ready to jump in and modify my workouts, I just don’t know what I should go with….

    I have 3 options I’ve considered- a program called “west side for skinny bastards,”

    a program developed by Elliot Hulse (he’s a pretty well known strength coach who posts youtube videos a lot) called “lean hybrid muscle reloaded,”

    and some sort of strength training program YOU have on your website… I was just wondering which you’d advise, the reasons why, and also, whether you think I should count calories/macros when I do this, as I have counted them for a while, but I feel that it’s hard for me to know exactly “how much I should be eating” when according to my doc and many other people I’ve talked to, I should be putting on weight anyway, as that’s what you do naturally as you grow.. do you have any suggestions? feel free to ignore me if this freaks you out, I just was hoping to hear some more insight, especially from you as you clearly, to put it roughly, “know your shit” when it comes to building strength and size.(I don’t want to just get big, I want to get strong too, and from what I’ve read you seem to know how to blend the best of both worlds…) Thanks so much! and I apologize for such a long and personal post

    • Wow, that was kinda long. But if I’m understanding what you’re asking… you’re essentially a beginner to weight training who wants to build muscle and (needs) to gain weight. Sound about right?

      If so, it’s actually pretty simple. I’d recommend starting out with my basic beginner routine (and focusing on progression) and a small caloric surplus (ideally gaining around 0.5lb per week).

  35. So I stumbled across this website when trying to read up on the 1200 calorie a day diet, and like everyone else who has commented, I am a big fan of your site. I won’t restate the obvious, but basically I agree with everything you’ve put in your guide. Even if everyone should already know this info, the way you present it just makes it very accessible and easy to understand so good job, you’ve done something most can’t do, which is to keep the topic of weight loss simple. One quick question: say after calculating and fitting my calorie intake to my needs I come up with the number 1500…does this not include exercise? what i mean is, if I go exercise and burn 100 calories, can i then actually eat 1600 calories because i’ve burned 100 through my exercise. or should i still only have 1500 calories? thank for your insight on this.

    • Thanks Frankie, glad you liked it!

      As for your question, if for example you need to eat 2000 calories per day to lose weight, and you happen to burn an extra 300 calories that day through exercise, you’d eat 2300 calories that day to end up at the 2000 calories you need.

  36. hey , Im 20 years old 5’5″ and around 170lbs overweight.Im doing weight training and cardio workouts 4 days a week. I want to know, can I build Muscle while loosing fat ?. Also If it’s okay to take protein powders like whey ? I want to get big and also loose fat.

  37. really great article it’s great to have no bullshit the part of confused about I think I’m about 30 percen body fat I weigh 243 my goal is to lose weight and build muscle at the same time this is the part I’m confused *NOTE* In the case of people of are VERY overweight, your ideal protein intake will be overestimated if you use your current body weight due to the excessive amount of fat on your body. So, for true obese individuals, your target body weight should be used instead. For example, a 300lb man looking to get down to 200lbs would use 200lbs as their weight when calculating how much protein they should eat per day.). I think 225 wouldn’t be bad anyway do I calculate for my ideal weight or my current weight which is 243

  38. First off, it’s been said before but I’ll say it again: thank you! This site is awesome. Great info, well organized, no baloney: I love it. I’m a 34 year old, 6’2” 195lb guy who’s looking to build muscle and burn fat. You outline how to do what I’m looking for very well so I’ll try not to ask you something that’s covered already. But here’s my question, and it may seem like I’m answering my own question, so I suppose I’m just looking for confirmation of my suspicion. My weight has always fluctuated on a day to day basis (as most people’s do) but mine will often fluctuate to the tune of 2-4lbs a day. Since coming across this site I put together an excel sheet where I keep track of my carbs, protein, fat and calories and have noticed that even while trying to eat a certain amount of calories per day (~2500 which is 80% of my BMR), I often eat varying amounts too, some days 2000 cal, others over 4000. Part of the issue with the larger days is that I have type 1 diabetes so on the occasion I have a low bg I end up eating carbs that aren’t in my “plan”, but I digress…So here’s my question: if I’m weighing myself on a weekly basis to check if my calorie intake is in the right place, what if on the day I check is one of my “high” days with respect to fluctuation? Are my high days simply because I ate a bunch the day before? It seems like it should be, but if it isn’t, it makes assessment of progress very difficult. Thanks in advance 

  39. I read through all the articles did the math and I’m a tad but confused still. I’m 6′ tall and weigh 240 currently. I want to get down to 200 because I feel like I look the most proportixonate at that weight lol… Any ways my calorie intake suggest around (2,200-2,300) 706 in carbs, 944 in protein, and 550 in fat (176g of carb, 230g of protein, and 61g of fat) does this sound right abs how in the world do I get 944 cal or 230g of protein. I just feel like I did something wrong or I just don’t understand it plz help…..

    Besides my problem I think this is the best diet plan site ever. Its very informative

  40. hi again, just an update after 5 weeks.
    Trying to build muscle after losing 30 lbs fat. I am taking the vitamins, Fish oil, protein supplement and creatine.
    Eating 3000 calories per day
    gained 5 lbs —- lost 1 inch on waist,—– gained 2 on chest —–and 1/2 on biceps. I can see visible increase in muscle elsewhere but am not measuring it.
    Should i back down to 2850/2900 and gain less or can i assume its muscle as my waist is smaller.
    I’d appreciate your comments

    • On one hand, you should be ideally be gaining about 0.5lb per week (right now it looks like you’re gaining 1lb per week, right?), but it’s hard to say if your weight is up a bit too fast because you’re eating a little too much, or just because you’ve increased your calorie intake and there is some water retention, refilled glycogen stores, more food in your stomach, etc. and it’s skewing your body weight a bit.

      On the other hand, if your waist is smaller, but your chest/arms are bigger, I’d say you’re doing pretty damn good.

      Keep an eye on what happens over the next couple of weeks. If your weight is still going up a bit too quickly, you should probably cut back slightly anyway until you’re in the 0.5lb/week range.

      • Thanks for the advise.
        On re weighting myself this week I had lost a pound ( unlikely in practice ) so in 5 weeks I have gained 3.5 lbs.
        I’ve checked my body fat % against the theoretical ( Height, age, waist etc ) with calipers and both come out at 12%
        Over the course of the next few weeks I’ll settle out at 0.5 lbs a week and come back to you in a couple of months with more progress.
        I took the time to re read your complete plan and am amazed at the work and common sense you have put into it, so thanks. I also absorbed a great deal more the second time and am able to compare it to myself.
        Thanks Again.

          • Hi Again Jay ( I assume ).
            I have just downloaded your workout book and thoroughly read through it a few times. Some very good advice and it has helped me focus.
            I have decided to Join a local gym with all the proper equipment and start your 3 day workout after a weeks vacation abroad. I will use your ” Muscle Building Workout Routine ”
            May I just ask one more question. I am having some trouble settling at a calorie level which gives me a half pound a week gain and am finding I am not gaining enough. I realize i have to up my calories but having just lost 30 lbs i tend to err on the low side. My calorie calculations are very accurate, i measure everything possible.
            Question is —– If I felt that any excess weight i.e Fat i gain in the process of building muscle, because my gain was too much, I can lose at the end of a period does it matter?
            Lets say i work hard till the end of the year and put on lets say 14 lbs and i monitor my fat % and discover that my % has gone from 12.5 to 15 . This would mean that of the 14 lbs I gained 8 was muscle and 6 was fat. If i then used your advise to lose the 6 lbs whilst maintaining the muscle gain is this another way of doing things.
            I am very disciplined and could lose the 6lbs and at least providing i work hard enough, which i will, the muscle gain would be more certain.
            Your thoughts please.

            • You seem to have it right. Your goal when building muscle is take it slow (ideally 1-2lbs gained per month) so you keep fat gains as low as possible.

              In the end, you’ll build a decent amount of muscle but may very well still go up a little in body fat percentage as well… that’s normal and pretty much has to happen for muscle growth to happen (we again just want to make sure it’s the least amount of fat possible).

              So a scenario like you described, gaining 14lbs — 8 muscle and 6 fat — would be fairly realistic. Your goal at that point would be to switch to losing those 6lbs of fat while maintaining all of your muscle (including those new 8lbs) so that when it’s all over and done… you’re just as lean as you started out, but with 8lbs of additional muscle.

              If you wanted to build more muscle after that, you’d just repeat this process again.

  41. First of all, I would like to say thank you for taking the time to put all that info for people…and best of all for FREE!!!
    Secondly, I have read a lot…and when I say a “lot”, I mean a whole-fucking-lot and on each and every count I was left confused, lost and back to square one due to all the contradictions between nutritional sites and diet plans, not the mention the LACK and proper way of “explaning” things in plain simple English to us ‘non technical people” to whom perhaps all this is a new thing…. so the manner in WHICH you broke down things and presented them not only gave me a big-time clarification to set up my own diet plans, but also made me realize how much time I wasted reading garbage. I alsp your straight-to-the-point no-BS attitude. Thumbs up! You’re a good teacher.
    I cannot think of anything you have stated that I disagree with.
    Perhaps, the ONLY thing which I could say I slightly have a different opinion on (but then again, this isn’t saying yours is wrong; perhaps you were just emphasizing it from a “general” diet point of view) is that there *is* some benefit to breaking down meals to “smaller meals” as opposed to just 3 but NOT as the “fitness gurus” claim (for fat burning purposes, more muscle, etc, as I agree with you it is all bs; makes no sense) but more from an overall health point of view such as ‘smaller meals’ require less digestion effort thus less side effects for people like myself who suffer from acid reflux or bloating after meals…but like I said, this is just from an overall heath point. And it’s just my opinion.
    Everything else I am 100% with you on.
    With THAT said and out of the way though, I wanna kick your ass for being stereotypical 😛 (smiles) there are other people around the world besides Americans you know lol hehe….so I had to struggle to go back and forth using the metric system. Would be nice to see you give examples in pounds and kilograms. For example, you stated 1 g of protein per pound of body-weight, so I had to go work that out and see what it would be in kilograms as I suck in Math. lol.
    Nah, seriously, thank you for the Guide. It was a great help.

    • Ha, thanks for the compliments Ali, glad you liked it!

      Regarding your first point, you pretty much just provided a good example for my point, which is that some people may want/need/prefer it one way, and others another way. It’s all about doing what’s best for you.

      Sorry about my lack of metric system examples, but I’d much rather you have to go back and forth to figure it out than me having to go back and forth to write 2 separate examples. 😉

  42. Hey i cam across this guide and its really helpful! so well done 🙂
    i was just wondering if i just do strength training and no cardio will that help to lose weight? because i agree that cardio is not necessary to lose weight but will strength training assist in losing fat or no? I’ve lost 11 kilos so far and im kinda stuck.. i haven’t been losing weight for quite a while and i just dont know what to do!
    Thank you
    btw i am eating 500 calories below my maintenance and it has helped me lose the weight and now im stuck..

    • For weight loss, a caloric deficit is the one and only thing you need, and that can be done through diet alone, which means cardio nor weight training are actually NEEDED (although for maintaining muscle, I’d always recommend doing weight training).

  43. Amaaaaaaaazing website honestly straight to the point no in an outs I love it 🙂 I have a question tho I am 31 years of age and weight about 185lbs and 6 feet 2 yes i think im around 20% bodyfat and a beginner bodybuilder. My question is if I want to lose weight right now and im fasting for 30 days is it still ok to follow 1 g of protein per body weight and 30% from fat and the rest like ummm 30% from carb? Please please help me 🙂 Thank You

  44. Hey, great site I use it all the time. My question is, how should my daily calorie intake vary on training and non training days? I keep my carbs much lower on off days, and actually vary my carb and fat intake depending on if im training or not. but i keep my protein intake the same on both. im 5’11” and weigh about 170, and am trying to stay lean but keep/build muscle so im eating around 2300 cals on training days and 1900 on off. when i bulk im wondering if i should eat my maintenance level on off days and a surplus on training days?

    • There’s a lot of ways to do it. The same surplus every day, a bigger surplus on training days and smaller surplus on off days, an even bigger surplus on training days and maintenance on off days, an even bigger surplus on training days and a small deficit on off days. And more.

      Really, as long as there is a total net surplus at the end of the week, you’re good.

      There’s a lot of different approaches for making it happen, with pros and cons for each. It’s something I plan on writing a lot about in the future.

  45. I have been trying to lose weight for many years, I started this past Nov and lost about 16 lbs. total in all these months (not happy) so now I weigh 217 but NOW I’m stuck in a plateau of the same 2-3 pounds since Feb. I was 211-213 but I gained some back even though I have been faithful, I eat about 1600 calories a day and excersise about 5-6 days a week and just started drinking 8-10 cups of water and a multivitamin……..what am I doing wrong?? Help! 🙁

  46. Hi, this seems to be a fantastically useful site. I just need a little clarity on dividing my calories between protein, fat and carbs. I’ll use the example of an egg, google reckons a chicken egg is roughly 11% fat, 13% protein, and 1.1% carbohydrate, i don’t really know what makes up the other 74.9%, i assume it’s not relevant?
    And beyond that, does this mean that for each egg i eat, i subtract 13% (of the egg’s weight) from my protein, 11% from my fat, and 1.1% from my carbs?

    • Don’t pay attention to any percentages from the food’s nutrition facts. That’s completely useless information.

      What you want to pay attention to is the total amount of calories, and the number of grams of protein, fat and carbs your serving of that food contained. Your daily totals of those amounts (calories, protein, fat and carbs) are what matter.

  47. Any thoughts on alcohol? I’ve recently lost 25 lbs and now want to build muscle so am slowly changing my calorie deficit to a surplus. Sorry, but I’m a guy who like a few beers and bourbon on the weekends and was able to lose 25 lbs with it since everything remained a deficit even with alcohol calories included. But can I still gain muscle when part of the surplus is alcohol calories? Would I shoot for protein and fat to be on target and substitute some of the carb calories to ensure the surplus doesn’t get too high?

    • Yup, pretty much.

      As long as your total calorie and macronutrient intake remains what it needs to be each day, it’s ok if some of those calories happen to come from alcohol once or twice a week.

  48. Wish I had found this when I was 19. Grate info.
    The only question I have at this time is who or you and can you give a little back ground about yourself?

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