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. Jay, for a fat beginner, who is experiencing real simultaneous muscle building and fat loss, what’s your take on supplementing with creatine?

    • It’s perfectly fine. For me personally though, I’d probably hold off until they are past the amazing beginner gains period first, just so they’ll at least be able to notice the difference from the creatine.

      But, it really won’t matter much either way.

  2. Hi, thanks so much for your article. I’m very much a beginner and after disappointing results time and time again I’m trying to take matters into my own hands. Just wanted to get your thoughts on something – for the past two months I’ve been going to the gym doing a combined weights and cardio program. I’m gaining muscle, losing very little fat, gaining weight and losing only some centimeters. If I’m gaining muscle and not losing weight, does that mean I should restrict my diet more? My diet’s not too bad right now but there’s room for improvement BUT I’m working out hard at the gym and exercising on weekends too. Just not sure why there’s muscle gain but absolutely no weight loss at all…

    • Hello!

      First of all , thank you very much for these guides they are very useful… easy to get lost among all the different kinds of information mostly filled with useless ads. Cant wait to hit the 3 full body workout / week plan.

      HOWEVER, I just dont see how I could get enough protein daily into the system.

      I weigh 172 pounds, so according to your diet guide I should aim for ~172 g proteins daily.

      Now if I take for example chicken breast, oven baked no skin which is probably the healthiest and most rich in protein food available on hand, I need to eat about 2 pounds of it daily !! and that would take me only to ~158g of protein …

      Let alone how to eat that much or spend that much on meat, thats almost 3000 calories right there …

      That means the only option to meet your protein intake is pretty much just with the help of whey protein supplements ? that would be kind of disappointing .. 🙁

      • It’s pretty much just a matter of figuring out how many meals you plan to eat each day and dividing that protein intake up among those meals eating whatever foods you prefer (eggs/chicken/turkey/tuna/beef/etc.).

        And, if you still have trouble getting all of your protein in… that’s precisely what whey protein is for.

  3. I cannot thank you enough for this guide, as a complete beginner I’m so lucky to have found your site. It is agonizingly confusing to filter the enormous amount of information that’s out there regarding fitness. Your straight forward approach makes me feel I can actually do this! My question is about my caloric intake. On your site you talk about deficit and surplus for specific goals. I’m having trouble figuring out what my number should be because I want to both lose fat and gain muscle. What formula should I use? I’m a 5 3’ 27 yo female and weight 137lbs. My body fat % is 29% (I did a body comp test yesterday) and I’m a size 6-8. My first goal is to drop the percentage to at least 25% and fit into my “normal” pants sized 3-4. Again thanks for your insight!

  4. Okay.. I am not a beginner I am a trainer past figure competitor and this is the best explanation and easiest plan to follow… thank you 1. for writing it and 2. for offering it free to everyone. Whoever reads this article please listen and follow it; it’s a plan to free you from worry and bring you into a life of loving food again and fueling your body properly.

    It is very comprehensive and extremely accurate; I follow and believe everything you stated here. Being a past competitor my strict crazy diets would get me lean to only bloat up and gain 20lbs immedidately past show. Not to say my relationship with food and my metabolism were destroyed. Now that I rebuilt it and realized that fruits are not bad.. :).. I am on my way to losing these 20 lbs that just won’t budge.

    So again thank you and great job!!! Be Blessed!!

  5. Just want to say a huge THANK YOU! With all the contradicting information out there and crazy diets, fads, gimmicks etc. it was so nice to read this no non sense type guide. So simple and easy to follow. I also love your reasoning for the no sample plans. So thank you again for this very informative to the point and helpful guide. Cant wait to read the workout guide next 🙂

  6. Ok … Here’s my question/comment. I’ve been on many different plans and I always hear that it is also bad to eat too few calories because it will result in starvation mode which will prevent weight loss. The magic number I’m told is 1200 calories … The absolute minimum you must consume regardless of your size. I’m a short, very petite(small frame) person… The petite part is corrently obscured under 30-40 extra pounds:(. By your calculations for a calorie deficit I would need about 1400. Then if that does not work you say to drop 250 which would put me below the 1200 mark!… Hence the previously alluded starvation mode. Does this exist/should I be concerned a out eating too little???

    • Eating “too little” is definitely a bad thing that you want to avoid doing for a lot of reasons. But “starvation mode” (which in this case we’ll define as the idea that eating too little prevents weight loss) is bullshit.

      You didn’t mention your height or weight, but it’s certainly possible that some very tiny women (especially those with low activity levels) trying to reach a certain level of leanness might need to go below 1200 calories.

      Although at that point, if preferred, you could always increase activity level and burn more calories rather than eat less of them.

      • Ok … So I’m starting your plan today. Btw I’m 5′ tall and ideally used to wear a a size 4-5. My weight .. Well you’ll have to extrapolate that from my other info. I have determined that I should have about 150 grams of protein per day. I didn’t realize until I started today and began tracking how much that really is!!! After 2 meals I am no where close to that amount. Any tips on getting that much protein into my diet. I’m at 33 grams and will of course have protein at dinner but don’t deliver it will get to the magic 150 mark !! Thanks for all the info on this diet plan … I hope I can make it work for me :). I have fried many plans prior to this but the weight sticks to me like glue 🙁 very frustrating

        • Are you going with the low or high end of the protein range? If it’s the high end, feel free to switch to the lower end (and if you have 40lbs of fat to lose, you may even be able to go with your target body weight instead of your current body weight).

          But beyond that, one simple tip some people like is to figure out how many meals you want to eat per day and then just divide up your protein intake evenly between those meals.

          And of course, if needed or preferred, a protein supplement is always a perfectly usable option.

  7. Hi, I’m so happy I discovered your site. Reading your blog was really reassuring. I’m 5’5, weigh 120 and workout 4 to 5 times a week.. My goal is to loss fat around my belly, thighten my abs maybe even see them and build muscle. I’ve changed my eating habits several times over a twelve month period and four weeks ago I figured out my daily intake of calories to loss fat which is 1520. I lost about .5 or 1 pound and I’m happy because I don’t look as round as I did 4 weeks ago. I’m not trying to loss a lot of weight and once my stomach is tighter I will start a maintenance calorie lifestyle. The question I have for you is, what should my sugar intake be. I stay away from table sugar but some fruit has lots of sugar which sometimes I’m scared to eat because I don’t want to consume to much sugar. What are your thoughts?

  8. Just about finished your workout guide and got to this site. After browsing over it, it looks like I will be reading this through as well. One thing that I would like to see, that are probably around but I have not found, is a nice list of recipes or even 1 day diet plans based on either muscle gain or weight loss. This way, people create and share their own created plans, can choose some day plans they like, ignore ones they dont like and multiply the servings by their own preferred calorie intake. I dont know if this exists or how this might be easily accomplished, but I would like to see it and, personally, think its needed for people trying to find their way though all of this information.

  9. HEy thanks for your article that is tok good..:(

    Btw here is the thing that im 155 pounds 5’6” im onhealthy dieting like about 4 months, Yes i loss alot of weight i was 171 pounds but well yeah now im eating like 1700 calories only lean meat,2 chicken breast,3 tbsp of olive oil,3 egg whites,3 scoops of whey protein with each meal,milk,cottage cheese and sometimes a protein bar and lots of fruits Apple,Orange or Banana..

    Well i loss alot weight before but now since last 1.5 months its look like im not losing weight i have 20% body fat… Doing weight training 4 days a week, twice muscles group…. But it didnt seem like im losing weight….:( any advice please..

  10. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    1. Not only is this a wonderful guide, it clearly explains the scientific logic behind it in terms a “normal” person can understand. This is exactly what I needed at this point in my weight loss journey. Even better is your no nonsense approach, in your diet plan and other articles. I particularly enjoyed learning about the different calories and how are body really uses them. I have already bookmarked the link and plan on reviewing it frequently to keep me on track.

    2. While it was in the information courtesy of Alan Aragon, I am curious about your thoughts/recommendations for a pre workout meal when you workout first thing in the morning. I take a 60min HIIT class with cardio and weight training at 7:30a on Saturday mornings. I generally go on an empty stomach as eating that close to working out doesn’t appeal to me.

    3. I’m proud to say that my eating for the past 90+ days hasn’t been too far off from what you discuss; although changes to my macros and especially protein intake will need to be adjusted. I look forward to sharing my progress.

    • You’re welcome, you’re welcome, you’re welcome. 😉

      1. Exactly what I like to hear.

      2. Honestly, as long as your total calorie, protein, fat and carb intake is what it needs to be each day, the specifics of your pre/post workout meals barely matter. If you prefer training fasted (some people do), feel free. Otherwise, some type of whey protein shake (possibly mixed with something like gatorade for some carbs) should be fine before/during your workout.

      3. Looking forward to seeing how well you do!

  11. Thanks for all the great information. You’ve really helped relieve a lot of the anxiety I’ve felt about my diet; especially the myths that I believed in. I do have a couple of questions regarding the workout. First, why are there only two exercises for arms and is that really enough to build my biceps and triceps muscles? And second: I’m not worried about getting six-pack abs, just getting a flat stomach. How much (if any) cardio should I do? Thanks again for a great post.

    • 1. Because after the various compound pushing exercises (which significantly train your triceps) and compound pulling exercises (which significantly train your biceps), only a small amount of direct triceps/biceps work is needed.

      2. A flat stomach happens as a result of fat loss, and the one requirement of fat loss is a caloric deficit. If you create that deficit through diet alone, no cardio is needed. If however you need/prefer to use cardio to create that deficit, feel free to do some to make that happen.

      • Thanks for the information, I really appreciate it. I knew that the pushing and pulling moves inderictly effects your bi’s and tri’s, I just didn’t know to what degree. Your answer really helped. However, I do have one more question, if you don’t mind. Will creating a caloric deficit effect building muscle, which is my main goal?

        Thank you again for the help.

  12. Hey,

    So you have some really interesting stuff here, but here’s my issue….

    Lets say the calories i consume to maintain my weight are about 2500
    I reduce that by 20% so i consume about 2000… i loose a couple lbs in a few months… get down to the weight that is maintained by 2000cals…
    I change that by 20% less and do it all over again…

    The other scenario is that i create my caloric deficit based on my goal weight… so instead of reducing to 2000 cals, i reduce to 1500 cals… cuz i wanna be about 150lbs….

    Which is more effective?

  13. Hi have worked out my calories for the day (protien/fat/carbs) but was wondering is the a site or do u have a page that shows what certain foods contain eg. chicken **protien/**fat/**carbs
    THanks again

  14. I just want to say THANK YOU for this article! I’ve been working out 4-5 months now & changed my diet,(clean eating)lately I’ve been feeling a bit lost wwith alot of terms that I’ve been hearing about but had no real explaination on what they were. I was just going along with what I was seeing other people do. I’ve been researching everything myself and to be honest at times it so overwhelming! Everyone has a different idea of what works and what doesn’t. I was just about to spend I’m sure too much money on a personalized diet plan from a trainer because lately I haven’t been seeing the results that I want. Now I feel confident that I can do it myself and I actually understand what I’m doing versus before when I was just guessing. So I can’t say it enough thank you!

  15. Just want to say…… THANK YOU SO DAMN MUCH MAN!!!!! Can’t say it enough! Your in detail explanations are 2nd to none, and down right genius if you ask me. I’m still in shock that you can put out so much information, yet somehow be so clear and thorough that I’m literally left with no questions after all that reading LOL…. And I’m a “question freak!!”…… I ALWAYS HAVE A QUESTION! LOL

    Here’s an example of how thorough this guy is…. Here’s one of his work out routines

    He explains “method of progression” and also what he means by “rep ranges”
    For example, 6 to 8 reps…… and how to successfully move up to the next weight.
    Wow, thank you again for being so clear!

    Seriously, this kind of attention to detail is priceless!

    Anyways man, if you haven’t already figured it out, I’m a huge fan lol.
    Im sure I’ll eventually have a question! And the great thing is that from the looks of it, you reply to all your supporters!

    With all that in mind, I’m looking forward to purchasing your “best workout routines” E-book to not only be strapped with extra knowledge but MORE IMPORTANTLY, to support you!


  16. Hey I really relate to this article a lot, I admit I was the 150lb guy complaining about bad genetics but still I had the desire and passion to learn how to get bigger, still working on that at the moment, I am currently 5’10 at 175lbs I work out 5-6 days a week and since it’s Fall/Winter I want to bulk (the right way). You mentioned the basic foods and portion control but I was wondering If you could give me a sample diet even though you said not to. For instance Men’s health says something similar to 6 meals a day first one being oatmeal and eggs etc. If it’s not explained really simply to me I might not fully understand and spend my time and effort in the wrong places, can you help me?

  17. I have a couple questions. I think I fall into the category of one of those people that wants to lose ALOT. I’m 5’10” and >=275 lb. Luckily, I have been told that I “carry it well” ie, I am not falling out over my pants. Anyway, I would like to eventually get to a relatively low body fat (at least 12% as a first goal) and at least be under 200lbs perhaps even 175 in the end. (I think those numbers work out to something decent? I wont know til I get there)

    So, first, daily calories. Method 1 gives me 3850-4675 for 275lbs and 2800-3400 for 200lbs while method 2 gives me 3068 for 275 and 2599 for 200. Should I shoot for something in the middle of all that mess? 2800? 3000? or go below it all for a better calorie deficit, 2500? I really dont know what to do with the numbers varying that much. Should I scale it down as I go along and recalculate every 20 lbs lost to 20lbs below that number?

    Second, pre-post workout protein intake. Is that .25g/lb current or target weight? either way that is 68g or 50g of protein both before and after. I dont know whether I will be able to workout in the morning (I am not a morning person) or the evening (I have a hard enough time getting to sleep as it is and have heard that the gym I plan to join is rather crowded until 730 or so). If evening, I would guess that dinner would be my pre-workout so thats 2-3 servings of protein post workout If I workout in the morning, I would take the powder pre, and are eggs/oatmeal sufficient post? and that is just protein from the powder and doesnt include the recommended cards preworkout, this is starting to run into significant $$ for that many servings of protein and carbs for pre-post. From what I can tell, it looks like most recommended powders run about $0.03/g protein or ~$0.75per 25g serving. Besides all that, I dont know if I would want to have 2 servings of protein and, perhaps, a bowl of oatmeal soon before I sleep if I work out in the evening. While eating in general might not keep a person up at night, will that much cause problems? If working out in the morning very soon after I wake up and having a pre-post workout meal like this, it seems like that will be alot of protein/carbs (100g protein and 100g carbs pre-post combined) in a very short amount of time <2hrs.

    Sorry for the rambling post. You need not address every question mark, just mostly looking for a little more specific guidance on where the calories should fall, if I need to scale down the g/lb on the protein and perhaps some $ saving ideas on the protein.

    • Regarding your calorie intake, I’d probably go with what the calculator gave you (for your current weight). Just remember that this step isn’t all that important and is nothing more than an estimated starting point. The key step is monitoring your progress and ensuring your weight is moving in the direction it should be at the rate it should be. And, if it’s not, adjusting until it is.

      As for pre/post workout meal questions, this is the answer I give to everyone who asks anything about them. Don’t overthink it or worry too much. As long as your total calorie, protein, fat and carb intake is what it needs to be each day, the specifics of these meals become significantly less important.

      So basically, eat some protein/carbs before and after your workout in whatever amounts/from whatever sources you want. Simple as that. If you’d prefer to train fasted (some people do), that’s fine too.

  18. First things first…. Your guide is hands down the most cut-and-dry, black-and-white, easiest guide to follow. I can’t begin to tell you how much I needed a real stripped down guideline on what I should be consuming for pre/post work out, eating right, and achieving my goals. I now truly understand how whey isolate, casein, fish oil and multivitamins affect my body. I also no know what supplements I need to take and which ones I can hold off from. Knowledge is power right?

    Just know knowing that I doing everything right in terms of losing weight and gaining muscle keeps me motivated. All thanks to the info I stole…I mean gleaned from your guide! I do have a question for you though regarding protein, carb and fat intake according to your formulas.

    ex. 0.8-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight intake for men

    So then if my body weight is 230lbs for instance, that would equate to:

    0.8 x 230lbs = 192grams of protein per day, correct?

    Is this formula for your current or target weight?


  19. I should have included this in my earlier post….

    I was also curious about my protein/fat/carb intake when it comes to calories. What if I don’t meet my protein/fat/carb intake numbers BUT I DO hit my target Calorie deficit? Will that affect my ability to lose fat or build muscle drastically?

    • Calories are the most important part, so you’ll still lose fat or build muscle if your macros are a little off from what they should be.

      Although, if they’re VERY off (like 20g of protein instead of 200g), that’ll change things.

      • Good to know. That being said, what about the reverse effect? Or maybe a combination? I’ll give you an example. Say my protein intake is 185g and I go over by 10-20g once or twice a week yet stay within my caloric intake? I’m finding that my fat intake isn’t usually very high, my protein is right up there, and my carbs is so-so. I’ve been losing weight, which is great, but I do want to have proper nourishment. Am I worrying about too much about my macros?

        • Similar answer. Calories are still most important in terms of fat loss, so you’ll lose just fine regardless of macros (although ensuring protein needs are met will help prevent muscle loss).

          So for example if you go a few grams over with protein one day and carbs end up lower that day to keep calories even, it’s no big deal.

          You do want to try to keep fat intake sufficient, though. But again, going a few grams over or under every once in a while won’t really matter as long as you’re getting it right the majority of the time.

  20. Hey, currently I am using a protein called Promasil by Rivulus and I was wondering if you have ever heard of it and if you have, is it any good?

    And is it as good as the one you recommend (Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Whey Gold Standard)?

    If it basically is the same thing, I am willing to make the switch because I noticed yours is cheaper.

    I would greatly appreciate your opinion and good job on your websites, they are a great deal of help!

  21. What I liked best about the BestDietPlan…
    …is that at 30 years of age I finally learned the truth about the total calorie intake, Protein, Fat and Carb intake to make my diet work!

    What I would like to hear more about is…
    …what do I need to do when my goal is to loose fat AND gain strength (muscle).

  22. Hey jay!!
    Bro i literally wanna thanks you of watever you did for us, i mean you help many people and thats the very big thing, i mean nobody do this for anyone specially for strangers but i do appreciate, now i believe im on the right track..:)

    Well my question is that about 5 months ago i start dieting by following an online crappy article which was also said that “if you wanna loose weight just do dieting, 80% is all about dieting” well thats true it is but that article havnt give me the proper information it just said that you have to eat chicken and green veggies and eat about 800-1200 calories and they havnt mention anything about protein,carb or fat intake they just write down some neal plans and thats it.. I dobt kbow why but i follow it because it said you will lose 20 pounds in 1 i was a beginner, i didnt knew anything about lose fat or build muscles,my goal was to lose fat but guess what yeah i saw alot progress and from 170 i came down to 140 pounds 25% to 18% bf after four months, well the problem is that i still have fat with 18% bf, and now i realize what i have done, “I LOST MOST OF MY MUSCLES” and now i m looking like a skinny fat:( and my body looks so funny i mean i have small chest skinny arms and there is still love handles and obligue muscles im 5’6″ and people call me skinny but when i take of my shirt they say you are skinny fat…;(

    Well i wish i find your article before but my bad luck.. Now i wanted to know that after 5 months why i still couldnt lost the weight and lose fat around muscles? Is it because i lose alot muscles,fat or noth or its because of no excersize?? And now what should i do? Should i bulk or cut as im looking more skibg from chest area almost my ribs showing off..:( sorry my reply is pretty long but any advice from where should i start now? And can you also reply on my ID? Its (

  23. Brother thx for your advice from now i start doing your workout plan and also readjust my calories well its really works.. Btw i have a question that i use to eat 2 chicken breast and talapia fish… I make them like an indian recipe of Chiken tikka masala and tandoori chicken thats really delicious, the only problem is that it have lots of spice like red chilli powder,salt,turmeric,pepper,garlic ginger paste,mint etc its high in sodium so is it okay to eat foods those are high in sodium but pretty low in calories?? And if not than why?? And can you also tel me that can i drink soda like after 2-3 days instead of complex carbs i know thats high in calories but somwtimes is it good?? I mean the only factor is calories deficet right??

  24. thank you so much 🙂
    Normally i find reading about this sort of thing boring and a massive drag, but something about this enabled me to read from start to finish, follow along and hopefully it will get me off to a good start with my dieting and workout routines

  25. Do calories change in raw food when cooked? I’ve searched this question all over the internet and came up with most of the answers saying NO. If it is so, or if it does change when cooked, WHY?

  26. Hello,
    I’d like to thank you for taking the time to write such an explicit guide. The best part is that it’s free. THIS IS BIG!!! I have to say that it’s a very explicit guide, it pretty much covers everything. However I have one question I’ like to ask.

    Say for example that someone’s maintenance level is 3500 calories, using the percentage based deficit of 20% his daily intake would be: 2800 cal (700 cal deficit). Over a week this would bring that person to lose 1.4 lb/week.

    My question is: where does physical activity come in? Would this amount of calories come from dieting only or should that person exercise to help create such deficit. In this case how much of it would come from exercising?

    Now let’s say that this person is successful at achieving his weight loss goal. Now how do you balance his calories to prevent further weight loss and maintain his goal weight?

    Thank you.

    • 1. That’s entirely up to the person. If you’d rather eat 700 less calories per day and do no additional activity, that would be fine. If you’d rather eat 3500 calories but then burn 700 more through activity, that’s fine. If you’d rather eat 350 less and burn 350 more (or any such combination), that’s fine. Completely up to you which way you do it.

      2. Once you’ve lost as much as you want to lose, you’d simply increase your calorie intake at the time in very small increments (e.g 250 per week) until you stop losing and start maintaining. And at that point, continue eating that amount.

  27. Thank you for your amazing blog&article. I enjoyed it and learned so much from it.
    I am 18 years old and I am obese. I have started my weight loss journey a month ago. I lost 4 kg in a month. My caloric maintenance level is 2719.My caloric deficit is 543.8. So I should be eating 2175 calories a day. But I am only eating around 1400 calories a day. I eat brown cereal with low fat milk in the morning and chicken, salad, and rice during lunch and in the evening I eat one apple or a banana.
    I am really worried that I am eating too little. But I don’t feel that starved or hungry. I stopped eating all kinds of candies, chocolates and snacks, and any type of soda. I exercise 5 times a week, 2 days swimming 3 days strength training and I sometimes walk and run for 30 minutes .
    I don’t feel bad about eating less but after reading about the calorie intake I am just worried about it. What do you thin I should do? Can you please help me?
    Thank you very much.

  28. For the Dextros in the post work out meal, isn’t that a lot of sugar to be eating at one time? I mean with the product you recommended it is 40g of sugar.

    Also if I work out more than once a day, when would be the best time to have my protein shake? Is it okay to have more than one whey protein shake throughout the day and then a casein shake before bed also?

  29. I am literally almost in tears. Not just because of the fact I can now easily and FINALLY put together my diet-plan without spending too much on a greedy pro (I would have eventually, of course, if it was not for this website) but all the myth’s that were spinning in my head now have lost their power; SUCH a relief!

    Next summer, 2014, I will shine! Thank you SO so SO so SO so SO so SO so much for all this information!

    Bless you,


  30. Exceptionally well done overview. Both to the point and thorough. Thank you so much for providing such a significant (free) asset to someone starting out on a path towards consistent and intelligent training.

    Dr A

  31. Hi! I love your approach and the way you write it’s very easy to follow and understand! I have a question and I hope it won’t sound ridiculous ! So I’ve worked out I need about 1450 to 1650 calories per day to maintain my weight (which is what I’m trying to do). Currently though, I eat about 1200/1300calories Of ‘healthy foods’ and not very often go over that. This is making me lose weight, and I’m usually only able to hit my calorie goal (1450-1650, or even over) if I eat a ‘cheat meal’ or something a little naughty… Now I know you said we shouldn’t really eat bad foods very often and I completely agree, especially because I genuinely enjoy eating healthy and love healthy foods but I can’t seem to up my calories that way!! Would I gain weight if I boosted my calories up to 1450-1650 by adding a few naughtier bits everyday? Does it have to be strictly all good foods ? Most of the time I eat very healthily but it’s causing me to lose :/ I eat bread and cheese everyday, have starches about twice a week, protein and veg everyday and about two cheat meals a week.. I feel a little stuck! hope I haven’t ranted on too much! Thank you !

    • If the majority of your daily calorie intake comes from higher quality sources, it’s perfectly fine if the minority of it comes from junkier sources.

      As long as your total calorie and macronutrient intake is what it needs to be, it’s no problem at all.

      Also, I have “starches” like potatoes and rice every single day. There’s nothing wrong with those foods.

  32. Hey, amazing guide. Can I just confirm one thing. You can’t lose fat and build muscle at the same time, you must lose fat whilst maintaining as much muscle as possible, then when you’re down to a level you’re happy with, you then start building some muscle right? So you do one, then the other until you reach a look/condition you’re happy with? I want to be really small but really lean, so want to lose lots of fat, then just build a tiny bit of muscle to look ‘toned’. Thanks so much.

  33. hi thanks for writing this free article about losing weight. i really appreciate it. ive been trying to find the “best way to lose fat” and i usually end up cringing and eating a load of processed crap in front of my computer screen. im one of those people who turns a cheat meal into a cheat week. omg im so tired of lying to myself. i always tell myself that im definitely going to stick to my next diet and they always result in failure.
    this article has given me determination to start a calorie deficit diet seriously. like, SERIOUSLY seriously. but then again i always fail in the end. im tired of my bullshit. i really am. i dont really know how this relates to my criticism of your diet plan but thank you for taking the time to read my terribly long comment.

  34. Hi Jay – Just read all the way thru AWorkoutRoutine and AColorieCounter and it was awesome! A huge thank you!! I do have 1 question – do you recommend using a scale to get exact portions/ounces/grams or is estimating a good idea? I’ve been using the Calorie Counter for a couple days now and it seems like I really need to plan out what I’m going to eat in advance, which is good, but I find myself getting confused with portions. I was told anything more than a fist is too much – what are your thoughts on that? Thank uuuu!

  35. Been using ON 100% Whey Isolate and ON Casein with Pure Dextrose for 6 weeks now for my pre and post workout shakes! AWESOME!! Thanks for your suggestions with these products! I’ve already lost 20lbs! YAY!

  36. Hi i thought i’d let you know how im progressing so far on my so called “diet”. Diet is in speech marks because i once again did not stick to my commitments and ended up stuffing myself until my stomach was about to explode. TT_TT i don’t know whats wrong with me, i think i have a problem.
    In all seriousness though, i managed to lose 2 kilos on those days when i wasn’t pigging out. yay. I made progress. However, i really want to stop this habit of mine – randomly indulging myself with all the food there is in my pantry and fridge until i feel sick. This results in my efforts going to waste as i just regain the weight that i’m losing. Do you have any ideas or suggestions that would help me stop this habit? Its okay if you don’t. I mean, you’ve done so much already just by writing this article. Once again, thanks for reading!

  37. Hi Jay
    Just one thing re eating frequency-I’ve heard that we can only process a limited amount of protein in a single meal. (Something like 30 odd grams) Anything beyond that isn’t utilised and goes to waste. In light of that, if protein is vital to muscle growth shouldn’t we be eating protein in approx 30 gm quantities at a time spread over the day to reach our total daily protein requirement?? Eg eating 3 meals at 50gm protein per serve really only gives us 90 gms of usable protein-not the 150 gms we have actually consumed.
    Tim. 🙂

  38. 1. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. i have learned soo much and really, really appreciate the effort you put into this article.
    I liked everything. I enjoy the fact that it has explained all the myths of muscle fat, weight loss and suppliments. I now have a clear idea on how to maximise my results by eating right and working out. Thank you.
    2. QUESTION : Fruits, anything with regards to fruits and when is the best time to eat them?
    (sounds silly but, i have heard so many theories and i just wanted to hear your take on it )
    3. I am going to use this best diet guide and i will give you my feedback on it ( i promise )
    I have recommended it to my friends with whom i have partnered up with to loose weight and i hope they too will find it beneficial.
    thanks very much a calorie counter. You are a blessing in disguise 🙂 God bless.

    • 1. You’re welcome!

      2. As long as it fits in with your ideal calorie and macronutrient total for the day, you can eat them whenever you want.

      3. Glad to hear it! Looking forward to seeing how well you do.

  39. Hey. Firstly, I just want to say how awesome all of these articles are. It cuts right through all of the standard bullshit I’ve seen on other sites and it’s inspired me to try and lose weight again. I’m 18, 6′ and weigh about 215lbs. Not exactly great, I know. I’m a university student and live in the halls so I have complete control over what I buy, what I eat, when I eat etc. Apparently I have lost some weight since I’ve been here which has made me a bit happy but obviously I’m aiming for long term. I’ve read all the articles about the deficit and I’ve worked out my deficit would be at 1,950. I’m going to get necessary stuff to help me next week (Originally, I was planning to live off crap. Typical student life. So I never bought pans or scales for food).

    The thing I was mainly wondering is the certain student activity that can hinder this. Drinking. I go out with friends at least once a week and I was wondering how I’d budge this into my deficit. I usually drink around 5 or 6 cans of cider before going out and then around 3-4 double vodka red bulls when out. All together, this is about 1,972-2,470 calories just from a night of drinking! So I how do I curb this? Am I going to have to not eat for that and then just drink slightly less when out to hit my decifit (A pro of this is that I have a very muddled sleeping pattern so hunger wouldn’t bother me for too long)? Or am I going to have to stop going out/getting drunk? I’d like to lose weight but obviously I don’t want to lose my social life at the same time…

    • Honestly, if you’re drinking 2000+ cals of alcohol on a regular basis, there’s very little way of working around it (I mean, you’d have to eat no food on those days to end up at your ideal calorie intake, and that’s obviously a bad idea).

      The only suggestion here is to cut back a bit on the drinking.

  40. Thank you so much for this! I have been looking for a no-bullshit plan because as a woman who weighs 195 pounds at 5ft 5in I needed a way to lose all the weight I gained from not being as active.

  41. Hey so I am an FTM (transgender female to male) and I was wondering if I should follow the male or female diet and workout. Obviously before hormones I use the female, but once I start testosterone should I use the male? I’m using it for weight loss and muscle gain. Thanks!

    • Assuming the hormones will be at a level that puts you equal with the average male, I’d think that you can put yourself in the male category in most cases (or possibly at the lower end of those recommendations).

  42. First thing: what an amazing website! So full of science-based ACCURATE information. A God-send, really. Thank you for all the time and energy you have put into sharing this information.
    I work shift work both days and nights. I find it very hard to resist snacks while working nights and have very irregular eating habits because of my work. Should I count my calories from say midnight to midnight to allow more flexibility with my schedule? That would usually mean that the first night I work, I would consume more calories that evening and night, then less the following day while I slept. Does that sound reasonable?
    Also…any tips to avoid temptation. It is very hard because there is always chips out for everyone to eat.
    Last question…do you have an app that I could download/buy? Would love to have all this info on my phone, and the workout website too. Both are fantastic.
    Thanks again 🙂

    • 1. Assuming your goal is weight loss, I’d recommend doing whatever is best for you in terms of sustainability and convenience. As long as you end up with a moderate net deficit for the week, the specifics of exactly how/when/where those calories were consumed won’t really matter at all. Do whatever is best for you.

      2. Beyond setting up your diet in a way that keeps you as full and satisfied as possible, it’s pretty much just a matter of will power.

      3. Nope no app currently, but it’s not a bad idea. 😉

  43. Well guys i thought i would give you an almost annual update. I’m sharing this because i’m truly excited and i want to say a heartfelt thank you for your help.
    I started the year at 185 lbs and got this down to 154 lbs, by mid year simply by eating less and eating better. I’m 5’7″ and 64 years old.
    Then by default i started using light dumbbells to assist a back problem and got hooked. I read your plan and also bought your “Best Workout Routines”
    I settled out at 3000 calories a day, eat my proteins, fish oil, vitamins and creatine. I enrolled in a gym and got started. I ignored all gym advice apart from assistance with “Proper Form” and followed your full body routine 3 days a week. I have added 4 additional exercises over the last couple of months and moved to mainly dumbbells rather than machines.
    i weighed myself once every 2 weeks but measured my waist every week. I started at 32.5 waist and am still the same but i now weigh 164 lbs, I have put on a full 10 lbs and I can see it is all muscle.
    I intend to continue with the same routine until the end of April when I will be 65 and hopefully put on another 8 lbs. I would think at that point i would be happy with myself and look to maintaining rather than gaining.
    I have also monitored my Fat % with calipers and had readings taken at the gym with the Tanita TBF – 300, both confirm a 12% fat result.
    I can see my abs reasonably well but i will wait until April and when I have reached my desired “Muscle Weight” then I will drop about another 3 lbs of fat.
    The biggest regret I have is that i did not do this 40 years ago.
    I feel incredibly well, have lots of energy and this has become a way of life which I will continue.
    Whilst i was the catalyst for all this and have put in the effort I truly thank you for the solid no frills advice which i can guarantee works.
    Thanks Again

    • You are quite welcome Vin… congrats on the amazing progress! Those are some best-case-scenario numbers right there.

      Happy to hear the site/book helped in any way.

      Definitely keep the updates coming!

      • Hi Jay,

        I am grateful for all the information in both your Ultimate Weight Training Workout Routine and this article. It all just makes sense and it is a relief to know that so much of the information we get about diet and exercise is just bullshit.

        We purchased your “The Best Workout Routines” PDF and I will definitely put it to use once I get past my beginner phase.

        I began my new fitness lifestyle (I don’t want to think of it as a diet because it’s how I want to live from now on) on November 2nd and have slowly increased my exercise intensity and frequency until I am now at a point where I am lifting in the gym 3 days a week, full body split using version 2 of your workout for beginners, and doing 30 minutes of walk/jog interval cardio on the in-between days with a pretty serious effort to rest on Sunday.

        I was 276 lbs (6′ tall with a large frame) on November 2nd and yesterday morning I weighed in at 260 lbs. Off to a damn good start! I am also using the Spark People program for both its excellent food and fitness tracking tools (probably the best I’ve ever seen and free to boot!) and the social support the website provides. With these tools and now armed with the excellent knowledge from your articles, I really feel like I am going to kick some ass and take names and see some lifelong changes take place in getting rid of my excess fat and becoming strong and healthy.

        One question for you… I read your article on “Cardio On Rest Days: What Should I Do On My Days Off From Lifting?” I’ve decided to do it because A) I want to have excellent cardiovascular health and B) I like it! It just makes me feel damn good when I am done. At the same time, I do want to be mindful of not hurting my muscle recovery because I want to maintain current muscle while burning fat. So my question is this: How will I know if I am over training and more specifically, if I am losing muscle due to not giving my body enough rest?

        Thanks much man!

        • Glad to hear it dude… and awesome progress thus far!

          As for your question, go by how you feel and how you perform. If you’re always tired/run down/dragging all the time, or having trouble sleeping, or feel like crap overall, or performance in the gym starts to go backwards instead of forwards (or stuff just feels harder), or all of the above… those would be signs that maybe you’re overdoing things.

          But if you’re feeling fine and performing well, you’re most likely just fine and have nothing to worry about.

  44. Hi, I am beginning again after about a year and a half of not going to the gym regularly. I have never come across something like this before that breaks everything down. This is great! I hope this will give me the tools to be successful and stick with it this time. Thank you.

  45. A little background on me. About a year ago I was a 42 year old who weighed 260-265 lb male. I decided to make lifestyle changes and change my body composition. In about 6-7 months I lost around 87 lbs with little to no exercise/training (just diet change). And in that process I did notice some muscle loss. So I started researching topics around strength training. In all that research I kept finding confusing strategies and terms. My perfect example is “toning muscle”. I kept trying to search for what the true meaning of “toning” was but I couldn’t find it. I came to the conclusion that toning was just an industry buzz word.
    So I recently was searching for info on the number of sets and reps based on ones strength training goals. I came across one of your articles which led me to another one of your articles about “toning muscle”. I thought to myself finally I found someone who made common practical sense. Your article expressed the myths of toning muscle (that its really losing fat that covers your muscle and/or building muscle to be more definitive etc etc). As I read ur article I just kept nodding in agreement with what my internet research has led me to. You built trust with me in that article.
    I just completed reading your diet plan. Just to give you some feedback. I liked it. Some of the info I’ve learned or seen before and I also learned things I didnt know before. I liked that your plan is a common sense approach. You didnt try to make it confusing or over complicated. Well done! I’m going to use your diet plan as guidance to my diet during my stength training workout plan. Thanx for the info.
    I would like to respectfully critique/ask you one thing….in the goal chapter, you mentioned that your goals may consist of muitiple combinations of things (reducing fat, bulding muscle, increasing strength,etc,). For example, my current goal is to reduce my body fat percentage from 17 to 12% (I dont care about my weight – im focused on my BDP). My second goal is to build muscle. However, the remaining chapters didnt say anything about having multiple goals. Rather, the remaining chapters focused, as best I remember, on either reducing fat or building muscle/strength but not both. So will I build muscle with a strategy of calorie defecit and working out? The best guess that I have is that during a calorie defecit I will build muscle to a small extent but obviously not like a surplus. I’m assuming I will need to perform a calorie defecit to the point I reach my BDP goal and then I will need to switch to a surplus to reach my musle bulding goals. Please advise??

    Sorry for the long post and thanx for your articles!!!!!!!

  46. It’s funny, really. I’ve been exercising for years without seeing any size improvements other than “toning,” and looking at my diet, now I know why. Thanks so much for taking the time to share this with us.

    I do have one question for you regarding protein supplements. I’m a vegan, so whey/casein is right out. Do you have any knowledge of how effective veg alternatives are? I see pea protein listed a lot… I only ask because it seems tough to get enough grams of protein/body weight.

  47. As I was reading through the diet plan.. I have a question regarding the pre and post workout macros! I believe it states that a person should have .25g per pound of TARGET body weight for protein and also for carbs. But my question is… For post workout, do I want it to be a 1:1 ratio for carbs : protein? I’ve heard that a 4:1 carb:protein Ratio for post workout makes more sense and what most people use.. hoping that you could explain this all to me a little more. Thanks!

    • Here’s how I’ve answered all of the questions I’ve gotten about pre/post workout nutrition over the last couple of years…

      Make sure you’re eating your ideal total amount of calories, protein, fat and carbs each day. This is what matters most. Beyond that, surround your workouts with a decent amount of protein/carbs in whatever ratio from whatever sources at whatever specific times you want.

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