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. First I wanna say thanks! I have been working out for a few years now and have always ate decent, but never fully understood all the details on nutrition, counting calories/macros and what exactly my body needs. I also hate reading…but the way you wrote this was amazing and kept me interested 100% of the time. It was like we were actually talking face to face. I was actually kinda bummed it was over when I got done reading through it all haha. The layout, details and everything about this guide are great and I have learned so much and plan on continuing to use what I have learned. I guess the only question I have right now is…I have my caloric surplus set and have been sticking to that for about a week so far now and still feel hungry at times haha but I don’t wanna keep eating and take in too many calories (I am 5’7 163 lbs and in pretty good shape, not fat). So do I just fight the hunger or raise my calories by a small amount?

    Again thanks for this amazing guide!

    • Ha, glad to hear it dude!

      And yes, definitely be slow and gradual with changes to your calorie intake. Adjust a little, wait a couple of weeks to see if your weight moves in the right direction at the ideal rate it should, and if it does… awesome. If it doesn’t, adjust again.

  2. All I can say is that your article was precisely what I was looking for. You coverred so many details about diet plans and also cleared so many doubts.
    I’ve always been a skinny guy and as soon as I read the parts you were talking about the calorie intake, I completely understood the reason. Although I’m on a good weight for my age, I’ve never eaten enough to gain weight and build muscle. I started to do that properly and the results came very quickly. In about one month my friends were asking me “Man, how many years have you been to the gym?” and it drew a huge smile on my face.
    Thank you so much! Keep on your amazing work!

  3. Hey thank you for all the helpful information.
    My question is what is your opinion on test boosters and if so what brands would you recommend?
    And also how vital is it to take BCAA’s while working out.
    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated

  4. I just want to get this part straight

    210×16 = 2940cal to Maintain
    To lose @ 20% deficit
    2940×20% = 588cal/day

    So I should be eating ~2352 calories per day? Im using and its telling me I should be having 1950/day. 350/day difference is a ~3lbs per month swing. If I had those extra 350cal/day I could take a protein shake or something or eat more chicken to raise my protein intake which from what ive read will help me as my protein is usually around or less than .5g per lb (as low as 40g and as high as 290g in the last 80 days but usually around 100g)

    I believe im counting correctly, Im also drinking plenty of water and taking Fishoil/VitaminD(im inside 90% of the day), and Creatine.

    I do cardio 2x a week and weight training 3x a week so now im worried that ive been under eating for quite sometime and its been detrimental rather than helpful.

    • These are just estimated calorie intake starting points. Pick an amount, eat it consistently and monitor what happens. If you’re losing weight at an ideal rate, awesome. If not, adjust until you are.

  5. This is the best diet plan article/booklet, etc ever. I’ve read a few and I have tried several plans over the years and I just could not make them work for me and I could not finish them. I believe it is the way I think about dieting and this is the only thing that I’ve read that totally makes sense to me. You uncover a lot of mystery, confusing, convoluted theories, etc. They way it has been broken down in “The Best Diet” is the way it makes sense to me and other thinking people (blind followers just try to make it work for them because someone said it’s suppose to and if it doesn’t it’s their fault), it’s simple but powerful facts, is workable/doable and it’s freedom from the mindless regiments. I love it – now I’m off to lose some fat and excess weight.

  6. Hello,
    Thank you so much for all this information! I have read TONS of sites and yours is truly the most helpful. I loved how you explained everything on a level I could understand. The extensive detail you provided made me understand the why’s of having a good diet. Where as the other sites just stated “do it because I said so”. I have signed up on your mailing list and I am extremely excited to see what is next!!!! Lastly,you also made me laugh!!! Very enjoyable to read.

  7. Thank you. Everything explained nice and simple. I have spent the last 4-5 hours going through this and taking notes. Now to put it into action.

  8. If all you want is fat loss and not particularly stressing on muscle maintenance (but also not completely not caring about that either), can I just do cardio instead of weight training if I don’t have the time and place to do so?

  9. Wow, a long journey of reading through all these valuable information and soaking it in. At last I’m done and ready to see the magic of it. Good article. Very helpful. My question is, I’ve been using your work out routine for intermediates for about 3 months but I recently read your article about losing fat first if my body fat is over 12-15%. I think my body fat currently is 20% so I decided to get on a calorie deficit to lose fat. Should I just keep on working out the way I’ve been? I don’t wanna lose muscle whatsoever. Also, I think it would’ve been somewhat helpful if you’ve added information on amount of protein or carbs most common food contains. Like say, 1lb chicken breast contains so many grams of protein. I don’t know those numbers and would like to know. There are different informations out that could confuse people. I find you as the most reliable. Thanks again!

  10. Hello,

    I’m a 22 years old male who’s 6″10 and weights 135Ibs. My overall body type is rather slim, and my arms and legs are skinny. However, I’ve got quite much belly fat, which I obviously want to get rid of.

    I started going over your guide and the basic thing it pointed is – you want to cut weight, don’t eat more than you outake. You want to gain muscle, you eat more than you outake.

    My question is, how does one do both? What do I do if I want to gain arm muscles & cut belly fat?


  11. Thank you so much for all this information! I have been training and recording my calories intake for the last few months and have lost about 18 pounds now. I was stubborn and did not want my trainer to give me any nutritionnal plan (pre-made) because I think I should be enjoying my meals and eat what i like when I like. Your article gave me enough confidence in my method to ontinue to refuse my trainer insistant meal plan proposal. After reading your article , I found out I ate not enough protein and i will adjust this amount. My other food choices were mostly good (mostly, because I do use the cheat meals!), if not great. I think your method is the key to the ‘dropping diet’ and gaining weight again problem. It is simple and as long as you take the time to write down your calories intake, it is the kind of diet you can follow all your life without dropping 🙂

  12. Hi Jay,

    1 – whats your view on alcohol in regards to fat loss? I searched the site but didnt see anything. i am trying to bust my skinny fat belly – and i do drink neat whiskey – 4-5 shots on the rocks every night.

    2. how does a skinny fat person lose fat? Thin arms and legs, moderate strength, probably weak back and core – and yes – a non-relenting BELLY fat – adipose tissue thats there like a small mellon hidden under the belt.

    • 1. Sane amounts of alcohol in moderation that fit into your total calorie/macronutrient intake is fine from time to time. Excessive amounts can certainly be not-so-fine.

      2. The same way everyone else loses fat, they are no different.

  13. Hi Jay,

    you’ve busted a lot of myths about food timing etc.

    1 – is there an effect of eating a lot at one time. as long as a daily caloric deficit is maintained. an example – skip breakfast. train hard. eat jumbo carb lunch soon after. snack in the evening and a late but medium dinner.

    2. Alcohol – whats the negative effect of a few shots of neat alcohol like whiskey every night with dinner?


  14. Hello you! Not sure if you are a boy or a girl, but you have answered every question. So much information, so many opportunities to be misled, but not here! I am on vacation in Italy, sticking by my calculated calorie defecit, and was just wondering if you could clear this tiny question up for me. When I go for a jog, or better yet lift according to your alternating three day full body workout for beginners ( like me ) do i calculate the calories i burn and eat them? From what i understood of your explenation i should always stick by my 20 percent cal defecit, and working out should not be an addition but rather means of acheiving this defecit. But what if i am already a moderatley active person? I work seven hours on my feet seven days a week, stay up late with my friends and am planning on hiking swimming and moving outdoors as much as possible. I guess my question is when do i begin to count my burned calories? Hope this makes sense, you, regardless of gender, are the most helpful rational non emotional or money based health website i have found. Thank you truly, from the bottom of me heart!

  15. Thank you for the fantastic information! It is well-written, easy to follow, makes sense, and most importantly, it works! I have lost 25 pounds in 2 months by monitoring my caloric intake and increasing the amount of protein I consume as you outline.

    My question for you is regarding those who seem to defy the laws of physics. Namely, my 15-year old nephew who can down an entire box of pizza and a 2-liter of soda in one meal and still be hungry afterwards. He likely consumes over 5,000 calories a day but is skinny as hell. How is this possible? Is it simply due to an extra high metabolism and young age?

    • Pretty much describes me at 15. Certainly his age plays a big role here. But it’s a lot of factors (including the fact that he probably doesn’t eat quite as much as you assume he does on a daily basis).

      For details, check out this article of mine, and scroll waaaay down to the heading “What Makes Our Metabolism So Fast & Our Calorie Needs So High?”

  16. Thank you for doing all of this amazing work to help us out here to find the path to be our very best. I Freaking LOVE you for this!

  17. These series of articles distills the facts of nutrition and diet better than anything I have read. I only wish someone (?) would cut and paste all of it to produce an awesome ebook or pdf.

  18. i will start with this right away.this is the only article i come across and that is very clear straight to the point .i always here the calories we take in is important but never got to know how much excecly i need to take in per day.excellent job

  19. What happens on rest day, calories in but no calories out, coz u are resting..?
    Will you put on more weight or fats since you are not gonna burn any calories on these rest days.?

  20. Hello,

    Great article, comprehensive and to the point well done, I am lucky to have found it. I have a question;
    I have read in other articles that for any muscle growth to show, you need to get rid of fat over the said muscles. The thing is how do you know you need to lose fat first when I have a good BMI index? I am neither over nor underweight. Is it simply the fact that I don’t need to lose fat and just get along with building muscle?

    Thank you.

  21. Thank you for this guide. It has clarified a lot of muddled comments I have read in the past. It’s great to find a guide that is about weight GAIN rather than blessing on about eat less move more. I still need to find a practical way to apply calorie counting to real life when I am not the one doing the shopping OR the cooking and sharing prepared meals with a family. Anyone in this situation with hints?

  22. I stumbled on this article, and site, while searching for the best way to calculate my maintenance calories. I couldn’t stop reading, even past the figure out the calories part. I would occasionally say out loud “this guy is awesome”! Seriously, everything you write makes perfect sense and is exactly what I’ve been thinking about “dieting” and weight loss. But I have still been guilty of getting caught up in all the different beliefs and thinking that I’m doing something wrong because the X diet says so. Recently I’ve started my quest of losing 15-20 lbs, by cutting calories. Not restricting any type of food, just eating sensibly and keeping to my calorie limit. Guess what, it’s working! And if I ever get distracted by any other weird theory again, I’m making myself come back and read this so you can set me straight again 🙂 Way to go!!

  23. Hi.
    Have to say I have found your site very helpful :). But I’m just after a bit of advice. I have recently started calorie counting using the NutraCheck app. I weigh 168 pounds and I’m 5’2″ and done no exercise. It calculated I needed to eat 1400 calories per day and burn off 268 through exercise to lose 2lb a week. Most days I now eat around 1000 calories and as I started exercising I can burn off anywhere between 400 & 700 calories per day. I take omega 3 and I-carnitine. However i am not losing any weight, it is maintaining. After reading your page I do not eat enough protein but other than that I don’t know where I am going wrong. Any advice?

  24. Absolutely loved this! A lot of things I already knew but having you reiterate them showed me that you knew what you were talking about. Great article! Will definitely share!

  25. Thank you so much for posting this article. I’ve been eating decent or so I thought, and working out and haven’t been seeing the results. I’m excited to make these changes and to see my results! You have a relatable writing style and enjoyed reading your article. Do you have any suggestions for a calorie counting app that I could use on a daily basis? Thanks!

  26. Great article!! Everything you say seems to make so much sense. I spent hours looking through the articles on the site, made notes and created a diet and exercise plan for myself. Armed with this information I went looking for best sources of protein. But every site on the internet I visited states that adult women need 46gm of protein/day and men need about 56gms/day. Is this the minimum requirement, or did I miss something? Because I am a 125lb woman. Which would mean I need to include 100- 120gm of protein a day which is almost 3 times the other figure. Please advice!!

    • The recommendations you’re referring to are basically what most would consider the bare minimum for a sedentary people to sustain life and function. Research shows that someone actively trying improve their body needs more.

  27. Thank you so much! This is everything I’ve ever researched online but have never gotten straight-forward answers to – until now, of course. Thanks to your planning system, I feel much less anxious about this and a ton more confident and motivated. Thank you!

  28. Amazing man. So comprehensive. I will be sharing this with everyone a I know pursuing knowledge on weight loss and fitness. Seriously man, you did a great job and I am very grateful.
    I do have a few questions that I’ll post eventually but all and all… Outstanding

  29. Question… You referenced in the article that convenience was what was important when it comes to how many meals you eat in a day. So my question is, is there any truth to the amount of protein a person can utilize in a particular setting? If that’s the case then how would someone consume the proper amount of protein in a day without eating multiple meals a day?
    Thank you in advance for your response.

  30. Hi. I read a lot of your articles, but the one I was most interested in was the one about starvation mode. I’m so glad it’s fake! Anyway, my question has to do with the “starvation response.” You said that it can become more present the lower someone’s calories are, but that people can still lose weight with this response because it’s not extremely significant. I guess what I’m asking is what are the side effects of losing weight from eating too low of calories? I don’t mean starving myself like some of the studies and articles showed. I mean something such as between 900-1200 calories, like in the middle of extremely low deficits and the ideal deficits people need to lose weight. I’m sorry if my question is confusing.

  31. A silly question here: do omega-3 caps have to be stored in the fridge? Never done that but read quite often they must.

  32. Such a clarifying article, many thanks. I personally tend to eat only the ‘clean’ food, while skipping the more fancy meals. Nice to know that having an (slight) off-diet day once a week is perfectly fine 😉

    A more general remark, I have been working out in a numerous of gyms in the Netherlands (where I live). Reading this makes me wonder whether personal trainers lack knowledge or are just lazy. What I see is that people that aim for losing fat are simply directed to cardio machines.

    I do not want to fully blame the gyms, each individual has its own responsibility in finding out whats best or effective. Though in my honest opinion gyms should pay more attention to the importance of the diet plan. It seems that the message has simply not landed here (with some exemptions ofcourse).

    Also, lately asking a personal trainer for the correct fat-burning training approach, I got answered reduce weights and use more reps. As I know now, that is total bullshit (excuse my word use). Is it only me or does it seem that so much personal trainers have no idea what they are talking about?

    I leave it here, though it surprises me everytime I enter the gym. So blessed I found your blog/site. Keep up the work dude!

    p.s. I started your fat loss/muscle maintenance workout program today. Keep ya updated about the progress made.

    • You’ve pretty much just described the vast majority of the personal trainers I’ve come across over the last 14 years. While there are definitely a handful of fantastic, knowledgeable trainers out there… most are idiots.

      Looking forward to your updates dude!

  33. What app do you recommend to keep track of your calorie intake and such? Which is the best? I would like an app that shows me exactly how many grams of each catogory I am consuming and an option to help me log my exercise and the calories burned. It would also be really cool of it could tell me how healthy the product is that I am consuming. Thanks!!!

      • Ok thank you! Now I have another question. Exactly how many calories should I burn per day in order to loose weight, if my calorie deficient is 1806 calories? My daily intake requirement is 2257 and than I did 20% of that and got 1806. I would like to know how many calories I should burn every day from exercise. Thank you!

  34. I read on other sites that you should be eating more calories and carbs on training days than what you would on a rest day because you’re obviously burning more calories that day and you can consume more carbs directly after a workout. Is this actually important and if so how many extra calories and carbs should be consumed on training days?

  35. First class article. Really excellent.

    The only thing i disagreed with though was the need for the Pre workout meal. I tend to workout in a fasting state (following sensible intermittent fasting) and found that i have no noticable energy problems and that i actually lose fat and gain muscle ‘faster’. What are your thoughts on this and Int. Fast. in general??


    • The pre/post workout stuff is a bit outdated (though I’d still recommend consuming a nice amount of protein/carbs before and after training). Training fasted is fine if you prefer it, although I know a lot of popular IF guys (like Martin Berkhan) still recommend consuming BCAAs or whey or something before training.

      As for IF in general… with all else being equal its only major benefit is diet adherence… assuming of course IF suits your personal needs and preferences. If not, no real purpose for using it in my opinion.

  36. I really learned a lot from reading your article here. My only problem with the article itself is that you keep saying to only accept proven facts but you do not give any information on how to check your facts. Example you mentioned a study done on eating 3 meals a day vs eating 6 meals a day but did not say where we could find that study.

    I think that all your points are valid but I think that with all the crazies out there it is important to back up you information with sources whenever possible.

    That being said I will definitely adjust some of my eating habits to reflect what I read today.

    Thanks for all the information.

  37. Hi, I read this article and found very usefully. Very thanks for this interesting info.

    I need an advice from you.

    I wish to start bodybuilding with good strict diet, but I would ask some questions before I start. If I train 4 days a week, 2 weeks on and 1 week off, it is good or not? Because I’m working on 3 shift basis and when I’m on the morning shift and night shift, I can go gym. But I can’t go gym when I am on afternoon shift. I do not know whether I start gym or not because of this problem. Because I don’t know if I wasting time or not if I train 2 weeks on 1 week off.

    Another question..I planned to eat 250 extra calories from my maintenance level on workout days. And in non workout days, for example; in weekends and in that week that I’m not go gym, how much to eat? Same like workout days 250 extra calories? Or eat to the maintenance level? Thanks.

    • 2 weeks on, 1 week off is far from ideal.

      There’s a lot of ways to set up your calorie intake. One way would involve eating 250 calories above maintenance every day, another involves more on training days and less on rest days. I’m currently writing a book that covers this in detail. Stay tuned.

      • About Caloric Surplus:
        on workout days my maintenance level is 2332 including activity level, exercise 3/4 days a week, so my caloric surplus is 2582.

        on non workout days my maintenance level is 1806 with no exercise, so my caloric surplus is 2056. This is my plan.

        About Workout:
        My plan is to bulk. so if I go to gym 2 weeks on 1 week off is useless? And I can forget to bulk? Or maybe get the same result as if I train every week but see it in a longer time?

  38. Great articles! I understand that you said weight loss and gain is all about calories in vs. calories out and I believe this too. However, if this is true, how does Freelee the Banana Girl supposedly claim to eat so much? She claims to eat 2000-5000 calories every day and is extremely skinny. Thanks in advance for your response!

  39. Great article, great writing style, great site!

    Your advice here tracks my experience exactly. When I first decided to get back in shape, the fat came off easily just from adding some exercise and eating cleaner (obviously backing my way into a deficit). It soon stalled though, until I got a calorie tracker app and started actively eating for a deficit, when the fat magically started melting again.

    Unfortunately, I’ve been treading water again recently, vacillating between getting leaner vs adding muscle – and doing neither effectively. Your articles were a great reminder that I need to pick one and run with it for a while. Thanks for helping me get back on track.

  40. this is the first article about eating healthy that actually answered all of my questions efficiently… LOVED IT!!! Thank you

  41. I really loved the simplicity and clarity that you were able to use to explain and illustrate all of the valuable nutritional information and implementations.
    My current dilemma that I am searching for an answer to, and which brought me to your website, is trying to figure out how to lose body fat (through caloric deficiency) and build muscle (through caloric surplus) at the same time. It is like playing tug-of-war with your own body!
    I have done the math to figure out how many calories of protein, fats, and carbs I should be eating to get to my goal weight of 145 (1760 KCal. I am currently 150, 5′ 7.5″, 14% body fat), but I am still confused on how to actually build muscle on my caloric deficit (I will need 2200 KCal. to maintain my goal weight of 145 lbs.). Will it just take longer to build the muscle, or am I creating my own catabolic problem by limiting my calories in an effort to get down to 145 lbs?
    I do 6 days of 45 min. aerobic stamina training and 45 min. of anaerobic strength training. I have lost 5 lbs. in the past 55 days and decreased my body fat by 3%, but I am concerned that I am ALSO losing muscle. My goal is to eventually maintain at 145 lbs., between 8-10% body fat, and continue to increase in strength. Example: Right now I weigh 150 lbs. and bench 230×8, but I want to be at 145 lbs. and bench 250×8 by the end of August 2014. I know that I can lose the weight, but can I do it AND continue to build the muscle that will be needed to increase in strength?
    Thank you for keeping your site FREE and accessible to everyone! I have shared it with the people that I know who are interested in health and wellness, and I hope that they will enjoy it as much as I have. I have begun following your twitter and facebook profiles and look forward to more great info in the future.

  42. Hi there, my caloric maintenance level is 2500 calories. I have been eating 2000 calories a day for about a month now, but also been working out 3 times a week, with mainly weight training but cardio at the end of each session. Lately, I have been feeling a bit weak (mainly in my legs), keeping note that I don’t eat a little bit more on workout days. Why could this be? Am I not eating enough calories on workout days making the deficit a bit too big? Is this a normal feeling for anyone in a deficit?

  43. Thanks for this! thanks a lot. I loved it and it was very helpful. The section I loved the most was the part about protein/fat/carbs and how everything balances out. Thanks also a lot for the examples, just because I wrote them down for myself in case I forget or tell my friends that I don’t have to read the chapters and can just think back of the examples and it all clicks again.

    I do have a question, even though you have explained it very well I don’t know why I am still confused. And it’s giving me a bit of stress because I don’t want to be using too much calories creating a deficit that is to big because the math is wrong or be eating too much for the same exact reason.

    So here it is: The methods you showed how to calculate the daily maintenance level method A and method B are different, If it was a little I wouldn’t mind but as you describe so well when you talk about cheatmeals and the 95% – 5% ratio, I worry if it’s too much of a difference it just won’t work. I am 25 years old, 68 kilo or 147.9 pounds I’m 163 centimeters or 5.3 feet and female. My math with method A is : 149.9 x 14 = 2098.6 and 149.9 x 17 = 2548.3, since I’m female and don’t have an active job (not taking inconsideration my workouts) I’m at the lower end 2098. So if I take 20 % of that and deduct that of my daily maintenance level I get a level of ( 2098.6 – 419.72= ) 1678.88, when I fill in METHOD B where you also have to fill in your level of activity it calculates a daily maintenance level of 1675 (- 20% = )1395. I answered level of activity Sendentary because as I explained previously other than the workouts I do ( 5 – 6 times a week about 40 min cardio) I don’t have an active job and sit most of the day. Should I still choose for sendentary or should I switch to lightly active. Also when I fill in the same things on myfitnesspal (calculating the 0.5 pounds a week I want to lose , puting in the profile that my active level is sendentary ) it calculates 1200 . Now I know I that is insane or it feels like that to me. So now I have 3 daily maintenance levels 1678 , 1395 and 1200.

    With all this information could you please help me figure out what would be the best one for me to maintain so I can get in shape in a healthy not starving myself – way?

    Thanks so much in advance! and thankyou once again for writing this!
    Kind regards, Barbara

    • Honestly? It really doesn’t matter at all. It’s just an estimated starting point. The most important step is putting some kind of estimated calorie intake into action and monitoring what happens over the next couple of weeks. If your losing weight at the rate you should be, you’re good. If not, adjust until you are.

  44. After reading all this, I can’t tell you how happy I am. For two years now a live been trying to do is lose weight. I followed diets like the fruit and veggie diet, the Special K Challenge, etc. I was never satisfied with those diets and if I lost weight I would gain it all back. I always wanted to lose weight quickly so I did those diet plans. I’ve learned my lesson since then. After multiple failures, I finally decided it was time to lose fat the right way. Not only that I wanted to start eating better. However doing so was a challenge.

    I started doing research. I would look up articles on what I should eat, what I should exercise, when should I eat, things I should avoid, etc. Answers would vary. They would all tell me different types of things that I just got confused. Based on that information I started to form my own plan with my lack of knowledge. I started eating healthier foods and meals but it was never confident in it. I still felt motivated to keep on trying it. So with the meals I made I decided I should also exercise but there was always one thing that confused me- burn more calories than you eat. So I started doing research on it but all the answers confused me. Somehow through all the articles I read I stumbled onto your articles and discovered your best diet plan.

    After reading the best diet plan, I feel motivated to lose weight even more now. You have cleared my mind of so many myths that I feel like I can enjoy my weight lose. You even supplied me with important information on what I should eat. You answered almost all my answers and throughout reading the whole entire thing, I just wanted to give you a hug. Honestly you put me at ease and I just don’t know how to describe how happy your best diet plan has made me.

    I’ll start following your plan and I really can’t wait to see the results overtime. I only have one question:
    Is sleep important to weight lose? (I came a lot of articles that told me this)

    Well anyways I thank you for your information. Really thank you so much.

    • Exactly what I love to hear! Definitely keep me updated on your progress if you can.

      As for sleep, it does effect weight loss. Basically, an insufficient amount of sleep increases hunger which in turn causes people to eat more calories than they should be eating. Plus, being tired causes people to move around less and therefore naturally burn less calories.

  45. I just wanted to say how awesome this article is. I have been trying to tell people this for years. I am adopted and have a completely different body system and food likes than my family. I am a high carb lover and can still lose weight just fine. Your approach to explaining what is essential but also what is flexible is refreshing. I also really appreciate that you have taken the time to evaluate supplements. Most people don’t know that they are regulated but not to the extent of protection and it has saved me the time of going through all of those reports. I will be recommending your article to everyone!

  46. Hi there, this is a really great article. All explained in a very structured manner. I have had the same thoughts about diets and this article you wrote confirmed my beliefs. I came across your article as I was looking for the dosage for EPA/DHA that I should consume.

    1. When it comes to fish oil supplements, is there a minimum target of EPA/DHA that we must aim for? I’ve been scouring the net for this and there is no concensus around this. I did come across an article that stated that one should aim for 2400 EPA and 1500 DHA for general athletes or hobby body builders. Your thoughts?
    2. Also on fish oil supplements, what is your experience/opinion if one takes more than 3g of omega-3 daily? I have come across some “experts” who suggest gulping 14g of Omega-3 daily (wish I think is a ridiculous amount and expensive).
    3. You only wrote about 4 supplements but you did mention 6. I’m interested to know what’s your thought around calcium supplements, and how much should one consume.
    4. Lastly, I’m not sure if I had missed this but does the free meal’s calorie count goes into the total calorie count for the day?

    Appreciate you taking the time to answer.

    • 1. Aim for 1-3g of combined EPA/DHA.
      2. Mega-dosing fish oil is not AT ALL something I’d recommend. Research shows doing so has negative effects, not additional positive effects. Anyone recommending that sort of insane dose should be ignored.
      3. Needs a full article to properly cover.
      4. Ideally yes. Though that makes it slightly less of a “free” meal, so maybe no. More importantly though, I wrote that part of this guide quite a few years ago and no longer really love the idea of free meals. I much prefer just keeping the junky stuff to a sane yet enjoyable minimum that is a part of your overall calorie and macronutrient intake.

  47. Hi

    Fantastic article. I’ve read thousands of similar articles and theories etc and you must have the patience of a saint to write this is so much detail and with so much love.

    Although I am still confused about one thing. I have my diet on myfitnesspal down to a single calroie, my training routines are great after years of perfecting, I am losing fat at a great rate but what I need to know and can’t seem to get a straight answer from so many different sites is…. My BMR is 2154 now some people say take 20% from that and that your daily calorie intake to lose fat… Some say x that by 1.6 as you weight train 4 days per week and do cardio twice per week…some say x that by 11 and and minus 500…. Etc etc and it’s driving me crazy!

    I had a personal trainer visit me and he suggested 2750 calories per day to lose weight.

    I’m 6ft 2, 42 years old male, 228 pounds with approx 18% bodyfat ( not sure about this as the calipres make me 16% and my moron scales make me 30.5%!) measuring bodyfat is difficult..all I know is I’ve gone from 18 stone to under 16 stone in 3 months in my new diet and training schedule but I’m asking this question now as I just want to be sure in my head I’m getting the calories right.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this… And to let you know I’m from the United Kingdom.

    I take creatine, quercetin, taurine, bcaas, glutamine, whey, casein, multi vitamin, fish oil, lysine, beta analine, fiber, l carnitine, CLA, green superfoods, dextrose, bee pollen and honey on a daily basis.

    I’m currently trying the renegade diet mixed with your advice which I love.

    Thanks James

    • Forget the calculators and estimations. All that truly matters is what’s actually happening in the real world. So if you’re losing weight at the ideal rate you should be, awesome. If not, adjust your calorie intake accordingly until you are.

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