1. Determine your goal: Muscle growth or Fat Loss
Before you begin dieting, you need to establish your goal. For muscle growth and fat loss, there is a different nutritional breakdown. When a competitor is focusing on putting on muscle mass, they eat more calories–split almost evenly between the macros. In the fat loss phase, the calories may be adjusted lower with most coming from protein.
2. Figure out your maintenance calories (the calories you need for bodily functions plus exercise).
First, determine your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).
For a simple guide, I recommend you add 300-500 calories to your BMR to maintain your current stats.
To ADD muscle – I recommend you eat between 12-18 calories per pound of body weight.
To CUT body fat – I recommend you eat at your BMR to jump start your metabolism to burning stored fat. Do not eat below your BMR more than 1-2 weeks as fat/weight loss will stall. Eating a bit below and above your BMR is a good way to cycle calories coming in as you adjust your training & cardio.
3. Calculate your macros.
Divide your daily calories up by 3 macros: Protein, Fat, Carbohydrates (carbs)
To ADD muscle – Here’s a good macro breakdown:
40% protein, 30% carbs, and 30% fat
To CUT fat – Here’s a good macro breakdown:
50% protein, 20% carbs, 30% fat.
4. Create your meal plan.
Now that you have the approximate calories and macros for each goal–create your meal plan. I’d start with a 5-6 meal-a-day structure. Limit processed foods, choose lean cuts of meat, and vary your starchy carbs & vegetables to get all the nutrients your body needs.
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