If you want to lose (or gain) weight and improve your body composition, then you need to know how many calories to eat. And this article will show you.

The fact that you clicked into this article tells me some important things about you.

It tells me that you’re looking for real information on dieting.

It tells me that you know, or at least suspect, that calorie intake matters, regardless of how “clean” your diet is.

I’d even wager that you know or have heard of the basic principles of energy balance and how it drives weight loss and weight gain.

You just need someone to connect all the dots for you.

And that’s exactly what I’m going to do in this article.

By the end you’re going to know more than just how many calories to eat to lose or gain weight like clockwork.

Even better, you’re going to know how to do it eating foods you actually like, and perhaps best of all, you’re going to know how to use calories to do more than change the number on the scale–you’re going to learn how to optimize your body composition.

If that has you nodding your head, then keep reading.

A Simple and Accurate Calorie (and Macronutrient) Calculator

 

calorie calculator

I’m going to start this article with the calculator in case you’re already familiar with the most important aspects of dieting (energy balance and macronutrient breakdown) and so you can get back to it easily and quickly in the future.

If you need a bit of help understanding the calculator and how to use it to create meal plans that actually work, however, then just keep reading this article. Everything you need to know is below!

LBM
BMR
TDEE
0
0 kcal
0 kcal
0 kcal

Or, if you’d prefer a faster (albeit less accurate) method of determining how many calories you should eat, use the table below.

male cutting calories

male maintenance calories

male lean bulking calories

female cutting calories

female maintenance calories

female lean bulking calories

Why You Need to Know How Many Calories to Eat

Imagine someone tells you that he wants to drive across the country without paying attention to his gas tank.

He plans on stopping for gas whenever he feels like stopping, and pump as much as he feels like pumping.

How would you respond?

I don’t know about you, but this would be me:

Imagine you did the same and he snapped back with one of the following replies:

  1. “I hate feeling like a slave to the oppressive fuel meter. I should be able to drive as far as I want before refueling and pump as much as I want before driving again!”
  2. “There has to be a better way. Who wants to constantly keep an eye on how much fuel is left in your tank?”
  3. “I read this book that said you don’t have to watch your fuel if you use organic, gluten-free, low-carb, non-GMO, #blessed gasoline. It doesn’t clog your engine like other gasoline and burns more efficiently.”

Again, I don’t know about you, but this would be me:

how-much-should-you-eat

And I would calmly gather up my toys and go play with someone else.

My point:

When someone says he wants to lose or gain weight without paying attention to his calories, or says that caloric intake and expenditure have nothing to do with it, he’s being just as stupid.

Is it possible to lose or gain weight without paying attention to your calories?

Sure…to a degree.

Is it likely to work well over the long term?

Absolutely not.

The bottom line is calorie planing and tracking is the most reliable and effective way to lose fat and build muscle.

And if that statement conjures haunting specters of starvation dieting and food deprivation in your mind, don’t worry.

This isn’t that kind of party.

I’m not going to recommend very low-calorie or highly restrictive dieting. Instead, I’m going to show you how to free yourself to get the body you really want eating foods you actually like.

I’m going to show you how to make guaranteed progress toward your goals each and every week.

That means no more hoping that you can make it happen. Knowing.

And yes, it all starts with calories.

Well, actually, with how the calories you eat relate to the calories you burn … otherwise known as energy balance.

Understanding Energy Balance

how many calories should i burn in a day

Energy balance refers to the relationship between the amount of energy you eat and the amount you burn.

Think of it like your body’s energy checking account.

  • If you eat more energy than you burn, you’re in a positive energy balance.
  • If you eat less than you burn, you’re in a negative energy balance.

This energy that you eat and burn is measured in calories. When we’re talking food and metabolism, a calorie is the amount of energy required to heat one kilogram of water one degree Celsius.

Thus, foods with a lot of calories (fatty foods, for instance) contain a lot of potential energy and foods with a fewer calories (green beans) contain less.

Now, the unsexy truth that many people just don’t want to hear is this:

Meaningful weight loss requires consistently eating less energy than you expend and meaningful weight gain requires eating more.

This isn’t an opinion. This is scientific fact.

This isn’t news, either. After a century of metabolic research and anecdotal evidence, there’s no room left for argument.

Energy balance alone dictates weight loss and gain, not food choices or eating schedule or any other factor.

Thus, in this sense, a calorie is a calorie, and if you eat too much of the “cleanest” foods in the world, you’ll gain weight.

On the flip side, restrict your calories (maintain an energy deficit) while eating the most nutritionally bankrupt crap you can find, and you’ll lose weight.

This is why Mark Haub, a professor at Kansas University, was able to lose 27 pounds on a diet of protein shakes, Twinkies, Doritos, Oreos, and Little Debbie snacks, and how John Cisna, a high school teacher in Iowa, dropped 56 pounds eating nothing but McDonald’s for six months.

They simply ate fewer crappy calories than they burned for a long enough period of time, and as the first law of thermodynamics dictates, this resulted in a reduction in total fat mass.

Now, that doesn’t mean that you should try to do the same thing.

When the goal is to lose fat and not muscle, you need to consider more than “calories in versus calories out.”

Beyond Calories In vs. Calories Out

how many calories should i eat to maintain my weight

When it comes to improving your body composition–what your weight is comprised of, and especially in terms of muscle and fat–a calorie is not a calorie.

Eating like Professor Haub or Mr. Cisna won’t cut it.

When you want to build muscle and lose fat (or minimize fat gain), your food choices matter.

Well, not the specific foods per se, but how they break down into protein, carbohydrate, and fat.

You see, people say they want to lose or gain “weight,” but that’s not what they mean. The goal is never to just lose or gain weight–it’s to lose fat and not muscle and gain muscle and not fat.

And when that’s the goal, some types of calories are now much more important than others.

For example, one gram of protein contains the about the same number of calories as one gram of carbohydrate (~4), but is far more important for building muscle and losing fat, and carbohydrate is more important in this regard than dietary fat.

These three substances–protein, carbohydrate, and fat–are called macronutrients because your body requires large amounts of them to survive. In the fitness space, they’re generally referred to as “macros.”

Let’s learn a bit about each.

The Most Important Calories: Protein

macronutrient calculator for cutting

The calories you get from protein are, in many ways, far more important for your body composition than those you get from carbohydrate and fat.

There are several (evidence-based) reasons for this:

High-protein dieting is even more important for people that exercise regularly because their body needs more for recovery and repair.

I will give simple protein recommendations below but if you want to know more about how much protein you should eat and why, check out this article.

Carbs Are Your Friend, Not Enemy

macronutrient calculator for building muscle

If you don’t know whom to believe in the “carbohydrate wars,” I understand.

It’s easy to get lost in the crosscurrent of debate, namecalling, and general hysterics.

What it boils down to is this:

Many “experts” say that low-carb dieting is the only reliable way to get lean and muscular … and people like me say the opposite–that a higher-carb diet is probably going to suit your needs better.

Here’s my position:

If you’re healthy and physically active, and especially if you lift weights regularly, you’re probably going to do best with more carbs, not less.

That advice applies to both building muscle and losing fat, as well. High-carb dieting offers many benefits for both.

Again, I’m going to provide simple recommendations for carbohydrate intake in this article but if you want to know more, check out this article.

High-Fat Dieting Is Overrated

macronutrient calculator fat

One of the many ways to sell products and ideas is to be contrarian.

When everyone is leaning left, lean right and people will take notice and listen to what you have to say.

Well, not so long ago, low-fat dieting was the undisputed champion of weight loss nutrition.

“Eat fat and get fat” was the mainstream mantra.

The theory didn’t pan out, and with everyone leaning left, it was only time before smart marketers started leaning right.

We are now seeing the fruits of their labors. The pendulum has swung hard in the other direction, with mainstream diet “gurus” now praising “healthy” dietary fat as “slimming” and vilifying carbs as “fattening.”

The truth is all forms of dietary extremism are inherently flawed.

Black and white, binary thinking is easy on the ol’ grey matter but isn’t conducive to good decision making, and especially when we’re talking diet and health.

The thing “they” aren’t telling you is this:

There is no One True Diet that’s best for everyone under any and all circumstances.

There are non-negotiable fundamentals like energy balance and nutritional requirements that must be observed, and there are negotiable (flexible) guidelines that can be molded to fit personal needs. Dietary fat intake is one of those malleable factors.

There’s no denying that dietary fats play a vital role in the body, of course–they’re involved in many vital physiological processes including cell maintenance, hormone production, insulin sensitivity, and more.

This is why the Institute of Medicine recommends that dietary fat should comprise 20 to 35% of an adult’s daily calories.

That said, those percentages were worked out for the average sedentary person, who often eats quite a bit less than someone that exercises regularly (and especially if that person has a lot of muscle).

For example, a 190-pound sedentary male with a normal amount of lean mass would burn around 2,000 calories per day.

Based on that, the IoM’s research says he would need 45 to 80 grams of fat per day. That makes sense.

Now, I weigh 193 pounds, but I also have a lot more muscle than the average person and I exercise fairly intensely about 6 hours per week.

Thus, my body burns about 3,000 calories per day, and if I were to blindly apply the IoM’s research to that number, my recommended fat intake would skyrocket to 65 to 115 grams per day.

But does my body really need that much more dietary fat simply because I’m muscular and burn a lot of energy through regular exercise?

No, it doesn’t.

Research shows that you only need about 0.2 grams of fat per pound of body weight to maintain your health, and there are few benefits of eating more than 0.3 grams per pound of body weight.

This is particularly true if you get the majority of your dietary fat from optimal (unsaturated) sources, including a healthy dose of monounsaturated fat in particular.

How to Determine How Many Calories You Should Eat

how many calories should i eat calculator

Now that you understand the fundamentals of proper dieting (energy and macronutrient balance), let’s talk about how to figure out how many calories you should be eating and how they should break down into protein, carbs, and fat.

The first step is determining approximately how much energy you’re burning every day, which is referred to as your total daily energy expenditure or TDEE.

Once you have a good handle on your TDEE, you can adjust your caloric intake down or up to lose or gain weight as desired.

Your TDEE is comprised of your basal metabolic rate (BMR) plus the additional energy you burn through physical activity and the food you eat.

Let’s review each of these points separately.

1. Your basal metabolic rate is the amount of energy your body burns at rest.

It’s the minimum amount of energy it costs to stay alive.

2. When you move your body, it costs energy.

No matter how large or small or long or short an activity is, it burns energy. This is why “fidgety,” high-activity people can burn significantly more energy than low-activity types and have an easier time losing and maintaining weight.

3. When you eat food, it costs energy to digest and absorb.

This is known as the thermic effect of food, or TEF.

Research shows that TEF accounts for about 10% of our total daily energy expenditure, with amounts varying based on the macronutrient composition of our diets.

So again, when you sum the energy your body burns to stay alive (BMR) and the energy burned through physical activity and digesting and absorbing food, you arrive at your TDEE.

If that sounds complicated, don’t worry. It’s not. You don’t have to dust off your college algebra or take an Excel class.

Metabolic researchers have already done all the heavy lifting for us and boiled it down to simple arithmetic.

The first step in calculating your TDEE is calculating your BMR.

There are several equations for that but I recommend the Katch-McArdle variant, which looks like this:

Katch McArdle bmr calculator(where LBM is the lean body mass in kg)

The reason I recommend the Katch-McArdle over other formulas such as the Harris-Benedict or Mifflin-St Jeor is it accounts for differences in body composition.

This matters because muscle is more metabolically active than body fat, so two people at the same body weight can burn significantly different amounts of energy while at rest.

The second step is adding the additional energy expenditure .

There are easy and complex ways of doing this, and I recommend the easy one for two reasons:

  1. It’s almost as accurate as the complex way.
  2. It gives you what you need to get the results you want.

In other words, unless you’re a natural competitive bodybuilder trying to dial in everything as tightly as you can, you just don’t need to get fancy with estimating your energy expenditure. Here, “good enough” will do just fine.

The Katch-McArdle equation can give us that because it includes multipliers we can apply to our BMR based on our general activity levels.

This gives us a fairly accurate starting point, and we can then adjust our intake up and down as we see how our body responds.

(And here’s how you do that when you’re wanting to lose weight. Here’s how to do it when you’re wanting to gain weight.)

Here are the standard Katch-McArdle multipliers:

1.2 = sedentary (little or no exercise)

1.375 = light activity (light exercise/sports 1 to 3 days per week)

1.55 = moderate activity (moderate exercise/sports 3 to 5 days per week)

1.725 = very active (hard exercise/sports 6 to 7 days per week)

1.9 = extra active (very hard exercise/sports 6 to 7 days per week and physical job)

So, if you did little or no exercise, you would multiply your BMR by 1.2 and have a fairly accurate guess of how many calories you’re burning every day.

There’s a problem with these multipliers, however: They will probably overestimate the actual amount of energy you’re burning every day.

I don’t have any research to cite that backs that statement up, but I’ve worked with thousands of people and consistently found it to be the case. It’s also common knowledge among experienced bodybuilders.

Simply put, if you use the standard multipliers, you’ll probably place yourself in too small of a calorie deficit when cutting (resulting in less-than-optimal fat loss) and too large of a surplus when bulking (resulting in more-than-optimal fat gain).

This is why I recommend you just use lower activity multipliers when calculating your TDEE.

Here’s how I do it:

1.1 = sedentary (little or no exercise)

1.2 = light activity (light exercise/sports 1 to 3 days per week)

1.35 = moderate activity (moderate exercise/sports 3 to 5 days per week)

1.45 = very active (hard exercise/sports 6 to 7 days per week)

1.6 to 1.8 = extra active (very hard exercise/sports 6 to 7 days per week and physical job)

Not a major change, but a significant one in terms of results.

How Many Calories You Should Eat to Lose Weight

how many calories should i eat to lose weight

Finally, we arrive at the most likely reason you’re reading this article:

You want to know how much you should eat to lose weight.

You now know that you’re going to need to eat less energy than you burn, but how much less? 10% less? 20% less? More?

Some fitness folk advocate a “slow cutting” approach where you use a mild calorie deficit (~10%, generally) to whittle down fat stores over the course of many months.

The common reasons for this approach are preventing muscle loss, being able to eat more food, and not having to do as much exercise.

While I think slow cutting makes sense for some people (natural bodybuilders in particular), I don’t recommend it for most people, and especially not for those who are new in their fitness journeys.

In fact, I think most people should do the opposite.

They should be aggressive in their fat loss and do everything they can to lose it as quickly as possible (without suffering or sacrificing muscle).

I explain my rationale here, but for the purpose of this article, let’s just get right to the “how.”

To lose fat aggressively, you want to:

  1. Be aggressive (bot not reckless) with your calorie deficit.
  2. Be aggressive with your exercise routine.
  3. Use fat loss supplements that actually work.

An Aggressive (But Not Reckless) Calorie Deficit

If you eat too little for too long, you’ll lose fat alright, but you’ll also feel like crap and if you push it too far, lose muscle.

This is one of the reasons why very low-calorie “crash dieting” can be so harmful

How low-calorie is too low, though?

And how do things change for athletic types following a high-protein diet, as opposed to untrained, obese individuals eating too little protein?

Well, a study conducted by scientists at the University of Jyväskylä provides valuable insights.

The study involved national- and international-level track and field jumpers and sprinters with low levels of body fat (at or below 10%).

The researchers had them eat a high-protein diet, and spit them into two groups:

  1. A 300-calorie deficit (about 12% below their TDEE).
  2. A 750-calorie deficit (about 25% below TDEE).

After 4 weeks, the first group lost very little fat and muscle, and the second group lost, on average, about 4 pounds of fat and very little muscle and experienced very few negative physiological consequences.

These findings are also in line with what I’ve experienced working with thousands of people.

When combined with a high-protein diet and reasonably difficult workout schedule, a calorie deficit of 20 to 25% allows for rapid fat loss without any noticeable unwanted side effects.

And so that’s what I recommend to you:

When you want to lose fat rapidly, eat 75 to 80% of your TDEE.

An Aggressive Exercise Routine

tdee calculator

Unfortunately, the bulk of mainstream weight loss advice is a one-way street to skinny fat.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

  • Do excessive amounts of steady-state cardio.
  • If you do any resistance training, make sure it’s high rep with light weights.
  • Do long (2+ hour) workouts.
  • Exercise 6 to 7 days per week at maximum intensity each day.

What do you get when you combine all this nonsense with highly restrictive starvation diets?

Misery.

  1. You’re going to be tired.
  2. You’re going to be hungry.
  3. You’re going to dread your workouts.
  4. You’re going to have sensual daydreams about carbs.

Instead, you want to follow the strategy I outline in this article:

Do several hours of heavy resistance training and no more than 1.2 to 2 hours of HIIT cardio each week.

If you do this, you can lose fat (and not muscle) at a rapid clip without beating yourself into a pulp in the process.

Fat Loss Supplements That Actually Work

“Fat burning pills” are one of the most controversial supplements on the market, and for good reason:

Most are junk and some are downright dangerous.

When it comes to pills and powders to help you lose weight, I have good and bad news for you.

Let’s take our medicine and start with the bad:

No amount of weight loss pills and powders are going to make you lean.

Trust me.

If you’re trying to lose fat, pill popping, even to excess, is not going to be enough.

There just aren’t any safe, natural fat burning compounds powerful enough to, all on their own, cause meaningful weight reduction.

Now the good news:

If you know how to drive fat loss with proper dieting and exercise, certain supplements can accelerate the process.

Based on my experience with my own body and having worked with thousands of people, I feel comfortable saying that a proper fat loss supplementation routine can increase fat loss by about 30 to 50% with little-to-no side effects.

That is, if you can lose 1 pound of fat per week through proper diet and exercise (and you can), you can lose 1.3 to 1.5 pounds of fat per week by adding the right supplements into the mix.

Another big benefit of taking the right fat loss supplements is they’re particularly effective for reducing stubborn fat, which is usually belly fat for us guys and hip and thigh fat for girls.

Here is my personal “fat loss stack” that I use and recommend:

Caffeine

Caffeine does a lot of neat things in the body.

For caffeine to work, though, you have to take enough.

Some studies have shown performance benefits with dosages as low as 3 mg per kg of body weight, but 5 to 6 mg per kg is more common and generally accepted as the “optimal” dose for maximizing benefits while also mitigating unwanted side effects.

You can get your caffeine from any source, but personally I get my caffeine from my pre-workout Pulse, which also contains clinically effective dosages of  6 other ingredients scientifically proven to improve workout performance:

pulse-green-apple-single

belly-fat-workout

Yohimbine

Yohimbine is a chemical extracted from a species of African plant, Yohimbe.

Studies show that yohimbine can accelerate fat loss by blocking the activity of receptors in fat cells that prevent fat burning.

In other words, yohimbine takes the brakes off of fat burning, and especially with the more “stubborn” fat stores that take their sweet, sweet time, like the hip, thigh, and abdominal regions.

This is why yohimbine is particularly useful as you get leaner and are battling primarily with stubborn fat holdouts.

There’s a slight catch, though: elevated insulin levels negate yohimbine’s weight-loss effects, so if you want to reap its fat loss benefits, you want to use it when you’re in a fasted state.

It’s also worth noting that yohimbine can improve exercise performance, and is particularly effective at fighting off physical fatigue and increasing time to exhaustion.

These are the reasons why I decided to include yohimbine in my pre-workout fat burner Forge, which was made specifically for maximizing fat loss with fasted training.

legion forge

how-to-lose-belly-fat-in-a-week

Phoenix Fat Burner

Phoenix is a 100% natural fat burner that increases metabolic rate, amplifies the power of your body’s fat-burning chemicals, and reduces hunger and cravings.

The clinically effective dosages of synephrine, naringin, and hesperidin speed up your metabolism, the EGCG, forskolin, and hordenine help you burn fat more efficiently, and the 5-HTP helps you better control hunger and cravings.

Phoenix also contains no caffeine or other harsh stimulants, artificial food dyes, fillers, or other unnecessary junk, so that means none of the jitters, nausea, or crash that are so common with other fat burners.

If you want to burn more fat every day and have an easier time sticking to your diet without having to pump yourself full of harsh stimulants or potentially harmful chemicals, then you want to try Phoenix today.

how-to-lose-belly-fat-naturally

Setting Up Your Macros for Fat Loss

When you want to lose fat as quickly as possible, you have to get both your calories and “macros” right.

Here’s what I recommend:

  • Eat 1 to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day.

If you’re very overweight (a man with 25%+ body fat or a woman with 30%+), I recommend you set your protein intake at 40% of your total daily calories.

  • If you exercise regularly and don’t have any medical conditions, eat 0.2 to 0.25 grams of fat per pound of body weight per day.

This gives your body what it needs for general health and leaves plenty of calories for carbs.

  • Allot the rest of your calories to carbs.

Yes, that means you get to enjoy a fair amount of carbs every day, and no, that isn’t going to impair your fat loss.

You’re also going to benefit in a number of other ways, including better workouts, better energy levels, better mood, and more. Experience it for yourself and you’ll never look back.

Now, to calculate this, you first multiply your protein intake (in grams) by 4 and your fat intake (in grams) by 9, and subtract the result from your total daily calories.

This gives you the amount of calories you have for carbs, because one gram of protein contains approximately 4 calories and one gram of fat contains approximately 9.

Next, you determine how many grams of carbs you can eat per day by dividing the amount of calories you have for carbohydrate by 4, because one gram contains about 4 calories.

  • If you’re sedentary, though, or have a medical condition like diabetes, then you’ll probably do better with fewer carbs.

If you’re sedentary, about 25% of daily calories from carbohydrate should be plenty.

If you have a relevant medical condition, check with your doctor as to your “carbohydrate ceiling” because I’ve seen a lot of variation here.

Let’s see how this would play out for me if I were cutting. I currently weigh 193 pounds, so that would mean…

  • ~2200 calories per day (about 75% of my TDEE)
  • ~190 to 230 grams of protein per day (let’s say I go with 200)
  • ~40 to 50 grams of fat per day (let’s say I go with 50)
  • 200 x 4 = 800 and 50 x 9 = 450, leaving 950 calories for carbs, equaling ~240 grams

How Many Calories You Should Eat to Build Muscle

how many calories should I eat to build muscle

This takes us back to square one: energy balance.

When you want to lose weight, you eat less energy than you burn, and when you want to gain weight, you eat more.

You do this because eating a surplus of calories optimizes your body’s “muscle-building machinery,” so to speak, allowing you to gain as much muscle as possible.

Unfortunately, you reach the point of diminishing returns rather quickly, and too large of a calorie surplus is counterproductive because it no longer accelerates muscle growth but fat gain instead.

That’s why I recommend a mild calorie surplus of about 10% for “lean bulking.”

In other words, I recommend that you eat about 110% of your TDEE every day to gain muscle and not fat as quickly as possible.

I should also mention that I don’t recommend lean bulking unless your body fat percentage is in the right range.

I explain this in full here, but for the sake of brevity, here’s the bottom line:

If you’re a guy, you want to start your lean bulk around 10% body fat to get the most out of it, and if you’re a girl, you want to start around 20%.

Setting Up Your Macros for Muscle Building

When your goal is maximum muscle growth, you want to set your macros up a little differently than when you’re cutting.

Here’s how I like to do it:

  • Eat 0.8 to 1 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day.

You don’t need more than this.

  • Eat 0.3 to 0.35 grams of fat per pound of body weight per day.

This gives your body everything it needs health-wise, and leaves a large amount of calories for carbs.

  • Allot the rest of your calories to carbs.

This high-carb approach to strength and muscle gain is going to benefit you in a number of ways–you’re going to have better workouts, your body is going to recover from them better, and your physiology is going to be more weighted toward anabolism.

What About the Quality of Your Calories?

The cult of “clean eating” is more popular than ever these days.

While I’m all for eating nutritious (“clean”) foods for the purposes of supplying our bodies with vitamins and minerals, these foods guarantee nothing in the way of muscle gain or fat loss.

The bottom line is you can be the cleanest eater in the world and still be weak and skinny fat

And you now know why:

When it comes to body composition, how much you eat is more important than what.

In this sense, “clean” calories count just as much as “dirty” calories because that dimension of dieting is ruled by numbers–by calories and macros.

That said, while the quantitative elements determine how you look, they guarantee nothing in the way of nutrition and health, because that is mostly influenced by the quality of your food choices.

Thus, the middle of the spectrum is the place to be.

If you want the best of both worlds–a body that feels and works as good as it looks–then you need to be a “flexible clean eater.”

Click here to read more about this.

The Bottom Line on How Many Calories You Should Eat

online weight loss calculator

When the goal is to lose weight, you need to consistently eat less energy than you expend.

When the goal is to gain weight, you need to consistently eat more energy than you expend.

When the goal is to lose fat and not muscle (or gain muscle and not fat), you need to consider more than “calories in versus calories out” though.

To improve your body composition, you need to get your calories and macros right. Fortunately, this is pretty easy.

Here’s all you have to do to lose fat and not muscle:

  1. Eat 75 to 80% of your TDEE, or 20 to 25% less energy than you expend every day.
  2. Eat 1 to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day.
  3. Eat 0.2 to 0.25 grams of fat per pound of body weight per day.
  4. Allot the rest of your calories to carbs (or if you’re sedentary, get about 25% of your calories from carbs and allot the rest to fat).
  5. Follow an aggressive exercise routine.
  6. Take fat loss supplements that actually work.

And here’s the formula if you want to gain muscle but not fat:

  1. Start your lean bulk around 10% body fat if you’re a man, and around 20% body fat if you’re a woman.
  2. Eat 0.8 to 1 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day.
  3. Eat 0.3 to 0.35 grams of fat per pound of body weight per day.
  4. Allot the rest of your calories to carbs.
  5. Follow an aggressive exercise routine.

(And, although I didn’t get to it in this article, you can speed up your progress by taking muscle-building supplements that actually work).

That’s it.

So, even if you’re still skeptical, give it a go. Follow the advice in this article and within a couple of weeks you’ll see real results in the mirror and on the scale.

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What’s your take on how many calories you should be eating? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!