In order to get the best results possible from your workout routine, an appropriate diet plan is a must. Whether you want to lose fat or build muscle, it is important to pay attention to your intake and be aware of the fact that you need to aim for a healthy diet plan that will not put a strain on your everyday life thus making it easier to adhere to. Now let’s see what you need to know to lose fat or build muscle.
Phase 1: Knowing Your Calorie Intake
Every person has a certain number of calories that they need to eat in order to maintain their current weight. There are a few steps you need to take to calculate your calorie maintenance level:
1. Ideal weight: height (cm)-100 or 105 (100 for men, 105 for women).
2. Daily activity level (refers to your activity at work): low – 30-35calories/kg, medium – 35-40calories/kg, high – 40-45 calories/kg.
3. Calorie maintenance intake: ideal weight*daily activity level.
Now that you know how many calories you need to maintain your weight, let’s see what your intake should be in order to achieve your fitness goals.
If you plan on losing fat, you will need a diet plan that has a 20% caloric deficit below your maintenance level, while if your goal is to build muscle or increase strength, you will require extra calories (125 for women, 250 for men).
Phase 2: Protein Intake
The most common recommendation for the daily protein intake for healthy adults who weight train regularly is between 1.5-3 grams of protein per kg. If you want to make things simple, just multiply your bodyweight by 2 and you’ve got your magic protein number.
High protein foods include eggs and egg whites, lean meats, fish, poultry, protein supplements, nuts and beans.
Phase 3: Fat Intake
You should get about 20-30% of your total calorie intake from fats.
Go for healthy fats that include nuts, fish, olive oil, seeds and fish supplements.
Phase 4: Carb Intake
The calories that are left after a sufficient protein and fat intake will come from carbs.
In order for your diet plan to be healthy and nutritious, you should opt for vegetables, fruit, brown rice, sweet potatoes, whole wheat/grain products and a selection of beans.
Diet Plan Example
Let’s make sure that you understand everything you need to do by creating a diet plan example, step by step. For this we will imagine a woman that weighs around 60 kg, spends most of her working hours at a desk and wants to build muscle.
- With a maintenance level of 1800 calories, she would have to eat an extra 125 calories per day in order to gain muscle, so her caloric intake will rise to 1925 (let’s round up to 1950 calories).
- Next, if we decide to go with an even 2 grams of protein per bodyweight, she will need to eat 120g of protein every day. Since 1 gram of protein contains 4 calories, her protein intake will account for 480 calories each day.
- 25% of the total calorie intake in your diet plan should come from fat. Since this woman eats 1950 calories per day, she will require around 485of these calories to come from fat (divide by 4). 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories, which means that she will need to eat about 54g of fat per day (485/9).
- At this point we see that she has to eat 485 calories worth of fat and 480 calories worth of protein, for a total of 965 calories. The remaining 985 calories will come from carbs. Since 1 g of carbs contains 4 calories, she will have to consume around 245g of carbs per day. (910/4).
As for fat loss, the same rules apply, the only difference being that you will have to reduce your calorie intake by 20% as stated earlier.
Now that you’ve got the diet plan covered, apply it, eat healthy and exercise. Positive results will come.