For most, the hardest part of any fitness regime is the nutritional aspect or diet; as Garfield said “diet is just die with a ‘t’ on the end!!” Exercise is the comparatively easy part, and whilst the diet for anybody training or looking to get in shape is important, whether a professional athlete or bodybuilder, for the average person it needn’t be too daunting or complicated.
Basic weight loss/gain in its simplest form is purely the manipulation of a simple equation: energy in – energy out. If weight loss is the aim then a negative result is required by either reducing calories in or increasing the calories out, whilst for weight (muscle) gain to occur the opposite is true and a positive calorific balance is required. This is the basis for any nutritional plan, and whilst macro and micro nutrients, meal timing and even supplementation play their part, without the basic calorie levels these will prove only to over complicate matters. Calories in simply refers to the amount of food/drink consumed, whilst calorie expenditure is the amount of energy (a calorie is a unit of energy) used by the body during exercise and activities of daily living. To put it simply, in its most basic form, weight reduction is simply a case of reducing consumption and/or increasing activity, with the reverse being necessary to gain mass.
Whilst it is agreed that those involved in regular exercise will require a higher protein intake than sedentary individuals, a range of between 1g/kg These changes should not be too drastic, and in order to be successful should in fact amount to only +/- 400-500 calories per day in order to achieve change and more importantly prevent metabolic adaptation whereby the body strives for homeostasis by ‘slowing down’ as it conserves energy in the case of a substantial reduction in calories. Another good reason for the relatively small change in calories is that it makes the plan easy to follow, within the reach of anybody and most importantly sustainable and therefore more likely to be adhered to long term. It is also a relatively straight forward method and negates the need for invasive measurements or complicated methodology such as macro counting or the mundane measuring of foodstuffs.
For the average person looking to make changes and achieve long term, steady improvement this simple way of dieting when combined with ample hydration (if you’re feeling thirsty you’re already dehydrated!) is simple, effective, easy to follow and will achieve results over time….. and is surely something even Garfield could manage!
Best of luck!!