After talking about Veg*nism, Cheat Days, and Clean Eating I received a question about what my diet generally tends to look like. At the moment, this is how I break it down.
On my “Rest” Days I aim for a 2,000 Calorie Intake; On my “Work” Days I aim for a 2,200 to 2,500 Calorie Intake. My caloric intake, however, is often the subject of dispute in some groups- particularly those who believe eating less than 1,000 calories a day is the best way to lose weight.
I eat so many calories because your body needs them. Every piece of food we eat contains calories. Calories are energy, and are what fuel our bodies. Your body requires a specific number of calories (estimated based on your height, age, weight, and gender) in order to maintain optimal organ function and overall health and wellness, mobility, etc. It is unhealthy to eat too far below your recommended intake, and can have significant negative impacts on your health- especially when you are active and exercising.
By figuring 1. What your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is- which is basically how much energy your body consumes daily in order to maintain organ and basic bodily function in a resting state and neutral environment; and 2. What your average activity level is, you can figure out the total number of calories you should more than likely be eating.
In order to figure out your BMR, you need to use the Mifflin St. Jeor Equation. You then need to input that information into the Harris-Benedict equation in order to figure out the base caloric intake that your body needs in order to maintain your current weight. Subtracting 500 calories from that result creates a deficit and allows you to figure out how many you need to eat in order to lose weight at a healthy pace instead of maintaining your weight.
In terms of what I eat and when, it is relatively simple: I have 1 cup of Tea or Coffee at Breakfast, 1 cup of Tea at Lunch, and 1 Soda Pop with Dinner. On top of it all, I also drink a full 2.2L of Water total a Day.
General Goals for food are to: Cut Sodium Intake by ½; Cut Refined Sugar Intake by ½; Increase Fruit Intake; Increase Vegetable Intake; Increase Lean Meat Intake; Increase Seafood Intake sans Shrimp.
My dietary focuses are mostly on: High Protein; High Fats; Low Sugar; Medium Carb; Moderate Sodium; Optimal Calories.
I attempt to make sweets and Deserts by myself and aim for at least one large dessert a week. I do not deny or ignore food cravings that I have. I allow all things in my diet in moderation.
This is the same plan that I used in order to lose 70+ pounds over the course of 3 years, and for me it worked and worked well. However, I was also weightlifting and living a very healthy, active lifestyle during this time. For others their dietary needs may not be the same.