Updated: Jan 9
When people set about a calorie restricted diet, they immediately think that it means they can no longer enjoy their favourite foods. Of course moderation is necessary and depending on your goal you may need to be as strict but for the vast majority of people that just want to lose excess fat, look and feel better this doesn't have to be the case.
In the past I have seen most people set about eating X amount of calories every single day and they soon get fed up with it due to the restriction on their social life. If you are preparing for a bodybuilding show then tough luck, suck it up and get on with it but if you just want to get leaner, you need to find the balance and have some enjoyment in life too.
Once you have calculated how many calories you should be consuming per day to lose a healthy amount of weight (I recommend 1-2lbs per week), you should then multiply this figure by 7 to give you your weekly calorie total. This is the figure that is important and it is also what allows you to plan your diet to suit your lifestyle.
There are several ways you can plan your daily calorie intake to achieve the same overall result. I have outlined 3 different structures based on 3 different lifestyles. The first represents the structured 'eat the same each day', the second is somebody who focuses their diet around training performance and the third is somebody who wants to let their hair down a little at weekend and enjoy more food and perhaps a few alcoholic drinks.
As you can see, all of them are the same amount of calories per week and an average daily intake of 2000 calories per day but a very different structure from day to day.
So if you enjoy a pizza at weekend or a few pints of beer, reduce your calories Monday to Friday and allow yourself extra calories at weekend.