Dieting 101: Cliff Notes


Let’s review Dieting 101: Maintenance, Deficit, and Surplus Calories. How to get started with knowing HOW much to eat, and WHY.

*Keep in mind that most active individuals need >1800-2400+ calories/day, if not more.


  • The amount of calories needed to maintain weight without changes to your fat mass or lean muscle.
  • Can see positive feedback with body composition, but the scale should stay the same (or slight increase or decrease).
  • Biofeedback gets better (energy, gym performance, hormones, menstrual cycle, libido, mood, sleep, etc).
  • Can take 4-18+ months to get to maintenance + hang there (depends on how long it took you to get here and how long your body needs to restore metabolism).
  • Aim for >180g Carbs, >65g Fat for optimal thyroid + sex hormones.
  • Here’s how to calculate your calorie goals:



  • The amount of calories needed to lose weight (from maintenance).
  • The goal is to diet off as many calories as possible. We suggest starting at a 10% deficit. You may need to get as aggressive as a 35% reduction.
  • You can’t differentiate between losing fat vs muscle.
  • You must EARN the right to diet: To start, biofeedback must be great + you are starting from maintenance calories.
  • Diet no more than 12-16 weeks at a time (no more than 1-2x year because metabolism + hormones decline).
  • Be sure to run thru this checklist to see if you are in an optimal spot to begin a deficit/cut:



  • The amount of calories needed to gain weight (beyond maintenance).
  • When used in combination with a progressive overload strength training program, this can support muscle growth.
  • 105-110% maintenance calories.
  • Building muscle elicits better physique/body composition changes.

Schedule a Discovery Call to discuss your goals + my programs.

Let’s see if you are a good fit!

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