Nutrition Plan 101

I hear all sorts of nonsense on how much people should be eating on a daily basis.  Fad diets work quickly but are impossible to hold on to.  Everyone is in a constant yo-yo state.  Lose 20 pounds and plateau, ride it through the summer and gain back 30 pounds and get through the winter.  The constant seesaw that we usually see in the playground has plagued many of us.

The biggest problem is we all want things now.  We need instant gratification.  If it is not now, I do not want to wait for it.

This post is going to be very basic.  But when you give this a try for the first time, you will not call this a diet.  You will call this a Nutrition Plan.  When your friends ask you, “how did you lose all that weight?”  You will respond with, “I went on this brilliant Nutrition Plan, by this amazing guy Joe Gambino!”

The reason I am changing the name from diet to nutrition plan is simply because this is not something we are going to do for three months to drop fifty pounds.  This is going to be a life long change that will slowly get you to your goal, and allow you to maintain it… FOREVER!  By following these simple rules outlined, you will be able to keep your muscle mass and drop weight.


1. Make sure you eat enough calories

A big problem with those who are overweight is A) they over eat or B) they under eat.

If you over eat, it is simply calories in versus calories out.  You are taking in too many calories and not expending enough.  Therefore, you will gain weight.  Very simple, you must cut calories, and you will start to see results.

If you under eat, you have caused a major shift in your bodies hormone production causing you to store body fat and break down muscle mass.  This will either leave a heavy person who lost twenty pounds to plateau, or give somebody the look of being skinny fat.  This is a person who has an ideal body weight, but doesn’t have a lot of muscle and still has a good amount of body fat.  You see this a lot with people who do a lot of cardio and no weight lifting.  This is why girls, should start to lift like guys. (But this is out of the scope for this post.)

How do you know how many calories to eat?  Well it is quite simple…

STEP 1:  Find out your body fat percentage.

Just about every gym should have a personal training staff and hopefully some way to measure your body fat.  If not leave that gym… ASAP. =)

STEP 2:  Find out your weight.

I know for a fact, every gym has a scale. Step on it and read what it says.

STEP 3:  Multiply your weight by your body fat percentage in order to get your weight from fat.

With the American school system I hope you have your calculator ready. Here’s an example:

200 lbs x 30% body fat = 200 lbs x 0.30 = 60 lbs of fat

STEP 4: Subtract your weight by your weight from fat.

200 – 60 = 140 lbs.  This is your lean body mass (LBM)!  This is a very important number.

STEP 5:  Take your LBM and multiply it by the following chart.

Current Body Fat Percentage

Caloric Intake

 <12 %

17 kcal per pound of LBM


16 kcal per pound of LBM

15.1 – 19 %

15 kcal per pound of LBM

19.1 – 22%

14 kcal per pound of LBM

> 22%

13 kcal per pound of LBM

140 lbs x 13 kcals = 1,820 calories per day.

So for this person, they would need to consume 1,820 calories per day in order to maintain this person’s weight.

If someone wanted to lose weight, they would simply have to cut 250 calories per day and they would begin to lose between 0.5 and 1 pound per week. Along with exercise.

Now I know your looking at this screen thinking “like oh my God!  I am going to lose ONLY 0.5 pounds per week!” If you lost 0.5-1 pound per week for the whole year you would lose between 26-52 pounds per year. That is a lot of weight loss, and it is sustainable weight loss, which is the best part.

What if you do not want to lose that much weight?

Then simply you do all the steps above, cut calories until you make it to your goals.  Repeat the steps above to figure out how many calories it takes to maintain your new weight,  and consume that amount of calories. 

What if you want to gain mass you ask me?

Add 250 calories to the numbers you work out above, and voilà! You will gain weight.

Seems simple enough, stay tuned there will be additions to this somewhere down the line that will become more and more specific.  So get your learning caps on and NO MORE DIETING.  We are beginning the Nutrition Plan!

Was this post helpful, enlightening, the purest, greatest thing you ever read?  How many calories do you consume per day?  Does any one have any other ways that have been successful to them? Let me know, leave a comment below!

2 responses to “Nutrition Plan 101

  • Mike

    I agree with Joe there really is no such thing as a diet. The best way of losing weight is changing the way you eat by not being on a diet but following a nutrition plan that meets your goals. I have always been over weight but then my weight get out of control and I topped the scale at 283. At first I went on Weight Watchers which helped me get started. They thought me the importance of portion control and choosing healthier foods. The trick is to learn how to eat and not rely on others. I used Weight Watchers as jumping off point, to help educate myself on eating the right way. I am no longer a member and I continued to lose weight until I reached my goal weight. I lost 118 lbs. and have kept it off without being on a diet but instead following a nutrition plan that’s meets my goals. I am able to eat what I want with just a little planning for the week. Don’t just look at what you are eating now or for dinner tonight. Look ahead a few days ahead of time and plan meals that will help you meet your goals and before you know it you will have a nutrition plan. Trust me it works not only did I lose weight I was able to drop my LDL to under 60, my total cholesterol to under 120, and I am no longer on cholesterol medicine.

    • Joe Gambino

      Thanks for the input Mike. You hit the nail on the head about preparing your meals in advance. By doing that you will rarely get thrown off and consume higher calorie foods or extra meals then you would of normally of liked.

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