So far, we have covered how many calories you should eat to lose weight, lose fat, build muscle or gain weight. Depending on your personal goals, perhaps you are content with your current weight and just want to maintain that. Or maybe you want to maintain your weight and improve your performance in the gym or in a sport. Both approached will be slightly different, however, the processes are almost identical. Due to the simplicity of these goals, this will probably be the shortest article in this diet series.
How can I maintain my weight?
Remember the 1st law of thermodynamics? When calories in equal calories out, weight maintenance occurs. Your body has no reason to dip into energy storage (lose weight). Your body will also not store any energy (gain weight) since there are no extra calories to be stored.
Go read this article:
How to calculate your daily caloric requirements
You should now have an estimate of what your daily caloric requirements are. Your job is almost done! That’s how easy it is. The next step to do is to simply eat that same number of calories the calculator or any of the methods gave you for 2 weeks and monitor your progress.
Example: If your daily caloric requirements are 2500 calories per day. Eat that same number for two weeks and weigh yourself every week. If you are constantly gaining weight, simply decrease your calories and repeat the experiment until the scale stops moving. If you are losing weight, increase your caloric intake by a little bit and repeat the experiment until you constantly weigh the same.
Your job is done! That’s how easy it is. You can get those calories from whatever macronutrients you want since you are not interested in building muscle or losing fat. However, if you want to maintain your weight and improve your athletic performance, you will need to add one more step.
How can I maintain my weight and improve my athletic performance?
For those who have this goal as their main goal, start by following the steps I wrote above. I will assume that you are either strength training or train for a specific sport.
Your training will most likely involve sessions of strength training, which is good. Follow these steps:
- Eat the same number of calories as your maintenance calories.
- Ensure that you are not gaining or losing weight (see above).
- Train often. Your performance will not improve drastically if you train poorly and only 1-2 times per week. Don’t be scared of overtraining!
- If you are strength training, focus on increasing your strength levels every single session! Push yourself and your body will adapt.
- You will need to calculate your macros (protein, carbs and fats).
That’s it! Just move on to the macros chapter and start by reading the protein article: