When to Diet
Checklist to Master Prior to Worry About Dieting
Just your regularly scheduled reminder that just because you think you want to diet doesn’t mean you’re necessarily in a place to do so. You have to earn the right to diet and cut your calories. A body has to feel safe to get lean and stay lean.
I know that the basics will never be sexy to people or sell super well, but hot DAMN do I need people to understand that we can’t chronically diet and that we have no business worrying about cutting our calories if we currently feel like shit and aren’t already crushing basic foundational habits.
I also need women to understand that the body composition they desire probably has a helluva lot more muscle on it than they currently have now.
We shouldn’t be dieting more than 1-2x a year for longer than ~ 4-12 weeks at a time. We should also have regularly scheduled stretches of caloric surplus (3-4 months minimum) throughout the year where we lift heavy and crush all the food.
You likely cannot gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. Gaining muscle requires a caloric SURPLUS beyond maintenance calories. Losing body fat requires a caloric DEFICIT, aka eating BELOW caloric maintenance.
You should be spending more time at maintenance calories than you do anything else.
For most women, this is well beyond 1800-2000+ calories. If I used myself as an example, I’m 5’3 and 125 lbs. I average 8k steps a day, workout for 60-90 minutes 4-5 times a week, and my maintenance calories are 2400-2500. I can successfully cut on 2100-2000 calories, with ease.
If your hair is currently falling out, thyroid levels are super low, your menstrual cycle is absent or super irregular, you wake up multiple times a night, deal with constant food cravings, feel like hot garbage inside and outside the gym, or have been eating consistently less than 1800-2,000 calories the past few months – you probably have no business worrying about dieting right now.