It is estimated that about 45 million Americans go on a diet each year , and yet only a slim minority actually reach their weight loss goals . You probably know a few people that have failed to diet down, or might have failed yourself.
The common difference between those that succeeded and those that failed is a mixture of diet strategy, environment, and motivation. This guide will cover all three of these issues.
No, it is not because of your genetics or because it is too hard. In fact, genetics accounts for only 2.4% of weight change , a very minor difference.
When your body does not have enough energy available, it uses its fat stores to fuel itself. When you eat more calories than your body uses in a day, it stores that energy as fat instead. This article does a great job explaining the process in detail.
All successful, science-based weight loss diets reduce your caloric intake until you start burning excess fat stores for fuel, either through making you eat less and/or exercise more. But, science indicates that the most effective way to lose weight is not to exercise more, but rather to eat less .
For example, you could either burn 300 calories running about 3 miles in 30 minutes  or you could just not eat a Twix. Reducing your calorie intake saves you a lot of time, and in a way, money as well.
To make sure you are burning more calories than you're consuming, you'll employ calorie counting as your secret weapon. Let’s begin.
Step 1: Find your weight at 21 BMI and make it your goal
The cutting phase is designed to maximize muscle growth while still losing fat. For those of you who are just getting into bodybuilding, you'll be able to make huge strides in your physique in just a couple of weeks following these steps!
If you've downloaded the Renpho app, follow these steps to do so:
- Open up the app
- Click the “My Account” tab on the bottom
- Click “Settings”
- Then click “Set Goal”
- Enter your weight at 21 BMI
- Set “Body Fat” at 12%
As a reminder, we are aiming to get to 21 BMI because that is the score that most people find men attractive at. Additionally, a BMI score of 21 is well within the range of a healthy weight! As you approach 21 BMI you will begin to look better, feel younger, and get stronger.
Step 2: Find the amount of weight you need to lose
Step 3: Set your calorie and macronutrient goals
The supplement row tells how much protein you should eat through your protein powder/bars to make cutting down easier.
Make note of this so you can reach your protein goals each day!
If you have Nutrionix, follow these steps:
- Open the Nutrionix app
- Click the ☰ icon on the top left
- Then click“Daily Goals” and input your daily calorie goal from “The Ideal Body Calculator”
- Then copy the percent of each macro below that
Step 4: Start counting your calories
This is when your food scale and Nutrionix (or your calorie counting app of choice) comes in handy. You can use them in tandem to get a very accurate count of your calories from protein, carbs, and fats.
Weigh your food out and then just input the foods you ate and their amounts into Nutrionix (or any other calorie counting app) and you're done! For a great video on how to use your food scale with minimal cringe, check out the one below:
Do not focus too much on your carbs and fats, protein is the key macronutrient you will aim to hit each day. The other two macronutrients—carbs and fats—can fluctuate based on your preferences.
Protein serves as the building block for muscle. Without adequate protein intake, hypertrophy (muscle growth) is possible but will be suboptimal . So, in order to maximize your effort in the gym, you will need to eat more protein overall.
To make it easy to meet your protein goal, use the protein powder and bars you got earlier to supplement 60% to 70% of your protein goal. This is easily done by having a 70g protein shake for lunch and then a bar or two throughout the day.
For the rest of your protein (30-40%), you can just make sure that each of your meals has some protein and you should meet your daily protein requirement.
As a side note, if you think you can successfully diet without counting calories, the research is against you! Most people drastically underestimate their caloric intake  so using a calorie counting app—at least in the beginning—is necessary.
Step 5: Use Quizlet to become a calorie counting god
A deck of virtual flashcards has been made on Quizlet so that you can test yourself on the calories and macros of common foods. These “food flashcards” make the process of counting calories and macronutrients become natural and instinctive over time.
After just a few weeks of practice, the beta-testers were able to stop using Nutrionix and weighing their food while still reaching their protein and calorie goals. The team decided to call these people "calorie counting gods" as they were able to accurately estimate the calories and macronutrients of the foods they were eating.
Don't look down on these so-called "gods". By practicing the skill of accurately counting calories and macronutrients of the food they were eating, these people are able to effortlessly switch between the cutting and lean-bulking phases—we'll explain why this is important later on.
Furthermore, as long as these "calorie counting gods" continue to practice counting their calories and macros, they'll never gain or lose any unnecessary weight for the rest of their life!
Follow these steps to become a calorie counting god yourself:
Step 6: Start using your smart scale
Each morning before you eat/drink and after you take of your body's needs into the toilet, you’ll step on your scale.
It’s important that you do this daily! Only then will you be able to see your progress over time. As long as you are meeting your calories and macronutrient goals daily, you will see the weight go down. The laws of thermodynamics demand it.
Every week, you should be losing 0.7% to 1% of your body weight. For example, if you're 200lbs, then you should be losing about 2lbs per week. If you're 150lbs, then you should be losing around 1.5lbs per week. Once your weight reaches a BMI score of 21 you'll switch over to the lean-bulking phase.
Additionally, your smart scale will calculate useful information like your estimated muscle mass and body fat percentage, both of which are needed to see if you've reached ideal.
Next steps and if you need help
As gone over above, most people never successfully diet down . If this is a problem you suffer from, this guide provides weight loss tips and tricks that most people don't know about under one of the "Extra Pages". But for now, head back to the nutrition page and finish up the guide.