How to find your maintenance calories.
This is the nuts and bolts of the diet. If you know your own personal maintenance level of calories, you can control your own body fluctuation. Anything above your maintenance level of calories, you will gain weight, and anything under your maintenance calories, you will lose weight. Knowledge is power, and learning this will speed up your entire process to reach your goals. A maintenance example would be a man, 5'10" 170LBS burns 2300 calories per day. This means that if each day he continues to eat 2300 calories per day, his weight will stay the same. A great way for both males and females is to take your bodyweight in pounds and multiply it by 13 to give a starting point for your possible maintenance. If a male is 150 LBS multiplied by 13 this will give him a number of 1950 calories. This number includes all activity for the say such as blinking, showering, eating, walking, exercising, and anything else! Once you have your number that you are working with, the goal is to test it out. Take the next 7 days and consume your estimated daily maintenance calories.
Record your scale weight each and every morning with your estimated maintenance. The best way to record scale weight for accuracy is as soon as you wake up before eating, completely naked, after you have went to the bathroom. This gives the most accurate representation of dry body weight. After 7 days have past, total them all up and divide by 7 in order to get the average. If your weight stayed the same, you are good to go and have found your maintenance. If the scale went up or down, you will have to add or decrease 100-200 calories per day and repeat the entire process. This takes time. It is not uncommon to take 4-6 weeks of a dial in period before a person can truly find their maintenance. Every human is built different and there will never be a one size fits all approach to finding it. It is more of a rinse and repeat process. To make things even more complicated, a persons maintenance calorie level can change over time. For example, if a person has been dieting and losing fat for a period of time while staying in a deficit the maintenance level typically is decreased by up to 10 percent. The same rules apply for bulking. If a person is in a surplus for a period of time, metabolic rate can increase and a higher number of calories is needed to maintain weight. Finding your true maintenance is a never ending battle.