What do you think about when you hear the word calorie? Sure you might think "food" but what we need to think about is “Energy balance”.
Food is an energy source, right? So we need fuel to keep our bodies alive. Think about food as energy, and how healthy it is will dictate how much healthy energy it will provide for you. Don’t think about Carbs, and Calories as this evil thing that needs to be avoided, think about them like measurements of energy. Keep your hourly surplus or deficit within 300 to 500 calories at all times (intake of calories or expenditure); you will be able to change your body a lot easier. People with the largest energy imbalance are also the fattest; if you are more balanced you will stay leaner. More fat = more stored energy. Therefore you need to burn or consume fewer calories throughout the day, as you train, this will create what we call a caloric deficit.
Remember, that every time we eat, our metabolism spikes to burn up the food. So if you want to keep your metabolism up you have got to eat before you get hungry. This is keeping fuel on the fire. This is important for weight loss as well because you must consume a minimum amount of calories to maintain homeostasis and basic metabolic function. More of this is covered in the Weightloss section.
You may have heard you should eat 5-6 small meals a day. If we consider food fuel, think about your body for a moment as if it was a furnace on a coal powered train. Every time you eat (consume energy) you throw more coal onto the fire (metabolism) to keep it going. Eating more often keeps you full and satisfied and reduces the urge to binge eat, or have food lust. You can teach yourself to identify Food Lust, and honest to goodness hunger pang. This also encourages your body to not store fat, because it knows you aren't starving. More on your bodies defense mechanism against weight loss in the Weightloss section.
Calorie cycling is another method that has been used by fitness professionals with great results. Calories are cycled so that higher calorie days coincide with days of more physical activity and lower calories for days of less activity. Remember calories and carbs are Energy! Think about what I said during week 1, Calories represent how much energy this food will give me, not how fattening or bad this is for me. Eat today for Tomorrow. It's also a good method to incorporate into your food plan if you have any body parts that are lagging behind and need to catch up e.g. If you have small legs you eat more on leg training days, this will give you more energy on leg days! Calorie cycling and carb cycling really go hand in hand with planning nutrition.
Benefits of calorie cycling
Improve muscle gain
Improved fat loss
Help lagging muscles