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How much to eat

To make a diet successful, you need to understand calories

How much you need to eat per day depends on your goals and energy balance. Your energy balance is the amount of energy your body needs for to maintain your current weight. 'Energy in' (the foods and drinks you consume) vs. 'energy out' (calories being used in the body for our daily energy requirements). Depending on that goal, you will have to create a caloric deficit (fat loss), surplus (muscle gain) or maintain your current intake.

For weight (fat) loss: Energy in < Energy out

For weight (muscle) gain: Energy in > Energy out

For maintenance: Energy in = Energy out

There are many factors that influence energy in and energy out, such as your muscle mass, the amount of exercise you do, stress levels and the amount of energy spent moving when not exercising. Because of these variables, balancing your energy isn’t as easy as it looks. Your energy in and out doesn't have to balance every day. It's having a balance over time that will help you stay at a healthy weight for the long term.

You can work out your own individual requirements using the JLC Macro Calculator.

While the total amount of calories you consume will determine whether you lose or gain weight, you should not overlook the type of food you get your calories from. The quality and type of food you get in will have a massive effect on health and body composition (what is lost or gained; muscle or fat). Just imagine having a diet consisting of 2000kcal of ice cream, or 2000kcal of whole foods, meat and vegetables.


This is were the Jetlagged Chef Lunch and Dinner plan comes in, helping you understand how to best fuel your body for the lifestyle you lead.

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