Above is an example of a spreadsheet I’ve used for myself and my clients to create a customized meal plan. As you can see the above macro split is roughly 50%/30%/20% . That’s 50% of total daily calories, which is 1721 in this example, consists of Protein. 30% consists of carbs and 20% is fats. There are also 2 high carbs days in this meal plan. These high carb days are CONTROLLED and extends the “life” of your metabolic rate by preventing it from slowing down as quickly as it would without these days. The body is forever adapting and ensuring its own survival. So if you reduce your calories to 1000 a day, your metabolism will eventually slow down and adapt to functioning on the 1000 calories. If not, you will continue to lose weigh forever and ever and wither away into oblivion, and we don’t want that. So, the body metabolism is constantly adapting to what its being fed, which is why most diets fail, they don’t adapt with the body. Now you may want to start off at a higher caloric intake depending on your metabolic rate. They’re multiple sites and formulas to calculate this number. So lets say you are doing weigh ins every Monday morning and you are losing roughly 2lbs a week on this plan while doing 3 days of cardio for 30 minutes (read cardio post for types of cardio). On the 5th week, the scale doesn’t move and you believe you’ve plateau. [Now to be sure you’ve actually hit a sticking point because the scale doesn’t always tell the whole story, you can wait another week to weigh yourself or perform visual checks w/ pictures or measurements. ] So when you eventually hit a sticking point, because it will happen, you would then reduce your total calories to lets say 1500 a day and increase cardio to 4 days a week 40 minute sessions. And so on and so forth. I may have anywhere from 3-5 of these meal plan for a client, each one containing fewer calories than the previous one. Now you can only reduce your calories so much before it gets to an unhealthy level. When you start to approach this, just steadily increase your cardio as you see fit. After you’ve blasted away your body fat and reached your ideal body, I wouldn’t recommend you start back eating how you were before. Nor would I recommend your calories stay super low to maintain your figure. What I would recommend is that you “reverse diet” to build your metabolism and allow you to consume more calories without gaining an additional weight. I’ll provide a post on reverse dieting in detail to further explain.