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The Journey To My Healthy Diet Routine

My calories and maintenance macros to stay lean all year

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m sharing the journey to my healthy diet routine, including my calories and maintenance macros to stay lean all year.

So here’s the deal with my healthy diet routine.

At this point in my Live Lean journey, it’s on auto-pilot.

The Journey To My Healthy Diet Routine

Before I share my current calories and maintenance macros to stay lean all year, let me share a quick story on how I first got to this point.

Welcome to story time: Live Lean journey edition

The Journey To My Healthy Diet Routine

I consistently started working out in 2005.

However, I never started consistently eating the right way to achieve my ideal physique, until 2010.

So in other words, from a physique standpoint, I was getting the kind of results where you look ok in clothes.

The Journey To My Healthy Diet Routine

But when the shirt came off, it looked like I simply played around in the gym, without following any workout program or nutrition plan.

In other words, I was like 72% of the people that “workout”.

My 2005 macronutrient breakdown

My “nutrition plan” consisted of following recipes from The Abs Diet book from Men’s Health.

Remember that little orange book?

Sure the recipes were probably better than how 80% of the population eats.

But looking back at the ingredients in some of these recipes were questionable.

Plus, even though I was following the recipes, I had no idea about portion sizes, as I didn’t know how many calories I should be eating for my goals.

And I definitely had no clue about calculating macronutrients.

2005 macronutrient breakdown

If I had to estimate my macronutrient breakdown back in 2005, I’d say it was close to:

  • 20% protein
  • 60% carbohydrates
  • 20% fat

On top of this, even though my goal was to build muscle back then, I’d guess I was only eating approximately 2200 calories a day.

Even though all the professional bodybuilders in my gym kept telling me that I had to eat way more food.

I was stubborn and undisciplined.

So I continued to do this for 7 years, and was super frustrated, with how far away I was still from my ideal physique.

The Journey To My Healthy Diet Routine

This all changed in 2010

Then it all changed in 2010, when I invested a lot of money in an online fitness coach.

The program he wrote me was decent, and I learned the importance of calculating calories and macronutrients.

But the real driver of my success was the skin that I put in the game.

In other words, my friends thought I was crazy for transferring that much money, to a complete stranger, over 3,500 miles away.

Remember, this was in 2010, when a lot of people were still scared to buy items online, even from Walmart.

But again, if I would have saw that same program for free on the internet, I wouldn’t have taken it that seriously, because I didn’t invest anything into it.

My Live Lean journey officially begins

In 2010, my Live Lean journey officially began because I finally dialed in my nutrition.

When I say “dialed in my nutrition”, I simply mean, I understood the right types of foods to eat, in the right quantities, at the right time.

Awaken The Abs Within Book

In my book, Awaken The Abs Within, I called this my TQT formula to nutrition.

For the next 2-3 years, I counted calories and macros, weighed my food, and prepped all of my meals, with one cheat meal per week.

This meant, I had a daily goal of how many calories to eat, as well as goals for the macronutrient breakdown of those calories.

For example, a certain percentage of those calories had to come from protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fat, as well as hitting my water consumption goal.

I weighed all my food and tracked my daily macros in a spreadsheet.

Eventually I turned the spreadsheet into the online meal planner software that we now provide all of our Team Live Lean members with.

The Journey To My Healthy Diet Routine

My 2010 macronutrient breakdown

During this muscle building phase, my coach set my macronutrient break as the following:

  • Calories: 3,500
  • Protein: 40%
  • Carbohydrates: 40%
  • Fat: 20%

Although counting calories and macros may sound exhausting, I consider that investment as the required short-term pain to get to my ultimate goal of Living Lean.

Going through that process now gives me the power to go on auto-pilot and literally be able to calculate the calories and macros, just by looking at a plate.

That is one of the ultimate signs that you’re Living Lean.

The Journey To My Healthy Diet Routine

My 2013 macronutrient breakdown

Although that 40-40-20 protein/carbohydrate/fat macronutrient breakdown helped me hit my muscle building goals, it wasn’t optimal for me.

I found I added a little bit of extra fluff around my sides, I had energy fluctuations, and even though I was eating that many calories, I always felt hungry.

That’s when I started researching the paleo diet.

In 2013, I switched my macronutrient breakdown to:

  • Calories: 2,800
  • Protein: 40%
  • Carbohydrates: 20%
  • Fat: 40%

This meant I lowered the calories to my maintenance level, and switched the percentages of carbohydrates and fat.

I learned a lot about how my body didn’t respond that well to that many carbohydrates.

The extra calories from the carbohydrates made me store extra water weight, they caused frequent energy crashes, and I always felt hungry with more cravings for sugar.

When I lowered my carbohydrate consumption, and increased my consumption of foods high in healthy fat, I tightened up, fixed my energy crashes, and balanced my hunger cravings.

So from 2014 to today, I haven’t actively counted calories or macros anymore, unless it’s short-term to get ready for a photoshoot, a video project, or I have a specific goal.

The Journey To My Healthy Diet Routine

3 reasons why I don’t count calories or macros anymore:

#1. I can eyeball portion sizes

As mentioned, I can roughly calculate the calories and macros just by looking at the plate.

#2. I’m currently in maintenance mode

This simply means my current goal is to maintain my current physique, not building muscle or burning fat.

However, as I say this, I weighed myself this morning and I was down 6 pounds from my optimal weight of 175 pounds.

Although my body fat % is still between 8-9%, which is my happy zone, I’m just not eating enough food lately as I’ve been super busy with work and moving into a new home.

I may be entering a muscle building phase for 2019.

Stay tuned.

#3. I eat a fairly clean diet

In the past, I’ve showed a lot of grocery haul videos.

Based on these food haul videos, you’ll notice quite a few commonalities that are associated with my diet:

  • Consume mainly whole foods containing one ingredient on the label.
  • Focus on having a food high in protein with every meal.
  • A lot of my calories come from foods high in healthy essential fat.
  • Carbohydrates primarily come from lots of vegetables, some fruit, and the occasional oats or low glycemic bread.
  • Opt for organic ingredients whenever possible.
  • I don’t drink my calories unless it’s my coconut oil coffee, or an occasional glass of red wine or beer
  • In moderation for my cheat meals, I do enjoy higher carbohydrate meals like pizza.

The Journey To My Healthy Diet Routine

My estimated 2018 macronutrient breakdown

If I had to estimate my current macronutrient breakdown, it would be:

  • Calories: 2,400
  • Protein: 30-35%
  • Carbohydrates: 20-25%
  • Fat: 40-50%

From a grams perspective, this would equal:

  • Calories: 2,400
  • Protein: 180-210g
  • Carbohydrates: 120-150g
  • Fat: 105-130g

Bottom line on your heathy diet routine

I truly believe having a properly structured workout program will help you start transforming your body.

But if you really want to obtain your desired physique, as fast as possible, dial in your nutrition.

The best way to do this is to follow a plan based on your goals.

I recommend you go take our Live Lean Body program selector quiz to find the best program for you, based on your goals, fitness level, and access to equipment.

All of our programs include a nutrition plan, that teaches you step-by-step, how to calculate your calories and macronutrients for your specific goals.

You’ll also get access to our private Facebook accountability group to ask us questions along with hundreds of other Live Leaners on the same journey as you.

Go take the Live Lean Body quiz here.

If you’re new to the Live Lean Nation, go ahead and karate chop the subscribe button with notifications turned on.

And don’t forget to click the social media buttons to share The Journey To My Healthy Diet Routine post with your friends.

Thanks for watching and keep Living Lean.

[wd_hustle_cc id=”team-live-lean”]


Start by taking our FREE Live Lean Body Quiz to get access to the best program specific to your goals!

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