Various conflicting information exists on the topic of nutrition that causes individuals to experience ADD when it comes to which foods they eat and even when they eat them.
The truth is, this whole process is very complicated and simple at that same time. The simple part is good old-fashioned calorie counting. 'Caloric maintenance' refers to the amount of calories you need to maintain your weight. 'Caloric deficit' refers to the amount of calories you need to lose weight. 'Caloric surplus' refers to the amount of calories you need to gain weight. 3500 calories is equal to one pound.
The first step should always be to figure out what your caloric maintenance is. This will depend on your height, weight, gender, and activity level.
If you need 2,000 calories to be at a caloric maintenance, that would mean you need 14,000 calories that week. If you eat 10,500 during those 7 days (1,500/day) you will lose one pound. Conversely, if you eat 17,500 (2,500/day), you will gain one pound.
If you are in a caloric surplus, the more active you are, the more those calories will go into building muscle rather than gaining fat, and the higher your caloric maintenance will be. Therefore, exercising and being active is vital, as it affords you far greater flexibility while using this approach.
Now, with all of this being said, that obviously does not mean ‘2,000-calorie-maintenance-guy who loves Skittles’ should go buy 7 jars of 1,500 calories worth of Skittles each and eat nothing but one of those per day, for that week, to lose one pounds.
This individual will not consume the necessary macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) or the necessary micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). A slew of issues will occur because of this that will worsen the health of this individual over time, such as various deficiencies and poor hormonal responses.
However, treats such as Skittles, hamburgers, and pizza (especially ones with quality ingredients) can oftentimes be consumed regularly. Fat loss can still be achieved as long as all of the nutrients needed to sustain a healthy lifestyle are acquired and the total calories are kept under maintenance.
A 700-calorie hamburger or two slices of pepperoni pizza gives someone with a 2,000 calorie maintenance a 1,300 calorie window to fill without spilling into a surplus. This can be filled with more treats that may or may not fill them up or provide the necessary amount of nutrients. Or, they may choose more satiating and fibrous foods that are nutrient dense, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and lean meats.
Choosing the latter option is essentially what makes the basic method of calorie counting or 'flexible dieting' so successful for the general public. The majority of calories can be used on ‘healthy’ foods that make you feel full, while providing the daily nutrient requirements. Then, the remaining handful of calories can be allotted to any treats or ‘junk foods.’
This way, you never have to go weeks and months before you ‘cheat.’ You are able to have the foods you enjoy, without compromising your goals.