The Principles of a Successful Nutrition Plan

Below I’ve listed the main factors you should be considering when planning a nutrition plan to achieve your physique goals and to compliment your training.

From MOST important to LEAST


Calories are the most important factor to consider with your nutrition. If you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. If you burn more calories than you consume you will lose weight. Regardless of any of the other factors listed. 

Best thing to do when you want to start tracking your calorie intake is to establish your maintenance calories. There are loads of different calorie calculators out there but I would simply multiply your body weight (in lbs) by 12-15 which will give you a good starting figure you can tweak over time. If you you feel you are pretty lean then you will probably be best to start at 15 calories per pound of body weight, or if you feel you are carrying more body fat aim for 12 calories per pound of body weight.

Then simply see how your weight adjusts from week to week and adjust your daily calories up/down 100-200kcals a day depending if you weight increased/decreased that week.

Once maintenance calories have been established, simply add/subtract 300-500kcals per day depending if you are looking to lose weight or gain weight. Or if your goals are to maintain weight, you’ve already found out your caloric need.


Calories are made up of macronutrients – protein, carbohydrates and fats (and also alcohol) and the breakdown of our calories should include sufficient amounts of each (minus the alcohol, sorry).

Protein – 4 calories per gram

Carbohydrates – 4 calories per gram

Fats – 9 calories per gram

Protein – as long as you are getting roughly 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight you will be getting sufficient protein, don’t worry if you are slightly below or above this, but don’t go crazy and use up all your calories for protein.

Carbohydrates + fats – fill the remainder of your calories from carbs and fats as you see fit. If you prefer a low carb diet, fill most of the rest of your calories from fat sources, vice verse if you are a carb lover like me – go higher carbs with some fats added in sparingly. 

Quick guide – 

More active lifestyle – go higher carb

More sedentary lifestyle – go higher fats

But at the end of the day it’s the same calorie intake so this matter less than overall calories.


The next factor is nutrient timing, or when you choose to have your meals or consume your food throughout the day. 

Short answer – whenever suits you best based on your schedule and activities that day. Whatever allows you to hit your calorie goals while being the least amount of effort. 

If you don’t like to eat early in the morning, then you don’t have to. If you prefer to have your evening meal and then stop eating because you turn into a snack monster then that’s fine too. Only you will know the eating schedule that suits you best. But the biggest factors in play here are adherence and enjoyment. 

Don’t starve yourself all day because you heard fasting is the magic pill for weight loss, only to binge at night and go way over your calories.

Also, don’t force yourself to eat foods and at times that don’t suit you cause you read that 6 meals a day is the best approach.

Main thing to try and do is consume food around your workouts, or schedule your workouts around your food.

But remember, you’ve already taken care of calories and macronutrients, so this is less important.


Next up, is food composition. This is where I have to make clear that this list is aimed at helping in creating a successful diet. Food composition or the food sources we are eating and making meals out of is obviously important when overall health is concerned, but in terms of achieving our fitness and physique goals, it is less important (still important though).

In short, try and consume a diet rich in whole foods and limit the amount of times you are eating out or eating things you know you probably shouldn’t be (but as long as you track the calories and macros of these foods, they shouldn’t derail your progress).

But remember, you’re already consuming the right calories and macronutrients, and at the right times so this doesn’t matter as much.


Nutrition supplements are great tools to fill in the gaps in your nutrition plan and improving your adherence.

Below is a list of effective supplements and when you might use them – 

Protein powder – if you are struggling to hit your protein goal intake each day, a protein powder is a great way to easily give it a boost.

Pre-workout – if you are struggling for energy and motivation for your workouts, a pre-workout formula can be great at giving you that extra boost to keep training hard when life gets in the way.

Creatine – effective, cheap supplement if your training goals include increasing strength/power.

So there you have it, take care of the first couple of factors on this list and you will be set for achieving your goals. Or, if you really want to go that extra mile and get the edge, incorporate all of the things on this list and hurtle towards the physique you always wanted.