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Physical Fitness: Hong Kong Beginner’s Guide To Dieting & Training

Tags: calories

Part 1: How to start dieting the right way to get lean

If you’re reading this to improve your overall fitness and are not sure on where to start, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re a woman, you’re also at the right place! Everything in this guide is applicable to anyone.

If you’re looking to gain weight and pack on lean muscle, this is for you too.

If you’re not prepared to make a lifestyle change, then you should probably reconsider reading on.

Here we will cover how to eat as well as how to train optimally. There is no magic supplement or weird diet involved; we’re going to give it to you straight and honest.

Enough chit chat, let’s get started.

How to prioritize the elements in dieting

Many people know the different elements that go into dieting, but what they don’t understand is the level of importance of each one. As a result, people tend to do more of the less important things.

Here we will tell you what is most important and what is the least important:

  1. Calories and Energy Balance
  2. Macronutrients (proteins, fats, and carbs) and Fiber
  3. Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals)
  4. Nutritional Timing and Frequency
  5. Supplements

The main message here is that Calories are king when it comes to diet. If you do not understand that the amount of calories you take in will dictate whether you gain or lose weight, then everything else is meaningless.

Second, as you can see supplements are at the bottom of the list. You don’t need them to achieve your goals so save your money. If you still plan on using them, make sure you have the higher priority things on the list down first. Supplements will yield the best results if everything else is dialed in, and will not work if the core fundamentals aren’t there.

How To Figure Out How Much To Eat: Calculating Calories and Macronutrients

To have the best results, you’ll need to eat the appropriate amount of calories at the best ratio of protein, fats, and carbs(which will differ from person to person). You should not cut out any of the 3 completely.


  • 1 gram of carbs = 4 calories
  • 1 gram of protein= 4 calories
  • 1 gram of fat= 9 calories

Weight Loss

To lose weight, you need to eat at a caloric deficit, but to know that you need to know your maintenance level. Here is a simple formula that can get you within a reasonable range:

Bodyweight (in pounds) x G

2.204 kg = 1 pound

G = any number from 12 to 15. 12 represents a level of low activity whereas 15 is high.

If you have a desk job and aren’t very physically active daily, then 12 is appropriate. The same principle applies.

So let’s do an example for someone who weighs 170 pounds (77kg) with a desk job, but takes the MTR:

Taking the MTR takes lots of walking and such so we’ll go for 13 for variable G.

Maintenance calories: 170 x 13 = 2210

This won’t be spot on since many things dictate what your true maintenance level is, but as previously said, it’ll get you in the ball park.

Excellent, you’ve made it this far! Now, onto weight loss.

To lose weight, a general rule of thumb is to eat 500 calories less than maintenance per day. A good goal to go for is to lose about 0.5-1% of your bodyweight per week! Too slow for you? Anything faster is suboptimal and most likely unsustainable. We don’t believe and encourage quick weight loss solutions.

So back to the example, our person would need 2210 – 500 = 1710 calories per day

To calculate the ratio of macronutrients, it will be as follows.

  • Protein: 0.8-1 gram per pound of bodyweight
  • Fat: 15-25% of calories
  • Carbs: The rest of your calories
  • *Be sure to eat about 20-25 grams of fiber

Whatever you choose within the given ranges will depend purely on you. It’ll take some experimentation to figure out what works best. Let’s continue on with the example here:

1710 calories = deficit calories

Protein: 170 grams -> chose to go with 1 gram/lb. of bodyweight

Fat: 47.5 grams -> 25% of calories        (1710 x 0.25)/9

Carbs: 150.6 grams  -> (1710 – (170×4)- (1710 x 0.25))/4 


  • 1 gram of carbs = 4 calories
  • 1 gram of protein= 4 calories
  • 1 gram of fat= 9 calories

After you figure out your ratio, eat according to the ratios. Weigh yourself daily.

Take the average of week 1 and compare it to your starting body weight. Add carbs by 10 grams if you are losing weight too fast, keep it the same if it is 0.5-1%, and drop carbs by 10 grams if you are losing weight too slowly or not at all. Rinse and repeat.

**Compare your average weight to the previous’s week’s average**

Gaining Weight/ Lean Bulking

If you are trying to gain weight, the scenario will differ from losing weight (duh).

For beginner men, it is acceptable to gain about 2-3 pounds per month.

For beginner women, aim for 1-1.5 pounds per month.

To lean bulk, you should aim to eat 300 calories above maintenance. A good macro ratio should follow:

  • Protein: 0.8 grams per pound of bodyweight
  • Fat: 20-30% of calories
  • Carbs: The rest of your calories

Let’s work an example with the same guy as before.

Bulking calories: 2210 + 300 = 2510

Protein: 136 grams

Fat: 73.66 grams -> (2210 x 0.3)/9

Carbs: 250.75 grams -> (2210 – (136 x 4) – (2210 x 0.3))/4

When your weight gain track starts to plateau, gradually add carbs.

To Wrap Things Up With Diet

This is a lot of information, but take your time to re-read it and do your calculations. This should give you a great starting point to get great results.

Now you’re probably thinking, “How do I track my food?”. You do that by weighing out your food with a food scale and logging it in a food tracker. We recommend MyFitnessPal.

There are still many other things to cover, such as nutritional timing. We will get into that later on, but to answer that though real quick, it does not really matter.

Still here? Good! We salute you for making it this far.

Workout Plan: The Main Importance Factors

There are plenty of workout approaches out there, but like diet, the most important part of a workout plan is sustainability and consistency. With that being said, a good workout plan for beginners (for anyone actually) is one that yields results, is enjoyable, and can be fit into your schedule. Let’s dive in.

Hitting The Gym: Setting Up A Workout Plan and Samples

A very common approach to lifting weights is working out single body parts (something we don’t recommend) at a time each day of the week. This is a bodybuilder like approach, and although you do see some buff people, we don’t believe this is an optimal method of training, especially for beginners.

An example of this looks like this:

  • Monday- Chest and triceps
  • Tuesday- Back and biceps
  • Wednesday-Legs
  • Thursday-Shoulder and traps
  • Friday- Cardio and Abs
  • Saturday- Rest
  • Sunday-Rest

So why isn’t this the best method? Well for one, if you go back to the idea of a bodybuilder, you’ll see that this method of training isn’t catered to natural lifters (people not on steroids). However, this method still is great for muscular development, and “bodybuilder exercises” can still be applied as accessories.

To make the most out of training, hitting a single body part for a day simply isn’t enough volume to stimulate muscle growth and strength building.

So what is better?

Upper lower aka push pull splits, or even full body splits are a great route. Here is an example:

  • Monday- Upper Push Day
  • Tuesday- Lower Pull Day
  • Wednesday-Rest
  • Thursday-Upper Push Day 2
  • Friday- Upper Pull Day 2
  • Saturday- Rest
  • Sunday-Rest

The exercises focus more on the big movements such as benching, squatting, and deadlifting, complimented with smaller accessory movements such as over head press, barbell rows, lateral pull downs, etc.

There are two things to note about this. One, because this routine has more emphasis on compound movements, you will be able to workout various body parts multiple times a week, equating to more volume than a body part split. Second, you’ll also notice that this generally also requires less days in the gym, making it less time consuming.

So…this is a better way to train and it saves you more time. That’s nice.

Six Pack: Training Abs

We all want a nice set of abs and a strong core. Believe it or not, you most likely won’t need to train abs directly. Hitting the compound movements on a regular basis already engages your core enough.

If you still want to take it a step further and really want a high level of development, hitting abs directly 2 to 3 times a week will suffice.

Some great movements include hanging leg raises, planks, crunches, and oblique twists.

Cardio: How Often And When To Do It

If you’re looking to implement this into your training for cardiac health, it’s really up to you. Keep in mind that this can affect your weight training.

If you’re doing cardio to lose weight, we recommend starting off with one cardio session and gradually increasing it over time. Throwing too much cardio in at once can make fat loss tougher as you go.

Gym Equipment: What You Should Avoid

We aren’t huge advocates of machines, but we also don’t think that they should be totally neglected. We believe that everything is a tool.

This ties in to bodybuilding splits. We don’t recommend machines to be anyone’s primary movement when lifting weights. They just won’t help that much.

Instead, throw them in as accessory movements at the end of your workouts. These are great to develop and strengthen muscles in a more isolated manner; this work can transfer to the main lifts.

Alright, so we’ve given you all this information, but you probably want an actual program. If you’re interested in us creating a workout plan for you, sign up for our newsletter. We’re currently developing training programs and will release them soon.


The post Physical Fitness: Hong Kong Beginner’s Guide To Dieting & Training appeared first on HK FITLIFE | Hong Kong's Fitness Hub.

This post first appeared on Hong Kong Fit Life | HKFL, please read the originial post: here

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Physical Fitness: Hong Kong Beginner’s Guide To Dieting & Training


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