Calorie Counts – Your Queries Answered

Hello my little Fondues!

So a fair few of you have downloaded my iBook (Apple) / Google Book (Android) Eat Clean Get Lean , and many of you have queries and conundrums in common re calories.

I’m going to talk about that now, but before I begin, if anyone else is thinking of purchasing Eat Clean Get Lean, please learn from others’ mistakes…




Right, now the technical stuff is over, let’s talk about calories…

  • Some of you feel that your calories are too high. If you have calculated your BMR+TDEE, then deducted 10% for a loss (e.g. 2000kcal-200kcal=1800kcal), this is your accurate STARTING POINT.
  • As I say in the plan, give it 2 weeks, and your weight / body fat / measurements should have decreased, meaning you must STAY AT THIS COUNT, no matter how small the loss.
  • If after 2 weeks (ANY 2 week check in) your weight / body fat / measurements have NOT decreased, you need to deduct a further 10% (for example 1800kcal-180kcal=1620kcal).
  • Only deduct a further 10% if you have not decreased since your last 2 week check in. If you have, YOU MUST STAY PUT.
  • It’s important to take this slowly and progressively because after several weeks / months in a deficit, YOU WILL PLATEU. When this happens, you NEED ROOM TO PLAY WITH YOUR CALORIES. So you have to start as HIGH as you possibly can.
  • For those of you who are still unsure of your start point number, 1800kcal is a generic start point I put my FEMALE fat loss clients on, so give this a go.



The Truth About Chocolate

I recently posted a photo on Instagram of some high protein chocolate I’d been sent.

Shock horror, it wasn’t long before an evangelical nutritionist, who didn’t appear to know the first thing about what I do, began berating me for promoting such an ‘unhealthy’ food group to my followers…

Just because it’s high protein doesn’t mean it’s healthy! 

You’re not a dietician, you shouldn’t be telling people it’s ok to eat chocolate!

Etc etc, blah blah blah.

Now, first things first, let’s clear up some of this kid’s claims. Yes, just because something is high protein, or low fat, or gluten free, it does NOT mean it’s healthy, obviously. If I buy a meat feast pizza and sprinkle whey protein powder all over it, is it healthy? No. Cheers mate, we all get it.

Second, am I dietician? No. I am a Gym Instructor (L2) and a Personal Trainer (L3) and I have qualifications in nutrition. This means I AM qualified to tell people what they should and shouldn’t eat, but with restrictions. So for example, I would get in trouble if I wrote a diabetic or a celiac a diet plan.

Next; I am of the staunch opinion that there is no such thing as an ‘unhealthy’ food group. Health encompasses both physical and mental well being, so while eating salmon, broccoli, nuts and oats is going to give you a healthy bod, after a few months you’re probably going to feel a bit miserable. Is it unhealthy to eat chocolate? No. It’s unhealthy to gorge on any sugary foods, fatty foods, AND EVEN healthy foods. Yes, if you eat nothing but brown rice and bananas for every meal, you will gain weight and become malnourished. My point? ANYTHING can be considered healthy, so long as it’s in moderation.

Understand that I now know a hell of a lot, but even I am still learning. So you can imagine my joy when a girl named Danny commented under my photo “I ate a small amount of chocolate all the way through all my preps.”

I asked her to write something for us, and that she did…

Hi my name is Danny and I’m a chocoholic. Oh and a bodybuilder…

Now, before all of you die hard ‘bro food’ and ‘clean eating’ advocates choke on your chicken and broccoli let me put this into context; like many of you out there reading this, I love chocolate. I love chocolate so much it is actually my job and my passion. I write this piece sat at my desk, a green tea in one hand and a bar of 100% chocolate in the other (because balance, right?). I am sat in one of my stores, one of my stores that is filled to the brim with luxury chocolate. By day, I am the Retail Director for Artisan du Chocolat, but by early morning (5.30am most days) and late at night, I am a bodybuilder.

I have consumed chocolate all the way through my bodybuilding and fitness journey. In fact, I began my fitness journey at around the same time as I began in my role at Artisan.

No food is ‘bad food’. And, from a slightly biased opinion maybe, chocolate is far from bad. Chocolate in its purest form is actually something that could be considered a ‘Superfood’. Cocoa is a known source of flavonoids, a very powerful antioxidant that is in fact ten times stronger than vitamin c. It contains four times as many antioxidants than your cup of tea. Good quality chocolate will contain cocoa butter from the cocoa itself and not vegetable fats; cocoa butter’s triglyceride structure is composed of oleic acid, which is low in cholesterol and is thought to have the same properties as olive oil when it comes to protecting the heart. Good chocolate is also packed with iron, magnesium and calcium. And, most interestingly in some recent studies involving cyclists, those that consumed a chocolate based drink pre workout performed better in endurance training and had less fatigue than those who had consumed a traditional sports drink. Aside from that, let’s not forget that chocolate tastes amazing!

Now, I am in no way suggesting you ditch all the good, high nutrient foods in favour of completely stuffing your face with chocolate. I certainly wouldn’t suggest you consume your bodyweight in sugary, highly processed cocoa products. What I am saying is that a little bit of something really good is not a bad thing and can in fact be a very good thing. For two consecutive years I trained for, and competed in bikini fitness bodybuilding. This type of training and competing requires a hugely restrictive diet and serious amounts of self control. There is no room for error when you need to get seriously lean. Meals were strict: lean meat, usually chicken breast, lean mince, or white fish; fats were low; carbohydrates were sweet potato or white rice, and the green stuff was mainly broccoli, asparagus and spinach. There was no dairy, no sugar and certainly no alcohol. You live and breathe this diet and this world for weeks on end, sometimes up to 16-20 weeks. It is monotonous and it is tough. However, I still made room for a square or two of chocolate every single day and was still a seriously lean bean when I stepped on stage. What this little bit a day did for me was stop me from having all out ‘cheats’ and completely fall ‘off plan’ so to speak.

I haven’t competed this year but I still train just as hard, if not harder. I lift heavy, I do very minimal cardio if any at all, and I weight train 6 days a week, sometimes twice per day. I am very comfortable UK size 8, and I maintain a happy and healthy weight of 7kg more than my depleted stage weight. And, I eat chocolate every single day.

When something is forbidden, it becomes more desirable. If you get told you cannot have something, whether or not you even wanted it before, you automatically begin to crave it. It becomes all consuming (literally, with you doing the consuming), it is the only thing you can think about. I guarantee if I told you that you could never have a doughnut again from tomorrow, you would go out and eat as many doughnuts as possible, but I bet you wouldn’t have wanted one before I said that. When the forbidden item eventually becomes available you gorge and binge and eat so much for fear it may be taken away again. When you can have a little bit every single day you no longer have that desire. If I have a little bit of chocolate a day, I have no urge to eat a mountain of it and to be quite frank I don’t crave it, it just slots nicely into my day with my cuppa, just the same way as my other five solid meals a day do.

The benefits of cocoa and of chocolate do have a place in day to day life and day to day food consumption. The food itself, as long as it is good quality chocolate has many benefits on your health as I have already listed. Aside from the antioxidants and mineral values it also contains a chemical known as PEA. This PEA, or phenylethylamine is released in the body when people fall in love. It is one of the chemicals that will make you feel happy. And a little bit of ‘happy’ certainly never hurt anyone. A lot of comfort eating tendencies come from feelings of sadness and consolation for not being happy. So if that can be counteracted or prevented by eating a little of something that will chemically but naturally make you happy, and in turn stop you from over-eating, then surely that can never be a bad thing.

Like most things in life, if something makes you happy you should be able to enjoy it free from criticism and free from guilt, and in my humble opinion chocolate is something we should never feel guilty about.

Chocolatey kisses,

Danny x
IG: @dannysfitfood

Coming Soon – NUTRITION APP!

Those of you who follow me on social media will know that in a few weeks, my nutrition app will finally be available on both Apple and Android devices.

This has taken me months to pull off, because this app is pretty substantial.

In the new app, I cover everything from clean eating, to calories, to macros, to carb cycling, to recipes.

I’ve done this so people can pick and choose exactly where they want to start, exactly what they want to do and exactly what they want to avoid.

Below is a snippet of each section, so you can decide whether or not this app is going to help you transform your own diet.

Please remember these are SNIPPETS, and that the actual app covers absolutely everything in complete detail:



This is the most important step and everyone should be doing this.

I cover clean eating in my food bible!

Step 2 is CALORIES!

I will explain how to calculate your OWN calorie count and manipulate it for your own body goals.

Step 3 is MACROS!

Macros are the 3 food groups our bodies need – PROTEIN, FATS AND CARBS.

How you split up these 3 within your calorie count is going to play that final role in changing your body.

You can calculate a good macro split for your own goals on my Macros Page.

The last thing I’m going to show you is some recipe and meal ideas.

Everything I cook for you in this app, I myself eat…almost daily!

These are all 100% CLEAN recipes.

All of them are high protein, half are low fat, half are low carb.

However, measurements can be manipulated for your own calorie and macro goals.


Below I have set out the best protein, fat and carb options for ANYONE trying to get fit and healthy, regardless of specific goals.

However, do remember that your QUANTITIES will differ depending on your OWN specific goals / calories / macros.

The ‘daily’ options (such as chicken) are your best bets.

The ‘in moderation’ options (such as steak) are slightly higher in calories or certain macros, so they need to be monitored a little closer…


So, as I said in the intro, once you’ve cleaned up the diet, calorie control is the next step in changing your body.

The rate at which we burn calories (at rest) is called our Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).

Your BMR calculation is the number of calories you need to consume daily in order to function physically and survive.

That number will increase depending on your activity level, bringing your BMR number up to your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).

You can change your body by manipulating this number…


So, as I said in the intro, once you’ve changed your diet and started monitoring your calorie intake, you can later start to look at your macronutrient split.

Macros are the 3 food groups our bodies need to survive – PROTEIN, FATS AND CARBOHYDRATES.

How you split up these 3 nutrients within your calorie count is going to play that final role in changing your body.

There are tons of nutritionists, dieticians, coaches, bodybuilders and academics out there who all recommend different calculations of grams of macros per LB or KG of body weight.

In my personal experience, everyone is completely different and the only way you’re going to figure out what specific macro grams work for you is by trial and error.

Protein %s rarely need playing around with.

Fats and carbs are the macros to increase / decrease / exchange in % when trying to get aesthetic results…


Now I’m going to show you some of my own favourite meals.

All of these meals include guideline measurements, helping you stick to a general clean eating and low calorie diet.

For those of you who are tracking macros, you can manipulate any measurements to fit your specific numbers.

These meals are all high protein, and either high fat, low carb – or low fat, high carb.

This means they will fit your macros whatever the weather…

What’s in My Kitchen

Unless it’s a cheat day, my diet is pretty much the same day in, day out.

No, it’s not boring, I just know what I like and I like what I know!

When I’m getting lean, the diet stays the same as it does when I’m trying to gain muscle, it just becomes stricter in terms of portion sizes, macros, measurements and calorie counts.

Below is a list of foods you will ALWAYS find in my kitchen…


0% Greek yoghurt


Lean Cut Fillet Steak

Egg Whites


Fitness Fondue Protein Powder



Nut Butters






Rice Puffs (Rude Health)

Rice Krispies

Rice Cakes

Sweet Potato

White and Brown Rice


Any and all veg