Wether your goal is losing fat or building muscle, learning and understanding what you eat is the simplest, easiest and best way to get long term results.
The overall goal is to be in a calorie deficit for fat loss or calorie surplus to build muscle. You can also be in a calorie maintenance to maintain your current stats.
We ALL know when we eat too much or too little.
We just don't stop eating too much, while KNOWINGLY doing so!
Here is an easy method to estimate your daily calorie intake and see where you are compared to what you actually spend in a day.
1. Know how to differentiate macros and calories
There are 3 types of macro nutrients: proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
Some macros contain a different amount of calories:
Here is an ideal average split that you can use for your meal reference:
2. Learn to estimate calories in a meal
Here the average meal calorie amounts:
This takes this average meal to 1335 calories.
If you eat that 3 times: 3 x 1335 = 4005 calories ~ 4K Calories per day
This would be a high level athlete regimen.
3. Gauge what you need in a day
You'll spend a maximum of 20% of your total daily calories to sustain your workout. The 80% remaining goes to your daily and vital physiological functions.
There is NO way to hack this process.
However this depends on your age, size, height, lifestyle, overall health, and activity level, here is an idea of what you roughly consume/need in a day:
4. Gauge what you consume in a day
5. Create intuitive habits
Now compare what you actually eat and spend every day, and adjust as needed.
Read the labels on every packaging, try to gauge what is in your plate at the restaurant, and make smart decisions based on that.
It won't be perfect right away, but working in that direction and making adjustments will make it right and intuitive eventually.