5: Consider calories
The advice here is to not be a huge stickler on calorie amounts. Yes, calorie intake is somewhat important, but as long as you are hitting the proper amount of protein and fats, and have your carb intake dialed in for your body, then how far over or under your energy needs you are doesn’t really matter… to a point.
As mentioned in Rule #4, you can gain muscle while losing body fat. That being said, to really maximize muscle mass gains, you should be eating more calories than you are burning each day. And to maximize fat loss, you should be burning more calories than you are consuming. However, it is possible to burn slightly more calories than you are consuming, yet gain muscle due to the fact that you are eating ample amounts of protein and fat. We know one gram of protein provides four calories, as does one gram of carbs. We also know one gram of fat provides about nine calories (8-10 calories, depending on the type of fat).
If we build a diet from the macronutrients up and want to be sure to get in 1.5g protein per pound of bodyweight and 0.4g of fat per pound of bodyweight, then that right there is about 11 calories per pound of bodyweight. If we shoot for anywhere from about one to two grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight, then we know you should be eating at least 15-19 calories per pound of bodyweight to build muscle. If you find you need a good three grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight, then you need about 23 calories per pound.