Dieting Plan or Nutrition Philosophy?

I understand that for most of us we can’t expect to achieve maximum results without crunching the numbers and making the sacrifices detailed in so many T-Nation articles and forums. However, to what extent would simply adopting a set of eating habits, guidelines and rules be beneficial? Without worrying about getting into contest-shape, can an athlete or bodybuilder lay ground rules, avoid certain things, and not deal with the stress of calorie-counting?

I guess the bigger question is this: how far can such an approach take us? Ten percent bodyfat? What kind of progress can be made on such a plan?
If anybody goes about their day eating by a nutritional philosophy more than a diet plan, please share your guidelines.

I think you answered your own question, I believe that only doing the minimum will give you the minimum results…I guess the more you do and know, then the better off you will be as far as your diet is concerned.

I am concerned mostly with sustainable long-term health.

I just follow an organic-paleo-low-carb lifestyle and never concern myself with bulking or cutting.
I focus on the bench,DL,Squat, and pullups.
I hardly do isolation movements since I hardly have time for them with a 40+ hour a week job and wife.

I am in noway going to ever be in contest shape. I am 5’5’’ 165lbs, 11% bf in my late-30s.
No one that saw me 5 years ago would argue w/ my approach.

You can call my results minimal but they have been sustainable…

Yeah, obviously. I think everybody should keep a food log and be scientific about what they put in their mouth at first, probably for at least 2-3 months, at least. Then, depending on your goals, you’ll be able to add shit up in your head and ballpark your numbers. I’m gaining right now, so I know that I need 3,000 to 4,000 kcal a day right now. I made a diet plan, crunched the numbers, and try to hit those numbers more or less every day. I don’t act like a freak in public if I’m over by a carb, but I also don’t just throw caution to the wind. Middle of the road. If you ARE prepping for a contest, then that’s different.

Like the last dude said, it depends on your goals. If you’re just an average dude trying to get bigger or whatever, then do what I said and you’ll progress. I’m not the best example, but most of the big dudes have a pretty good understanding of what they’re eating.

The diet part made a huge difference in the gains that I have seen. All throughout highschool i was 240 lbs and a few inches shorter than what I am now (around 5’7’’ back then, 5’10’’ now…) and all I did was eat like shit…fudge rounds, coke, pizza, cookies, chocolate milk…24/7 literally…Then senior year I decided to lose weight (basically all the fat jokes, bullying, etc…) All I did start running a short distance everynight and doing pushups (slowly increasing the distance and reps of pushups over time) and cutting out ALL the junk food…I only ate the 3 meals that my momma cooked. Lost about 100lbs in the span of 2 years. Couldn’t gain any muscle weight after that time because I didn’t know how to properly workout and diet. Got the workout routine down but not the dieting part, still no gains. But once I found out how to eat properly and when to eat I gained size, strength without the fat. So because of that I have always been an avid fan of counting calories/carbs/protein etc. and watching what I eat.

Calories always matter.