Here’s my answer: Throw all that shit out.
“Gain muscle” and “lose X lbs” and “run a marathon” and “do a million pull-ups” are all great goals but if you’re an average person who just wants to feel, look, and perform a bit better, it doesn’t fucking matter because you need to get into better overall shape and eat better, period. I guarantee it.
Throw all that detail shit out. Stop reading the goddamned interwebs and magazines. (Except me.) Stop distracting yourself with crap.
Then focus on this ONE goal:
Get as fit as possible while nourishing yourself — truly, deeply nourishing yourself — as well as possible.
Forget about calories and focus on making every bite of food you put in your mouth the best possible quality — the most nourishing; the most lovingly prepared; the most mindfully eaten; the freshest and realest; the most full of vitamins and minerals and other good stuff. Don’t skimp on your protein, colorful fruits and veggies, and good, real fats. (Yeah, that includes egg yolks and butter.)
Eat slowly. (This piece is so profoundly important I should almost write a book and charge for it.)
Forget about workout details and focus on this: Jump high. Run fast. Hit hard. Build a heart-lung-muscle engine with lots of power and work capacity. Be real with your movements. Recover hard — guard your sleep and your playtime like a starving dog guards a steak.
Forget about getting the macronutrients perfect and focus on how you feel when you eat. Does what you eat make you feel light yet powerful? Does it make you feel like you could beat down Mike Tyson and every virus in the world? Do you eat with joy and care and a deep, abiding sense of love and self-nurturance (which is not to be confused with “I deserve this piece of sugary chemical shit because I had a bad day!”)?
Do this consistently — every day — to the very honest best of your ability and don’t bullshit yourself about what you’re eating or whether you put in your most earnest effort.
Everything else is irrelevant.