I like to create a diet of "layers". I touched on this a bit with the olive oil tip. The oil allowed us to add calories (and then later remove them if necessary) in a simple manner without dramatically altering the rest of the diet. This concept can be applied to just about any component of the overall plan.
Let's look at a "breakfast" shake for example containing whey protein and oats. A person desiring to add muscle who needs an abundance of calories could make the shake with say, 3 scoops of whey, one cup of dry oats, and whole milk. To this they could go on to add either olive oil (1 to 4 TBSP) or peanut butter (2-4 TBSP). Both would add substantial calories to the mix. The same person however could make the shake in water with just the oats and whey as well. The macronutrients would remain the same (in terms of the intended protein and carbohydrates) but the calories would be much lower (with the understanding that the whole milk, oil, and/or peanut butter are being used to add calories, not for their macro values). This idea, maintaining high protein with adequate carbs and fats is crucial to a successful diet when one is looking to shed some fat. Beef is swapped for chicken or fish, whole milk for crystal light, etc. Calories come down, macros stay where they need to be. This is why fat women eating one hundred calorie packs and rice cakes have such shitty diet results, their only concern is dropping calories at all costs.
Establish a baseline, starting with the protein grams. Make sure carbs are present and adequate (though biased towards earlier meals) and add calories as needed in layers. When you want to come down, start by removing one layer. Repeat this process until you reach your goal.
"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work... I want to achieve it through not dying."
Interesting Fact: Almost is the longest English word where the letters all appear in alphabetical order.
Word of the Day: atrabilious