How Many Calories Should You Eat

Here is the thing..

If you’re reading it you probably know that reaching your fitness goals requires the right fuel, mindset & structure. 

When it comes to changing your body composition, unfortunately, there aren’t any quick fixes or magic bullets, either for

fat loss or muscle gain. 

You need to control your calorie intake if you want to lose weight, gain muscle, or even maintain your current weight.


Ok.. so you’re probably asking how many calories should I eat?


Before learning how many calories you should eat every day you need to first understand what a calorie is:

A calorie is a unit of measurement for energy. We can measure the amount of energy contained in food and the amount of energy our bodies burn, in calories.


Now that we got that out of the way, we can move on to the calculation itself:


The quick method (based on total body weight):


A fast and easy method to determine calorie needs is to use total current body weight times a multiplier:


Fat loss = 12 - 13 calories per lb. of bodyweight

Maintenance (TDEE) = 15 - 16 calories per lb. of bodyweight

Weight gain: = 18 - 19 calories per lb. of bodyweight


This is a very easy way to estimate caloric needs, but there are obvious drawbacks to this method because it doesn't take 

into account activity levels or body composition. Extremely active individuals may require far more calories than this formula indicates.


In addition, the more lean body mass one has, the higher the TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) will be. Because body fatness is not accounted for, this formula may greatly overestimate the caloric needs if someone is extremely overfat.


For a more accurate calculation, we will need to use an equation-based method.


The equations based method:


A much more accurate method for calculating your TDEE is to determine the basal metabolic rate (BMR) using multiple factors including:


-Height

-Weight

-Age

-Diet

-And a few other variables

Then multiply the BMR by an activity factor to determine TDEE.


Your BMR is all the energy used for the basic processes of life itself.

In other words, it’s the total number of calories your body requires for normal bodily functions (excluding activity factors).

This includes keeping your heart beating, inhaling and exhaling air, digesting food, making new blood cells, maintaining your body temperature, and every other metabolic process in your body.


You need to take into consideration that BMR may vary dramatically from person to person depending on genetic factors. If you know someone who says they can eat anything they want and still never gain an ounce of fat, it’s probably because they have 

inherited a naturally high BMR.


The higher your lean body mass is, the higher your BMR will be.


This is very important if you want to lose body fat because it means that the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn.

Therefore, one way to increase your BMR is to engage in weight training in order to increase and/or maintain lean body mass. In this manner, it could be said that weight training helps you lose body fat, albeit indirectly.


The Equations based formula (based on total bodyweight):


Men: BMR = 66 + (13.7 X wt in kg) + (5 X ht in cm) - (6.8 X age in years)

Women: BMR = 655 + (9.6 X wt in kg) + (1.8 X ht in cm) - (4.7 X age in years)

Note: 1 inch = 2.54 cm, 1 kilogram = 2.2 lbs.


For Example:

You are Male

You are 30 yrs old

You are 5' 9 " tall (175 cm)

You weigh 154 lbs. (70 kilos)

Your BMR = 1025 + 875 - 204 = 1696 calories/day


Now that you know your BMR, you can calculate TDEE (Maintenance level) by multiplying your BMR by your activity multiplier from the chart below:


Activity Multiplier:

Sedentary = BMR X 1.2 (little or no exercise, desk job)

Lightly active = BMR X 1.375 (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk)

Mod. active = BMR X 1.55 (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk)

Very active = BMR X 1.725 (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/wk)

Extr. active = BMR X 1.9 (hard daily exercise/sports & physical job or 2X day training, i.e marathon, contest etc.)


For Example:

Your BMR is 1696 calories per day

Your activity level is moderately active (work out 3-4 times per week)

Your activity factor is 1.55

Your TDEE (Maintenance level) = 1.55 X 1696= 2628 calories/day

That’s it!


Adjusting your calories


Once you know your TDEE (maintenance level), the next step is to adjust your calories according to your primary goal.

The mathematics of calorie balance is simple:


-To keep your weight at its current level, you should remain at your daily caloric maintenance level.

-To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit by reducing your calories slightly below your maintenance level (or keeping your calories the same and increasing your activity above your current level).

-To gain weight you need to increase your calories above your maintenance level. The only difference between weight gain programs and weight loss programs is the total number of calories required.


To sum, 

the calculations for finding your correct caloric intake are quite simplistic and are just estimates to give you your starting point.

From here, you will have to monitor your progress closely to make sure that this is the proper level for you.


You will know if you’re at the correct level of calories by keeping track of your caloric intake, and your body weight. Observe your bodyweight and body fat percentage to see how you respond. If you don't see the results you expect, then you can adjust your caloric intake and exercise levels accordingly.


And remember, we've set out to equip you with the tools that will help you outperform yourself, All day, Every day. Whatever your nutritional needs are, here at X-PERFORM, we've got you covered!


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