How Much Should I Eat?

After my blog on “What Should I Eat” I thought I would follow it up with this. Yes, I’ve told you what foods to try and incorporate into your diet but I haven’t told you how much of those foods you should be eating. For those that don’t know what I mean when I say “how much of those foods” I am referring to calories. Instead of these fad diet schemes that tend to take most of the publics money I am going to let you in on a little secret on how to lose weight/fat or gain weight/muscle. Right you ready for this secret?

TO LOSE WEIGHT/FAT: YOU EAT LESS CALORIES THAN YOU BURN

TO GAIN WEIGHT/MUSCLE: YOU EAT MORE CALORIES THAN YOU BURN

Yes, it really is that simple and later on in this post I will show you exactly how you can calculate how many calories you should be eating with just this blog, a pen/pencil, piece of paper, and a calculator. But, before I show you how to do that I must inform you that in order to do this you have to be willing to count calories (don’t freak out). It’s really not hard at all, I have been doing it consistently for about 2 years now (yeah I know I’m sad), but listen all you need is to download MyFitnessPal on the app store or the equivalent on an android phone. You don’t even have to fill in the information for the food your logging into the app, all you have to do is search the food or scan the barcode of what you’re eating. It is so unbelievably easy, I mean when it comes to technology my Mum is a bit…I dunno how to put it nicely maybe not so good (SO FUCKING BAD). Anyway, the point being is she can do it and has done it for a few months now and has already lost far more weight than she had before from just going to the gym and going to WeightWatchers, and don’t even get me started on all those shitty diet schemes.

Basically, there is absolutely no point in continuinf to read this blog if you have no intention of counting calories. However, if you do take on board what I’m saying and go ahead and begin counting your calories I promise you if you do it properly for just one week you will lose weight. You will then continue to lose weight for as long as you keep doing this, and when you eventually come to a plateu in terms of losing weight all you do is simply decrease the number of calories you’re eating then you go again! On the other hand, I can’t begin to tell you how many people I’ve heard say to me “I don’t know why I’m not getting bigger I go to the gym all the time” WOW!!! IT’S SIMPLE…EAT MORE AND MORE!! Then if your still not gaining muscle guess what you do? EAT EVEN MORE!! I can sympathise with these people though, for years I was scared of carbs and eating nothing but chicken and protein shakes every day for months on end and seeing no changes in my weight or muscle gain. Obviously, I was not seeing any changes because I was not eating enough. I was negelecting carbohyrates and fats which are both essential in helping to build muscle and reach your caloric goals. As soon as I started introducing these macronutrients into my diet I soon found myself noticing changes.

Anyway lets get to the nitty and gritty of this article. I am now going to show you how to calculate how many calories you should be eating per day in order to lose weight/fat or gain weight/muscle.

Have your piece of paper, pen/pencil, and calculator at the ready…

So what we’re going to be calculating first is your BMR (Basic Metabolic Rate), this is the amount of calories you burn at rest so like just sitting on the couch watching TV for example.

This is how…

Step 1

Calculations

I want you to calculate your WEIGHT (KG), HEIGHT (CM), and then AGE (this will obviously be in YEARS your not a 8 month old baby)

Step 2

BMR Calculator

You will now plug your personal info into the correct formula depending on whether you are a women or man.

Symbols:

W = Weight in Kilograms

H = Height in Centimeteres

A = Age in Years

Calculator

Men: 66.47+ (13.75 x W) + (5.0 x H) — (6.75 x A)

Women: 655.09 + (9.56 x W) + (1.84 x H) — (4.67 x A)

Time for a maths lesson, so let’s say you are a women weighing 65kg, 165cm, and 32 years old…

655.09 + (9.56 x 65) + (1.84 x 165) — (4.67 x 32)

655.09 + 621.4 + 303–149.44 (do the addition first, then subtract)

= 1,430 calories/per day

This is what the person in this example burns while resting per day, now take the figure you get here and lets go to the next step.

Step 3

Activity Level

Take the figure (BMR) you calculated in the previous step and times it by the correct number depending on your level of activity:

BMR x 1.2 (pretty sedentary daily life)

BMR x 1.375 (light exercise 1–2 days per week)

BMR x 1.55 for (moderate exercise 3–5 days per week)

BMR x 1.725 (exercising 6–7 days/week at moderate/high intensity)

BMR x 1.9 (engaged heavy manual labor, heavy lifting, endurance athletes, and competitive team sports athletes 6–7 days/week for 90 + minutes/session)

So let’s take my previous example whose BMR was 840 calories per day and let’s say she goes to the gym or gym classes 3 times a week so I’ll times the number by 1.375…

1,430 x 1.375 = 1,966 calories/per day

Now take the figure you got from this and let’s move onto the final step.

Step 4

Deciding your Goal

Now you have your BMR (basic meatabolic rate) we then move onto figuring how just how may calories you want to be eating per day to reach your goal.

Lose Weight/Fat: Subtract your BMR by 250–500

Gain Weight/Muscle: Add 250–500 to your BMR

Now whatever number you have from this is your daily caloric goal.

Let’s take a look at the example, so let’s say she wants to gain weight so I’ll add 300 calories to her BMR so:

1,966 + 300 = 2,266 calories/per day

So, if the women in my example eats this much a day she will gain weight each week until she reaches a plateu then she will simply add more calories to her daily calories to continue to gain weight if she wants to.

TIP: Regardless of whether you are looking to gain weight or lose weight please try to not lose or gain more than at the very most 2.75lbs a week as this can be unhealthy and unattainable for long periods of time. However the exception to this is if you are extremely overweight/obese or extremely underweight.

Thanks for bearing with me and GOOD LUCK, feel free to contact me on Instagram at @cmcfitonline , Facebook at @cmcfit , or email me on cmcfit@outlook.com with any questions or queries.

References:

Amirkalali, Bahareh, et al. “Comparison of Harris Benedict and Mifflin-ST Jeor equations with indirect calorimetry in evaluating resting energy expenditure.” Indian Journal Of Medical Sciences 62.7 (2008): 283–290. MEDLINE with Full Text. EBSCO. Web. 28 June 2010.

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