So far, you’ve learned about weight training and cardio as essential components in burning fat and getting that ripped, muscular look that the women love. Now it’s time to turn our attention to nutrition, which is one of the most important factors. As mentioned before, your abs are made in the kitchen… not in the gym!
You’ve already learned what it means to eat “clean.” And in the upcoming lessons, we’ll look at this topic more in depth. However, before we get into that you need to figure out how many calories you should eat each day.
Here’s the thing…
There are formulas and calculators to help you figure this out. But ultimately, your body works a little differently than everyone else’s. And that means that these are merely guidelines. You’ll need to keep track of your calories and keep track of your results in order to truly determine the best calorie range for you.
But let me throw out a word of warning…
My warning: Don’t do it!
Sure, that might work for a couch potato who lazes around all day. But you’re working hard since you’re doing both weight training and cardio. If you cut too low, your body will think its starving. Progress will stall. And if you lose any weight at all, it will be muscle rather than fat.
TIP: If you want to use this formula, then start with 12 or 13 times your body weight in calories.
Now let’s talk about how many calories you need to eat…
First off, 3500 calories is roughly equivalent to one pound. So if you’re seeking to lose one pound per week, then you’ll need to use 500 fewer calories per day (7 days X 500 calories = 3500 calories per week = 1 pound). Generally, you shave off these 500 calories through a combination of diet and exercise.
Here’s how to determine how many calories you should be eating:
Know Your Baseline
Simply track your calories for a couple weeks. If you’re maintaining your weight, then you can start adjusting your calories downward while upping your exercise.
This is one of the best ways to determine how many calories you should be eating, because you’re not guessing. Problem is, most people don’t weigh and measure the food properly, so they don’t really get an accurate measure. The other problem is that when you keep track, this awareness causes you to alter your eating patterns… which can mess up your baseline.
So here’s another method…
Start with a Good Estimate
Another way to do it is to start with a formula like this Harris-Benedict formula:
BMR = 66 + (13.7 X wt in kg) + (5 X ht in cm) – (6.8 X age in years)
BMR stands for base metabolic rate. Once you figure out your BMR, then you multiply this number by how active you are, as follows:
Sedentary = BMR X 1.2 (you have a desk job and you get little or no exercise)
Lightly active = BMR X 1.375 (1-3 times per week you do light exercise, like walking)
Moderately. active = BMR X 1.55 (3-5 times per week you do moderate exercise that gets your heart rate up)
Very active = BMR X 1.725 (6-7 days per week you do hard exercise, such as weight training and HIIT)
Extremely active = BMR X 1.9 (You have a physical job and/or you do hard daily exercising, such as training for a marathon, etc)
Multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity multiplier to come up with how many calories you should eat per day. Then track your progress and adjust as necessary.
That’s a start, but losing fat isn’t just about eating less. You’ll find out what I mean next time, so stay tuned!