So, here it is - a simple way for you to calculate your calorie needs and then break those down into macronutrient percentages.
To determine your calorie needs, you need to know 2 things.
How big are you?
How active are you?
The bigger you are - especially the more muscle you have - the more food you need.
The more active you are - the more food you need to support that movement.
The biggest common misconception when it comes to fitness and nutrition - is that getting lean is as simple as reducing your calories as low as possible, and get your activity as high as possible. That might lead to “weight loss” initially, but unfortunately that kind of undereating leads to a lot of muscle loss and eventually will completely ruin your metabolism.
Eat enough and in the right proportion of protein, carbs, and fat and what you create is a HOT burning furnace that fuels high performance and burns away all of the extra fat. Your body feels no reason to store it as much anymore, because you are getting enough food.
To get to this point takes consistency and to a certain level some accuracy.
So - use this table to determine your calorie needs first:
Now, multiply your current bodyweight by the box that matches your activity level and your goal.
Sedentary = hardly any exercise
Moderately Active = exercise 1x per day (this is most of us)
Very Active = Active job + daily exercise OR multiple sessions per day
So, for Miranda (minus the pregnancy/breastfeeding) 140 x 15 (for maintenance) = 2100 cals per day.
Now for the MACROS?!
There are 3 major macronutrients. Protein, Carbs and Fat. In general, people are terrified of carbs, and for good reason. Sugary - processed carbs are what make people fat and cause a lot of health problems in our society in general.
However, don’t eat enough carbs as an active individual and your performance will suffer, your results will suffer, and your fat burning furnace will look more like a matchstick.
Carbs are the fuel to the fat burning fire! You need them! Especially around the time you are training.
Not everyone can get away with as many carbohydrates as others. Certain genetic factors may make you more sensitive to carbs (these are the same people who have a hard time losing weight).
So now, take your calorie count (remember Miranda’s was 2100) and figure out which of these body types you are…
Naturally thin with skinny limbs. Think tall and skinny, or has a hard time gaining muscle. This type of person should ratio out their macros in:
25% Protein, 55% Carb, 20% Fat.
This type of person does really well and NEEDS more carbohydrates!
Naturally muscular or athletic. When training and eating well this person loses weight easily, but can put on muscle easily as well. This type of person should ratio out their macros in:
30% Protein, 40% Carb, 30% Fat
Naturally broad and thick. Has struggled with losing weight for as long as they can remember. This type of person should ratio out their macros in:
35% Protein, 25% Carb, 40% Fat
This person is more sensitive to carbohydrates and insulin.
So, if Miranda get’s 2100 calories and feels she is a mesomorph, she will get
630 calories from Protein (30%)
840 calories from Carbohydrate (40%)
630 calories from Fat (30%)
In Grams? (Remember protein and carbs have 4 calories per gram and fat has 9)
630/4 = 157.5g Protein
840/4 = 210g Carbohydrate
630/9 = 70g Fat
From here the best way we have found to track your daily intake is 5 steps:
1 - Download the My Fitness Pal App
This app will allow you to enter in your daily goals for protein carbs and fat and has information from almost any restaurant or brand of food you can think of for super easy tracking.
2 - Buy a food scale and some measuring cups/spoons.
I know this sounds crazy, but even if you only do it for meals at home, or when you meal prep you will start to learn what portions look like
3 - For the most part try to keep your ratios at each meal close to what they are for your body type. (For Miranda 40% Carb, 30% Protien, 30% Fat across each meal.
4 - Consume 4 meals a day + 1 post workout meal on days you train. On days you don't train, it's ok if your calories are 200-300 lower than your target, but no lower than that - and you must hit them on training days!
5 - The only times you should deviate from those percentages is in your pre and post workout meals. These may contain higher carbs and your post workout meal (if it’s within 30-45 min of completing the workout) should have almost NO fat
The My Fitness Pal app will track your progress throughout the day and you will be able to see how many carbs, protein and fat you have eaten so far that day. The goal is to hit as close to exact of those numbers.
We hope this gives you guys a good place to start.
Remember if this is all overwhelming - the first step is just to clean up where your food is coming from. Start by losing the processed crap and definitely dump the mocha frappucinnos before you worry about getting too nerdy with all of the math!
Share your experience and your questions on our FB Page! Help each other out and support each other as much as possible!