How many calories should I eat?
There are many questions people ask when starting a new fitness program. The main question is how many calories do I need eat in order to reach my goals. Below I will provide a simple to follow guideline for this question based on your specific goal.
We all know that 80% of your results comes from nutrition. So why is it that many people slack off when it comes to the most important area that will lead to results. The simplest answer is, they don’t know where to start. That’s where this guide comes in. The information below has been used by many people on our team to get great results, so we know that it works. It has been proven. Also keep it mind that this is just a starting point. Everyone’s bodies are not the same, so after a few weeks you can adjust up or down based on your goal. I suggest you wait at least a month if you’re just starting out before making any adjustments. So let get started.
Here’s my rule of thumb:
If you are MORE than 2% away from your body fat goal, you need to be on a fat shredder diet. That means 50% protein, 30% carbs, 20% fat. Let’s say your goal is 8% body fat — as long as you are over 10% body fat you will stay on fat shredder (whether that takes 1 month or 6 months). We want to shed fat fast until we get very close to our goal before switching to an energy booster phase 2 diet. You also need to be running a good deficit of calories (taking in less than you burn in a day). As for the total number of calories, these are my recommendations:
6′ and above = 1900-2200 cals per day.
5’6 – 5’11″ = 1700-1900 cals per day.
less than 5’6″ = 1500 cals per day.
5’6 and above = 1200-1400 per day.
less than 5’6″ = 1000-1200 per day.
Running the fat shredder at these calorie totals will result in rapid body fat loss, which is what we are after in this stage.
If you are within 2% of your ideal body fat, you need to be on a phase 2 diet (40/40/20) that is close to your maintenance calorie level. During this type of diet, the main goal is a slow reduction of body fat but a lot of energy for getting stronger and building muscle. This is where you see fine tuning of your results. My recommendations for those needing a phase 2 energy booster diet are:
6′ and above = 3,000 cals per day.
5’6″ – 5’11″ = 2600-2800 cals per day.
less than 5’6″ = 2200 – 2400 cals per day.
5’6 and above = 1400 – 1600 per day.
less than 5’6″ = 1200 – 1400 per day.
If you are already shredded (whether that’s muscular and shredded, or just plain skinny LOL), then it’s time to build MUSCLE!! (But NO, you can’t start bulking if you still have body fat to lose! You must first get the body fat where you want it using the fat shredder diet or energy booster diet before you start bulking up). For a muscle building diet, you need a lot of carbs to give you tons of energy and fuel the muscles to the max. You should shoot for 50-60% carbs, 20-30% protein, and 20% fat. But make sure those carbs are GOOD carbs! Fruits, veggies, grains, wheats, oats, etc. And you need to take in a calorie SURPLUS to help you gain weight, but you want to monitor your weight closely to be sure you are at a steady pace of about 1 lb per week. If you are gaining more than that, it will be body fat which you don’t want. In a round of the X, you should be able to put on 13 lbs of muscle without increasing your body fat much at all if you do it 1 lb per week. Here’s my guidelines for total calories on a bulking diet (but you’ll need to adjust based on how fast you are / aren’t gaining weight each week):
6′ and above = 3,600 cals per day.
5’6″ – 5’11″ = 3000 – 3200 cals per day.
less than 5’6″ = 2800 – 3000 cals per day.
5’6 and above = 1800 – 2000 per day.
less than 5’6″ = 1600 – 1800 per day.
NUTRITION TRACKING =
If you want to get great results you are going to have to track what you eat. You can use free websites like myfitnesspal.com to track your daily calorie intake and calorie burned from exercises. There is also a companion smartphone app for tracking on the go.
You also need to be exact. What I mean by that is not to guess on portion sizes but actually measure it out. Are you really eating a 6oz of chicken breast or is it really 6.4oz. Those calories can really add up and can throw your number off so measure it out.
Remember these are the guidelines. Everyone will need to fine tune it for their own bodies a bit, but this will give you a GREAT place to start.
If you stick to it the results will come!
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