When it comes to changing your weight and improving your body composition you must pay attention to your calorie needs and macro breakdown .It’s these 2 factors in conjunction with a progressive strength training plan that will bring about the changes you want.However, it’s not always easy to shift through the sheer amount of information available to find out exactly what you need to know .So, if you’ve been left second-guessing what is calories and macros are ? How Many Calories Should I Eat a Day ? why you need them ? and how to figure it all out ?
Then , you’re in the right place.
What Are Calories & Why Do You Need Them ?
Calories are the energy currency that your body uses to function . However, not everyone will have the same calories need . The total calories you need per day influenced by a number of factors as following :
1.Basal metabolic rate (BMR) :
It is the number of calories you need at rest to allow your body to function at its most basic level . The term, BMR is often used interchangeably with resting metabolic rate (RMR).
2. Resting metabolic rate (RMR) :
is the total number of calories burned when your body is completely at rest
3. The Thermic Effect of Food
in addition to your BMR, there is also the thermic effect of food nutrition. which is the technical way of saying, the calories your body uses to digest the food you eat.This process accounts for a small portion of your daily calorie expenditure.
4. Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis :
It is all the activity you do which is not related to sleeping, eating or exercising . It is related to the type of job you do, how much you move during the day. Also ,housework and how fidgety you are .
5. Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption
is the amount of oxygen your body needs after exercise to restore itself to normal resting levels of metabolic function .
6. Total Daily Energy Expenditure
in short is the total amount of calories you expend each day inclusive of the above and any exercise you do i.e. playing sports or weight lifting or even workout in home.
As you can see whether you’re at rest, workout or play your body is constantly using calories to provide itself with the energy it needs to not only perform but also survive .
Calories are used to keep your heart beating, lungs breathing and brain thinking .
Now I reached the point that you are waiting for …
But lets agree about two things
First If your calorie input is higher than its output, you will gain weight and vice versa .
Second the law of thermodynamics which states that energy cannot be created or destroyed . This means calories must be either used for energy or stored for future use .
Thus, the question is,
How Many Calories Should I Eat a Day ? How To Calculate my Daily Calorie to lose or gain weight ?
What is calories do I need a day for Fat Loss ?
The number of calories you need for Fat Loss = Your bodyweight in lbs x 12
What is Calories to maintain weight ?
Maintenance = Your bodyweight in lbs x 14
How many calories do you burn in a day to build muscle ?
Muscle Building = Your bodyweight in lbs x 16
These calculations will give you a good starting point .
But you may find that you’re not quite hitting your sweet spot for optimal weight gain or loss . At this point most people start questioning them selves the following :
How Fast Should I Lose or Gain Weight ?
I’m not gonna go through everyone’s desired goal, but I’m gonna speak from my point of view . As I always say to all my friends who asked me a nutrition plan .
For optimal fat loss and muscle retention . Aim to lose weight at a rate of half kg to 1 kg a week .
For optimal muscle gain and minimal fat gain. Aim to gain weight at a rate of 1 kg a week .
From here you can track your progress by weighing yourself daily and taking a weekly average .
If you’re losing weight too quickly, or not quickly enough or gaining weight too quickly or not quickly enough ,then you can either :
Add 100 kcals (25g of carbs) or remove 100 kcals (25g of carbs)
Then track your weight again to see if it fixes the problem. Keep using this tactic until you hit your sweet spot and knowing How Many Calories you Should Eat a Day.
What Are Macros ?
In order to know How Many Calories Should you Eat a Day, I must discuss macros first.
Macronutrients are the 3 primary sources of calories. Each macro plays a specific role in the body and provides a number of calories per gram as follow :
Protein has 4 calories per gram
Fat has 9 calories per gram
Carbohydrate has 4 calories per gram
Knowing the number of calories provided by each macro allows you to effectively meet your daily calorie needs .
Why You Need Macros? How to Calculate Them ?
In orders to know How Many Calories Should you Eat a Day ,you have to determine how much of each macro you need in your diet you , first need to understand the roles they play in your body once they’ve been eaten .
Therefore, let’s start with Protein .
Protein is important . It’s the building blocks of your body and is responsible for the growth and repair of all cells and tissues in your body and provides your body with essential amino acids it needs to function .
How many amino acids available ?
In total, there are 20 amino acids, 9 of these amino acids are called essential which means your body cannot produce enough of them and you must get them from food nutrition .
Protein is important for its ability to help you build and/or preserve muscle mass particularly when in a calorie deficit .
Maintaining a sufficient protein intake not only helps create a positive balance where muscle protein synthesis is greater than muscle protein breakdown but it also assists with fat loss in another way.
Alright , How Much Protein Do You Need daily ?
Before I discuss about the number , if you are thinking that more protein is better, then you are totally wrong.
For this reason, the balance should be considered .
You should aim for a protein intake of between 1.6 – 2g per kg of body weight only and remember that every gram of protein contains 4 calories .For example, Let’s pretend that your body weight is 60 kg , multiply 60 by 2, Let’s pretend that you are having 2g of protein for every kg of your body weight :
60 x 2 = 120g of protein
multiply 120 by 4 we get 480 cal
480 Cal is how many calories that I need a day from protein only.
Now moving To Fat
Fat is arguably the second most important macro when it comes to losing weight due to the role it plays in maintaining hormone levels and providing satiety .
This is vital to maintain proper function in the body and helps with the uptake of fat-soluble vitamins that your body needs such as vitamin : A ,D, E K .
Also, fat is a possible source of energy for the body in the absence of carbohydrates.
Fat provides the body with essential fatty acids. Additionally, fat intake are correlated with testosterone levels .
If you take a lower fat intake , it will lead to decreasing in testosterone level.
This is very important, as testosterone plays a vital role in both muscle maintenance and growth .
How Much Fat Do You Need in a day ?
As we continue asking our self How Many Calories Should I Eat a Day ? we have to know the amount of fat as well . Like protein, setting your fat intake is all about balance . remember it’s 9 calories per gram .
With this in mind, you should aim for 30% of your total calorie intake ,and if you want my advice , keep it at 25% to leave more room for carbs .For instance, Let’s pretend that you goal is 1500 Cal .
To get 25%, you multiply 1500 x 0.25 = 375 Cal .
To get this in grams you divide 375 Cal by 9 which is the number gram of fat . The result is 41.6 g .
41.6 g is how many grams should I eat a Day, and this is how much Cal you’ll get.
The last Macro, is : Carbohydrate
Carbs are your body’s preferred source of energy, it increase performance in the gym, aid the function of your brain and assist with digestion .
When you eat carbohydrates , your body will break it down in glycogen which is then stored in your muscles and used as the primary energy source for moderate to intense exercise i.e. weight lifting .
That is why low intake of carbohydrate will result in more strength loss, slower recovery and lower levels of protein synthesis .Also, it will lead to ketosis .
However, If your aim is to lose fat and preserve muscle mass , you can see why a moderate to high carbohydrate intake is beneficial for you .Particularly, when strength exercise regularly or any kind of training .
How Many Carbs Do You Need a Day?
This answer is nice and simple , All calories remained after protein and fat go to carbs .This means once you’ve deducted your protein intake and fat intake from your daily calories ,the rest goes to carbs .
Let’s pretend your body weight is 60kg and you need to eat 1500 calories a day to lose weight .
To calculate how much you need from the protein ,let’s say you are going to eat 2g protein per kg of body weight .
We multiply 60 (your body weight) x 2 . The result is 120g of protein .
To get how much calories, we multiply 120 g x 4 Cal ( 1 g of protein is 4 calories )
We get 480 calories .
let’s calculate the fat
If you’re going to use 25% of your daily intake for fat
Then 1500×0.25= 375g of fat
Now add your protein and fat calories together
480 + 375 = 855 .This is the total calorie needed from protein and fat.
To calculate how much carbs you need
We deduct what’s been used for fat and protein from 1500
1500-855 = 645. This is how many calories you have left for carbs .
How Many Calories Should I Eat a Day using calorie calculator ?
At the end of this article. I am providing you with a tool that help you to know how many calories should you eat a Day based on some factors such as , gender, age, Height, current weight and targeted weight.
After you get how many calories do you burn in a day follow the previous steps in this article to know the calories for each macros of your body.