August 26, 2012
As you go about your workout program, getting the diet side of things figured out properly is going to be a must do for success. While working out in the gym is definitely a way to accelerate the progress that you make with your body transformation, the diet is what will really get you see noticeable differences in your appearance.
This said, one thing that many people struggle with is figuring out the right calorie intake that they should be using in order to see maximum success. Some end up using too low of a calorie intake which just causes their metabolic rate to slow, while others use a too high of a calorie intake that just causes them to fail to see fat loss progress.
If you want to see the most results possible, it’s imperative that you get a good sense of just how many you need.
Let’s go over a few of the main things that you should consider.
The very first thing that you’ll want to think about is what your current body weight is. Those who have more lean muscle mass to support will require more calories on a daily basis, so the higher your body weight, the higher your calorie intake needs to be.
Those who are lighter as it stands will have to use a lower calorie intake as they don’t need as much energy to sustain themselves.
A good baseline rate for simply maintaining your body if you did nothing but lie in bed all day long is around 11 calories per pound per day for women and 12 for males.
Next, you need to factor in your activity level. Those who are more active will be again burning up more calories on a day to day basis, therefore will require more overall energy to support their needs.
If you work at a desk job all day and don’t do much other than watch TV in the evening, you really aren’t going to be burning up all that much energy.
Once you have your number figured out from above, if you’re highly active (working out three or four times a week or have an active lifestyle), you’ll want to multiply that number by 1.3 or 1.4. If you’re rather sedentary, then use a multiplication factor of just 1.1 or 1.2.
This should give you a fairly good approximation of what’s considered to be your ‘maintenance’ calorie intake.
Finally, the last step is to think about the desired rate of weight loss that you want to see. If you’re someone who wants to see fat loss take place at an accelerated rate, you’ll want to use a higher calorie deficit than someone who wants a slow and steady pace.
Keep in mind that higher calorie deficits mean less food and likely will cause higher levels of hunger and slight fatigue as well. But, the good news is that you’ll have to be on the diet for less time to reach your goal weight.
Since it takes 3500 calories to burn off one pound of body fat, you can use that as a guideline for how low you take your calories. Subtract 500 calories from the number you arrived at above for one pound of fat loss per week or 250 calories from the number for a less aggressive rate of fat loss at half a pound per week.
So there you have the main steps that you should be taking to help determine your target calorie intake to reach your body weight goals. Once you have your goal number figured out, establish the food that you’ll eat that fit within this balance and you’ll be all set.