Calories Out > Calories In = Weight Loss
You must burn more calories than you consume each day in order to see changes to your body weight and composition.
Here’s a quick way to figure out what to eat while still keeping as much muscle as possible. Remember losing fat is significantly easier than building muscle – so managing your calories and marcos intelligently will help you keep more of your hard earned size and shape while keeping more of your total weight loss fat instead of muscle. Note though that this is just a general guideline to get you started – it’s important to closely monitor your results and adjust your diet as required.
1) Figure out your maintenance level of calories (the number of calories that if you eat it will cause you to neither gain, nor lose weight) Your basic goal should be to land in a caloric range that has you consistently losing between 1-2 pounds per week, and the basic approach will be to employ a “starting point” calorie level and then adjust it up or down if necessary, depending on how your body weight changes.
Here’s how to calculate your initial daily calorie intake…
Step #1: Multiply your body weight in pounds by 14-16 in order to find your calorie maintenance level, which is the number of calories you require daily in order to maintain your current weight. Go with the lower or higher end depending on your overall activity level:
Sedentary = 14
Light = 14.5
Moderate = 15
Very Active = 15.5
Extremely Active = 16
When selecting your activity level, take into account both your exercise schedule as well as your lifestyle outside of the gym.
Step #2: Subtract 500 from your calorie maintenance level. This will create a moderate calorie deficit to help you lose fat each week while maintaining as much muscle as possible. Example: If you weighed 200 pounds with a moderate activity level, you would multiply 200 x 15 for a daily maintenance level of 3000 calories. From there, you’d subtract 3000 – 500, for a daily fat loss calorie intake of 2500.
Your Cutting Macros
2) Now that you have your daily calorie intake in place, we can go ahead and configure your individual cutting macros in terms of protein, carbohydrates and fats.
In order to keep things simple and to be totally certain that you’re consuming adequate protein to maintain your lean muscle mass, go with a round figure of 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight daily. Protein has 4 calories per gram.
Your daily grams of fat will be calculated as a percentage of your total calories, with 30% being an acceptable starting target for fat loss. Fat has 9 calories per gram
Now allot whatever calories are left over after protein and fat has been calculated and use that toward your carbohydrate intake. Carbs also have 4 calories per gram.
Step#3: Monitor your progress by either scale weight, bodyfat percentage or measurements and adjust your calories weekly as needed. If you’re losing weight too fast, increase your calories, and of course, decrease your carbs and fat slightly if you’re not seeing either a bodyfat reduction or movement in scale weight.
Supplements: Whey protein like Nitro-Tech Whey Gold will help you hit your protein targets and recovery from training. Another great suggestion is Clear Muscle, which will help boost recovery and prevent muscle breakdown. Remember, your ultimate goal is to get as lean as possible while keeping as much muscle as possible so slow and steady weekly progress is preferred.