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How many calories should I be eating?

Coach Kandal Limitless Fitness and NutritionSo how many calories should I be eating, do you find yourself asking this question or questioning what you think you already know?

A vast majority of the general population can figure out their caloric needs by doing a simple formula. 8-22 (or higher) x bodyweight.  But where do you start? You start by setting your initial goal, making a plan and then customizing the route you are going to take. Guidelines are as follows, for caloric intake 10-12 x bodyweight would be a lean out phase or weight loss phase.  13-16 x bodyweight would be a maintenance phase, higher than that would be a “bulking” phase.

How do we break this down even further, into our macronutrients?  It all depends on various factors…. genetics, body composition, training demands, activity levels. This is where a professional would come in or doing some good research!  I advocate start as high as you can so you have somewhere to go.  Starting at 8 x bodyweight sounds like a great idea….but where do you go if your weight-loss stalls?  So starting in the middle of the pack is a good idea. Be patient and see how it goes, give it an honest month. Consistency is key in all things good.

To break down your calories into macro nutrients start with your protein needs. Protein intake can be anywhere from 0.8 – 1.5 grams per body weight (depending on all factors… training demands, current physical fitness) then add in your Omega’s, these do count as calories and need to be factored in…anywhere from 2-3g/day of an EPA/DHA combo.  Then factor in what you will need post-workout….protein, 30-50g (depending on your needs) and any low fat carb in the same amount.  Both of these things will be dependent on training volume, intensity and your goals.  After you’ve done that, figure out your fats. 20-40% of your calories should come from healthy fat sources, like nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, natural peanut/almond butter, etc.  Fill in the rest with your carbs and there you go, your on your way now baby!

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There you go, another macro based plan. The reason why I like macro plans for clients is basic food understanding and NO deprivation. How many “diets” have you been on where as soon as you see you can’t have certain things, that’s all you want?  I’ve found that restricted plans lead to unhealthy eating behaviors and attitudes….freedom in food choices is the essential key to long term success.  Understanding what you’re eating is also key.  Diet’s have a start date and an end date, they are not sustainable long term.  To date I have not met anyone that is able to fully commit 100% to a “diet” without stumbling off the wagon a few times. Macro nutrient plans I find to be the most sustainable and provide the best results allowing almost anything you’d like!

Until next time!

Coach Kandal
Limitless Fitness and Nutrition

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