One of the most important things you can do when trying to build muscle or lose weight is to count your calories. If you have read any of my articles, you will know that nutrition is by far the most important thing for you to understand when trying to diet. If you are trying to lose weight, and you are consuming too many calories, then you will most likely not lose weight. Also, if you are trying to build muscle, then you need to probably be consuming more calories to fuel your workout. In this article, I will be discussing the calorie calculator and how many calories you should be consuming based on your goal.
You can find the calorie calculator that I will be referencing on my website at Fitmanfitness.com. Also, keep in mind, I am not a nutritionist or dietician. I am a Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist with ACE, and you can see my credentials here. Armand Reixach. I cannot prescribe to you exactly what you need to eat, but I can give you a reference on what to eat and approximately what to consume based on CDC guidelines.
Disclaimer – Although I am a Certified Personal Trainer, I am not YOUR Personal Trainer. This article is for informational and educational purposes only and does not establish any kind of personal trainer-client relationship with me. I am not liable or responsible for any damages or injuries resulting from or related to your use of this information. You should consult a physician, a nutritionist, or a registered dietician prior to starting any workout or nutrition program.
Follow 3 Simple Steps to Maximize the Calorie Calculator
So, before you even begin to get serious about working out, it is best to take some time to research how many calories you need to consume on a daily basis. On my website, Fitmanfitness, I give you workout splits to follow as a guideline and which muscles to work out on certain days. In addition, I lay out 3 easy steps to follow to make sure your calorie intake is on point.
Step 1 – Count Your Calories Prior to Using The Calorie Calculator
Now, there is no calculator for this part, so you need to use the website or app, Myfitnesspal. This is an important part of tracking your calories because you need to know how many calories you are consuming on a daily basis. This is really simple to do, and I do this with my clients. Once you create a free account with Myfitnesspal, you need to start inputting everything you eat for the next three days.
Now that you have done that, you can see how many calories you are consuming daily. You can see the pie graph at the bottom of the Myfitnesspal app. It splits up your calories into proteins, carbs, and fats.
I’m proud of you, this is your first step!
Step 2 – Use the Calorie Calculator
Now, Input your information in this free calorie calculator provided by Myplate.gov
This calculator is based on your gender, age, height, weight, and activity level. Gender is used because men generally have a higher percentage of muscle than women. Because muscle burns calories faster than fat, the calorie requirements for men are typically higher. Age is important because as we get older, our bodies burn fewer and fewer calories. Also, your metabolism slows as you age. Lastly, your activity level plays an important part in your journey because the more active you are, the more calories you will burn.
Keep in mind, this calculator gives an approximate amount of calories you should be consuming. I always suggest consulting a nutritionist prior to changing your nutrition program.
Step 3 – Adjust Your Calories After Using Calorie Calculator
Now that you have tracked your calories and figured out how many calories you need to eat, you now need to adjust your calories accordingly. Once you have inputted all of your information in the calorie calculator, you can see the results.
The results give you a range to lose weight or maintain weight. Next, you can adjust your calories.
The Types of Foods You Should Be Consuming
Your eating habits will revolve around protein, carbs and fats.
The cdc recommend using the Myplate Plan, so check it out! If you want an exact meal plan, then I suggest seeking a nutritionist or a registered dietician.
This is one of the most important nutrients that will build lean muscle. Consuming the correct amount of protein will help you build muscle while reducing body fat. It is important for you to consume lean protein. Here are some examples:
- Chicken Breast
- Fat Free cottage cheese
Carbs have been perceived as being bad, yet fibrous carbs are what you need to fuel your body. You need to consume plenty of fibrous carbs for recovery as well as to fuel your intense workouts. Make sure you consume a variety of fibrous carbs such as:
- Leafy greens
- Green Beans
- Green Peas
Slow Digesting Carbs
These types of carbs are best for fueling your body for training without spiking insulin. You will want to eat these throughout the day:
- Sweet potatoes
- Red and white potatoes
- Brown Rice Cakes
Dietary fats help support muscle growth and general health. YOU NEED FATS! Fats also have a negative connotation, but you need them to function all day and for your workouts. Fats should be consumed in moderation. When they are, they help with your testosterone. Here are some examples of good fatty sources:
- Lean Steak
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
TIP – Get used to prepping your meals ahead of time. Measure all your food, so you know exactly how many calories you are consuming. If you need a good scale to measure food, check out my article, “A Great Tool to Lose Weight and Gain Lean Muscle.”
Frequency of Meals
The best way to consume meals is small amounts throughout the day. Here are some tips to follow:
- Eating large amounts of food will likely store fat
- Consuming meals with protein throughout the day provides a steady income of amino acids to help prevent catabolism
- You will not overconsume food since your meals are every couple of hours
- Create a meal plan, and stick to it! Having a structured meal plan will help you keep track of your calorie intake.
A calorie calculator is one of the most important tools to use when trying to understand nutrition. If you are serious about losing weight, maintaining weight, or gaining weight, then you need to calculate your calories. Once you have calculated your calories, then you need to adjust your calories. This will take some time, but once you see how much you should be consuming, you will better understand your body, thus getting you to your goals!
Calorie Calculator provided by myplate.gov