You may have the perfect workout, first-rate sleep
habits, and super stress management skills; but if you aren’t
eating the right combination of food, at the right time, then you
will have trouble achieving your transformation goals.
Performing regular workouts is by no means a license to eat
poorly. In fact, exercise without proper nutrition is a losing
battle if you want to burn more fat
Here’s a plan to help you maximize your training, as well as
reduce the layer of insulation (fat) that you’re wearing between
your skin and muscle.
So, how many calories do you really need?
Most people nod off when you mention the importance
of counting calories or weighing food. I’ll be the first to admit
that it’s not the most popular topic for conversation. Reality is,
understanding how many calories are in a certain amount
of food is about the fastest, easiest way to guarantee that you
meet your goals.
Step #1: Figure out your resting calorie requirements
No worries, it’s easy math.
Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is the least amount of calories you’ll
need just to stay alive if you lounged in bed all day. Scientists
measure your RMR usually after sleep, while you’re relaxing. How
much muscle you have is the most important factor in determining
This explains why muscular athletes can eat so many calories yet
keep their body fat low. Simply put, muscle burns more calories
Take your current body weight and multiply that number by 10. So if
you weigh 140 pounds, you’ll need to consume at least 1,400
calories each day to maintain that weight–assuming you stayed in
bed all day. This is your RMR.
Do step #1 now.
Step #2: Add calories to fuel your workouts
For every day you exercise vigorously (45 minutes of solid effort),
multiply your RMR by 0.1.
So, if you train four times per week, that’s 1,400 x .4 = 560
calories. In other words, you’ll need about 560 calories daily
(above your RMR) to fuel your activities of daily living, including
your workouts. I call these Activity Calories (AC).
Next, add your RMR (1,400) and your AC (560) to get your Total
Calories (TC) for the day (1,960 calories, in this example).
Do step #2 now.
Step #3: Find out how many calories you need to change your weight
The formula for weight loss is based on the fact that you must burn
more calories than you consume each day.
Yep, it’s that simple.
This means you have to use 500 extra calories daily to lose one
pound per week, 750 additional calories to lose 1.5 pounds per
week, and 1,000 more calories daily to drop two pounds each week.
Following the example, you weigh 140 pounds today but want to lose
12 pounds in 12 weeks (one pound per week). Plus you’re
working out four times each week.
The math looks like this:
140 pounds x 10 x 0.1 x 4 = 560 cal (AC)
1,400 cal (RMR) + 560 (AC) = 1,960 cal
1,960 calories – 500 calories = 1,460 Adjusted Total Calories (ATC)
Of course if you’re trying to increase your body weight just add
500 calories, per day, for every pound you want to gain each week.
Do step #3 now.
Step #4: Eat this many calories per meal
Based on your total meals (six) in one day and your Adjusted Total
Calories (1,460), it’s easy to determine how many calories you need
to eat at each meal (just divide your daily calorie needs by the
number of meals per day).
1,460 ATC divided by 6 meals = 243 calories per meal
Do step #4.
So now you know exactly how many calories you need at each meal.
Next time I’ll talk about food choices, meal timing, and other
strategies that will turn your transformation goals into reality.
Best, Coach Kenny