Picture(Photo: www.calexis.com)
Summer is almost upon us, and as much as I'd like to hope we've all been super consistent with our nutrition and exercise programs, I know better.

In the fitness world, we see two general times of year where there is a huge influx of new clients, one is right after New Year's Day, and the other at the beginning of Spring where clients want to lose weight for the summer, and look awesome on their vacations or at the beach.

So today, I want to give you some information that is imperative for you to have regardless of whether your goal is fat loss, gaining muscle, or just looking better naked.

What's is it, you ask?

The first thing you need to know is how much to eat, of course.

Nutrition fuels your body's performance. Regardless of what your goals are, that needs to be priority numero uno.

Weight loss, weight gain, and weight maintenance only occur when your calorie intake matches those goals.

There are no special carbs, proteins or fats that make the above statement untrue. It just is what it is.

So today I want to give you a really simple method of estimating your daily amount of calories, which one of my Registered Dietitian friends gave me.

In my personal experience as a coach, it has worked very well for my clients, so hopefully it helps you too.

It does require some quick math, so get the calculator app on your iPhone ready.

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(I want to be clear here, that though I am a certified Sports Nutritionist from NASM, I am not a Registered Dietitian, and this is only a suggestion based on what I've seen work for clients in the past and what other Registered Dietitians have told me. For the most accurate info please, please, please, go see an RD)

Here it is:

Write down your weight in lbs.

Got it? Good.

Next, multiply your weight by 13 if you're a female, and 15 if you're a male.

Got that number? Sweet.

Here's the bad news, if you're in your 30's or 40's subtract 150 calories from that number. It sucks getting older, as someone in my 30's, I feel your pain.

Now you have an estimate of how many calories your body needs a day to maintain its current weight.

Want to lose weight? That's awesome!

Here's the bad news, subtract another 200-300 calories/day to make sure you're in a decent calorie deficit. It doesn't need to be much more than that, or you risk sending your body into "Starvation Mode" if done for extended periods of time.

Maybe you want to build some muscle? Good for you, you're a Rockstar!

You get to add 300-400 calories/day to your daily intake to make sure you're in a surplus. Just don't let it be 300-400 calories of junk, or you won't get the look you're going for.

Remember the Marshmallow man from Ghostbusters?

Yeah, don't be like him.

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There is, in truth, more to burning fat and building muscle efficiently than just being over or under your calories, but the above is without a doubt the most important part, and you will not be successful in either endeavor if this isn't in check. 

If your calorie needs aren't addressed, than everything else like, weight training, cardio, and sleep, won't matter. 

So now you have an estimate of how many calories you should eat, but what should you eat?

Luckily, I've got a follow up coming at you tomorrow so make sure you come back and check that out.

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