So guys for anyone that has tried to track their calorie intake, you have probably become very confused when it comes to measuring how many calories they burn each day.
There are literally hundreds of different ways to calculate your daily calorie expenditure, most of which are FUBAR so don’t worry too much because they are ALL pretty much estimates.
Many of these online calculators only rely on a combination of variables such as height, age and mass. However, no ones the same due to our genetic factors which result in individual variation that cannot be predicted by these inputs alone, Which pretty much leaves these calculations at an estimation only.
To truly determine how much food you need to maintain health and your performance in the gym your going to have to start tracking what you eat at some point.
The easiest and least stressful way to do this is by tracking what you eat for three days straight. I presume that you all have an idea that you are currently eating to get lean, maintain or trying to gain weight on your current diet. Using your current diet as a rough guide as the ideal number of calories for you. Track everything you eat honestly for 3 days.
If you come out of those 3 days with a consistent calorie total you now have your baseline number, if your out by 500cals continue to track for 5-7 days and pick a total that you feel is most representative of your ‘average’ day. This whole process is a hell of a lot better than relying on your online calculator alone due to the fact that it takes into account, your own experience.
Once we have this baseline number we can then compare our baseline calorie amount from our tracking process to the number that an online calculator suggests we eat, if the numbers are the same then great continue to eat the same amount, if not then we need to make a change to ensure your eating correctly to support your activity levels.
’Should I Count Macro nutrients?’
For those that don’t know what a macronutrient is, to put it simply its the breakdown of calories into Protein, Fats and Carbs.
If you want to take into account your ‘Macros’ then thats fine, I would suggest you start with a breakdown of 40% from carbs, 30% from Fat and 30% from Protein. However I don’t feel for Joe public that counting macronutrients is essential. What id suggest at first is try to get at least one type of protein, fat and carb source in each meal you eat every day. Once you have become consistent with your eating patterns, you can then start to make subtle changes in your diet. So if your looking to lean out or to gain some mass try adding or subtracting 10-20 percent of your current daily caloric intake as a starting point. This helps your metabolism get used to the changes in your diet.
Remember people all diets need to be road tested by each individual person before you can determine that it works for you. Diets are not one size fits all, you have to work out the kinks first before you start seeing progress. Tracking your daily intake is a great starting point for everybody and remember its not just the end results, its the process that leads us there too.
Rob and the Compello Team.