Summer is quickly approaching and I here you say I have been hitting the gym hard, eating healthy and still nothing is changing.
How much should I eat, where should my calories come from as I’m trying to lose some bodyfat for the summer or get into a topless dress for a family party is a common questions I get asked when it comes to nutrition.
Chances are you’re still consuming more than you currently needed. So here’s what to do in the simplest way possible:
Step 1. Work out your Calorie needs
Eating fewer Calories (ie: energy) than you burn and you’ll drop fat. That is regardless of how many times you eat a day, when you eat or what you eat, especially for the non-athletic population ie that’s you.
Today we’re going to look at a female with data, lives Cheltenham, Gloucestershire Aged: 35yrs,Weight:59.1kgs , Height:165cm, Participate in 3-5 days of activity per week and in good health.
1. I’ll plug in her data using this popular formula call the Harrison Benedict formula: (655)+ (weight in kgs x 9.6)+ (height in cm x 1.8) –(age x 4.7), this formula is specific to the female population there’s a separate one for males. It will work out an estimate of her, RMR (resting metabolic rate) basically the energy required by an animal to stay alive with no activity.
Using the formula above her RMR =1355 calories, to start with.
2. She then needs to multiply her (RMR) calorie needs by her daily activity level which has 5 levels starting from level 1: someone who is sedentary to level 5: someone who does excess activity. She then needs to multiply her (RMR) calorie needs by her daily activity level
The different levels:
Level 1: sedentary Little/no exercise and in active desk job RMR x 1.2
Level 2: Light activity Light exercise/sport 1-3 days/week RMR x1.375
Level 3: Moderate activity Moderate exercise/sport 3-5 days/wk RMR x 1.55
Level 4: High activity Hard sport/exercise 6-7 days/wk RMR x 1.725
Level 5: Extra activity Very hard exercise/physical job or 2 a-day training. RMR x 1.9
For the purpose of this article we will use the RMR of 1.55 as this is the activity level of this female in the article.
1355 calories from above x 1.55 (moderate active level female) = needs 2100 calories per day to start with to maintain her weight, seeing her goal here is fat loss she now needs to create a calorie deficit from her 2100 calories starting by reducing here food intake by either 10-20%, which will give her these figure of 10% of 2100 = 1890 calories for gradual fat loss or 20% of 2100 = 1680 calories for a more rapid fat loss process, either way using these figures will start the process of fatloss if consistency and discipline is maintain.
In my experience its best to start at the higher calories intake and work your way down as you will have more wiggle room as time progress and plateau comes around , than to start to low on a caloric deficit and don’t have much room to move when things begin to stale.
Step 2. Work out her macros.
Now she know how many calories she needs each day to start the fatloss process , she then needs to workout where those calories are going to come from, this will come from macronutrients (macros) ie: the protein, carbs and fat ,she eats are what provide the Calories (for your info alcohol is also one of the macros as well).
Protein and carbs provides us with 4 Calories per gram, whereas fat is 9 Calories per gram (alcohol is 7 calories per gram). To work out her macros for fat loss, she decide is will go with the gradual approach of 10% of 2100= 1890 calories.
A brief formula to workout her macros:
1-Protein (g) = multiply her body weight in lbs by 1. (use 2 if dieting hard.)
2-Fat (g) = multiply her lean body mass in lbs by .3 or .5
3-Carbs (g) = the rest of her Calories. To work this out, subtract the sum of protein and fat calories from her daily caloric intake and divide by 4 to get the number of grams. This final number is your carb target in grams.
Okay so I have just gone and confuse the hell out of you, So here’s an example for our 59.1 kg female=130.2 lbs for simple rounding off let’s use 130lbs:
Gradual fat loss calories of 10% =1890 calories.
Protein 130lbs =130grams/per day x 4 calories per gram of protein =520 calories
Fat= 130lbs x 0.5 = 65grams x 9 calories per gram of fat =585 calories
Carbs = Her total calories of 1890 calories – 520 (protein calories) – (585 fat calories) = 785 calories divided by 4 calories per gram of carbs =196 grams.
So in simple English: From her total calories of 1890 calories, it’s then broken down into macros of which 130 gram will be coming from protein sources which = 520 calories, From fat sources 65 grams which =585 calories and from carbs sources is 785 calories which = 196 grams.
Now all she will need to do is download on app like myfitness pal& plug in her numbers and track her daily food intake going forward. She will then aim to Plan ahead and pre-enter her food into the app when and where possible especially to begin with be within , she will also try to be within +/- 100 Calories of her daily Calorie target, +/- 20g of her carbs and protein targets, and +/- 10g of her fat target each day.
This way if she desire that square of chocolate after work, she can still have it once it’s been accounted for as part of her daily 1890 calories, she should start shedding some bodyfat..
The above should lead to roughly 0.5 – 1% weight loss per week. However, if after two or more weeks her weight hasn’t changed; obviously she would needs to make some gradual changes. Such as possibly dropping her Calories by 5-10% if her training is consistence with her nutrition, primality making the reduction in either the carbs or fat food sources not her protein source, but before she goes and does that she must be honest with herself and prove she has been consistent with the above figures.
Hopefully this has been helpful to a lot of female reader, truth be told there shouldn’t be any need to be get more complicate than the above, simply state if you not tracking what you’re consuming its one and possibly the main reason why your body fat or weight loss isn’t moving.
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