how many calories to consume

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    how many calories to consume


    Hello! I'm new to the site and am loving all of the positive remarks and advice and I was hoping some of you may have advice for me nutritionally
    i think i am overanalyzing every calorie i put into my body and I'm not sure how much I should be eating to maximize size and strength gains
    I am 5'4" and 120lbs, i had been gaining but I can't tell how much of it is muscle and how much from the creatine (i have been on and off it for two months). I see strength gains, and have been eating 2100 cals a day of a vegetarian diet with lots of protein from fish, whey and soy
    the thing is I want to gain mass but am not too sure how much to increase the amount i consume and whether or not i count any of the energy from the post workout shake (about 300 with 25g protein). i disregard the shake right now as it is refueling, though i dont believe i burn that much in an hour of weights
    If i do increase my intake by say 200 cals a day then when would be the best time to consume the added food, the chunk of the day following the workout right?
    any advice would be much appreciated, I'm really excited for weight lifting and i want to turn my chicken legs and the rest of me into something visibly solid and healthy, thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by virenex View Post
    Hello! I'm new to the site and am loving all of the positive remarks and advice and I was hoping some of you may have advice for me nutritionally
    i think i am overanalyzing every calorie i put into my body and I'm not sure how much I should be eating to maximize size and strength gains
    I am 5'4" and 120lbs, i had been gaining but I can't tell how much of it is muscle and how much from the creatine (i have been on and off it for two months). I see strength gains, and have been eating 2100 cals a day of a vegetarian diet with lots of protein from fish, whey and soy
    the thing is I want to gain mass but am not too sure how much to increase the amount i consume and whether or not i count any of the energy from the post workout shake (about 300 with 25g protein). i disregard the shake right now as it is refueling, though i dont believe i burn that much in an hour of weights
    If i do increase my intake by say 200 cals a day then when would be the best time to consume the added food, the chunk of the day following the workout right?
    any advice would be much appreciated, I'm really excited for weight lifting and i want to turn my chicken legs and the rest of me into something visibly solid and healthy, thanks!
    First, don't overanalyze calories.

    Second, work out what your maintenance calories are (methods and calculations available that use age, heigh, weight, sex, and activity level; post #2 in Help determine my calories has something you can use). Then, since you want to gain muscle (I assume you do, saying that you "want to turn my chicken legs and the rest of me into something visibly solid and healthy") have up to 500 or MORE calories MORE than maintenance. Start off with 200 calories more than maintenance a day for the first week. At the end of every week assess your progress, and depending on it, adjust your calories intake. Remember that calculations are not an absolute given, but a guesstimate, and you need to experiment and adjust your calories as you go to find what works best for you.

    Third, you count EVERY calorie you consume, including protein shakes. And you DO burn calories while lifting weights; you just butn GLYCOGEN, which is why you need to replace it after the session. Your metabolism will stay higher post-workout, which in essence means that a resistance session "contimues" to burn calories well after it's finished.

    Fourth, it doesn't matter WHERE you have your extra food. Once you've worked out how many calories you need, then try and spread them out evenly over 5-6 meals a day. Also, after your resistance session, have a protein/simple sugars shake straight after the session, and then have a proper meal ~30 minutes later.
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    Thank you for your input!
    the calculator put me a little over 2100 so I will start adding to my meals, i already have the diet and timing down I just need to stop second guessing how much to add and go with the basics of how many cals will put on a pound
    I will really need to get into the habit of the weekly checking and getting in that meal 30 min after
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    Quote Originally Posted by virenex View Post
    Thank you for your input!
    the calculator put me a little over 2100 so I will start adding to my meals, i already have the diet and timing down I just need to stop second guessing how much to add and go with the basics of how many cals will put on a pound
    I will really need to get into the habit of the weekly checking and getting in that meal 30 min after
    You're welcome. Definitely stop second guessing. After a while knowing how many calories you are eating will be easy as and you won't even have to think about it. You don't even need to go with how many calories will out on a pound, ebcause muscle and fat weight are created equal; the same weight in muscle will take up less room than the same weight in fat. ANd you want muscle.

    Definitely get in that meal; it's important for your recovery.
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    for sure! i added yesterday around 250 and i felt much less exhausted by the time i usually crash in the evening
    i realize this must be common sense for most of the builders on this site :P
    i guess i just need to chill on the strictness
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    Quote Originally Posted by virenex View Post
    for sure! i added yesterday around 250 and i felt much less exhausted by the time i usually crash in the evening
    i realize this must be common sense for most of the builders on this site :P
    i guess i just need to chill on the strictness
    Yes, it is. If your calories (or carbohydrates) are too low, then you won't have enough energy (and certainly won't be gaining any muscle) if your training (and for everyday living). Yup, chill on the strictness. I see that you read my diet tips; they can be applied for you as well (pretty much they all apply; #1 is the only one that changes (i.e. more or less than maintenance), based on goal).
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    i really appreciate your advice, and i did not know about the tannins in tea (which i guzzle like it's water) so i will for sure cut back and not skip out on the multi vitamin to make sure i get anough minerals otherwise
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    Quote Originally Posted by virenex View Post
    i really appreciate your advice, and i did not know about the tannins in tea (which i guzzle like it's water) so i will for sure cut back and not skip out on the multi vitamin to make sure i get anough minerals otherwise
    Herbal tea is ok. And so is regular tea (and coffee) in moderation (maybe one a day, but not a lot more than that); and if you have it, don't have it with/after a meal containing iron, calcium, vitamin C (and not close to when you take your multivitamin). Yeah, don't forget the multivitamin (unless you are getting everything you need from your diet).
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    Calculating Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
    Take body weight X 10
     Ex. 130 x 10 cal/lb = 1300 calories
    Factor in activity level
     Sedentary: 20% (sitting most of day)
     Lightly Active: 30% (walking; daily chores)
     Moderately Active: 40% (Constantly moving; daily exercise)
     Very Active: 50% (heavy exercise for prolonged periods)
     Ex. 1300 cal X .30 = 390
    Add your BMR and calories burned during activity:
     1300 + 390 = 1690 calories
    Factor in calories used during digestion (10%)
     1690 X .10 = 169
    Add together BMR/activity calories & calories needed for digestion
     1690 + 169 = 1859 calories needed to support basic needs

    Calculating Protein Requirements
     12-15% of total caloric intake should be from protein
     1g protein = 4 calories
     15% intake for a 2000 diet
     0.15 x 2000 = 300 kcal
     Divide this by 4 calories/g
     300 / 4 = 75 grams of protein/day

    Calculating Fat Requirements
     20% total daily calories from fat
     1g fat = 9 calories
     20% fat intake for a 2000 calorie diet
     0.20 x 2000 = 400 kcal
     Divide this by 9 calories/g fat
     400/ 9 = 45

    Calculating Carbohydrate Requirements
     1g CHO = 4 calories
     60% target CHO intake for a 2,000 calorie diet
    .60 x 2000 = 1200 CHO calories
     Divide this by 4 calories/gram
     1200/4 = 300 g CHO /day

    this is a pretty general calculation as it does not take into account age and height and otehr such factors, but it is still helpful. It is particularly good in emphasizing the proportions of fats/carbs/proteins taht you need, as very few people tend to get these right. Other posts are right tho, dont overthink things on the cals!
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    hmmm, i take half of my multivitamin in the mornign and the other half in the evening but in the morning is when i have my tea, i will need to switch the timing of my multi .

    and thank you wbted for adding a different calculator, but i thought the best ratio with weight lifting and in general is the 40:30:30?
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    Quote Originally Posted by virenex View Post
    hmmm, i take half of my multivitamin in the mornign and the other half in the evening but in the morning is when i have my tea, i will need to switch the timing of my multi .

    and thank you wbted for adding a different calculator, but i thought the best ratio with weight lifting and in general is the 40:30:30?
    I wouldn't worry too much about 'ratios', they're pretty inaccurate. You're better off working out your macronutrient (carbohydrates, protein and fat) requirements based on your bodyweight.

    Focus on getting about 2g/kg/BW of protein/day which for you at your current weight is anywhere between 80-110g protein per day (including your shakes).

    For Carbohydrates (CHO), bodybuilders are a funny breed of athlete but mainly strength and power based, anywhere between 3-5g/kg of CHO/day should be enough to replenish your losses from training.

    For you, this would be between 162-270g per day. This depends on your individual make-up and training needs though, if you do very little additional cardio and/or feel you operate better on a lower carbohydrate intake, take the lower number of the two.

    Once you've got your protein and carbohydrates sorted just eat the rest of your calories from fat (preferably from good sources).

    This works out at 60g fat per day.

    So in total (if you took the higher figures):

    110g protein, 270g CHO and 60g fat per day.

    over 6 meals this is 20g protein, 40g CHO and 10g fat.

    Try using an online diet organiser (such as fitday.com) to plan your meals. It'll make it easier when you come to modify your diet.

    Hope this helps a bit, don't be afraid to ask loads more questions we're all here to learn.
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    Thanks that helps a lot! I think i may be over doing it on the protein and undercutting the carbs, but I will keep experimenting
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    Quote Originally Posted by virenex View Post
    Thanks that helps a lot! I think i may be over doing it on the protein and undercutting the carbs, but I will keep experimenting
    Good stuff. If you get stuck again post up your diet and maybe we can all chime in and tweak it for you.

    Good luck!
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    This was driving me crazy earlier this year. I decided to put it all aside and eat lean. In another post, I just wrote I am eating nothing but fresh fish and egg whites for 30 days while I'm on hdrol cycle. I was going for 2K calories before a day and felt like I was gaining too much weight. I cut it all out and went to 1200-1400 daily and felt really good. No breads/pastas or processed meats. Every bit of protein i consumed, I coupled with either brocolli or watermelon and have had some incredibule results. I'm genetically strong but my strength and gas in the tank at the gym has been incredible. The fish really does superceed sp? the energy than a piece of dense chicken. And it's all really really leaning me out and sculpting my muscles.
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    Quote Originally Posted by killfat View Post
    This was driving me crazy earlier this year. I decided to put it all aside and eat lean. In another post, I just wrote I am eating nothing but fresh fish and egg whites for 30 days while I'm on hdrol cycle. I was going for 2K calories before a day and felt like I was gaining too much weight. I cut it all out and went to 1200-1400 daily and felt really good. No breads/pastas or processed meats. Every bit of protein i consumed, I coupled with either brocolli or watermelon and have had some incredibule results. I'm genetically strong but my strength and gas in the tank at the gym has been incredible. The fish really does superceed sp? the energy than a piece of dense chicken. And it's all really really leaning me out and sculpting my muscles.
    Wow. 2000 cal/day seems a little LOW for "bulking" even if you weren't on hormonals; and would be lower even than your MAINTENANCE. 1200-1400 cal/day is almost going to the extreme. It may be working for you, but I think the calorie cut is a little drastic.

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    Everyone else has said so too but I tried eating more and I felt heavy to move? I didn't feel like running or doing much. When I cut it down I felt lighter and more energetic. MY BP has gone up w/the hdrol and so my fault, I was taking stims w/it and didn't realize i wasn't supposed to until I got that famous ear buzzing. I cut the stims out completely and took a regular dose this morning. I'm hoping this will be ok. Sorry off topic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guejsn View Post
    Wow. 2000 cal/day seems a little LOW for "bulking" even if you weren't on hormonals; and would be lower even than your MAINTENANCE. 1200-1400 cal/day is almost going to the extreme. It may be working for you, but I think the calorie cut is a little drastic.

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    Agreed. What kind of weight loss are you seeing with this diet? If you drop weight too fast your body will eat its muscle instead of burning the fat. Remember, the reflection of the mirror is more important than the number on the scale (unless you are a boxer / wrestler trying to make a weight class requirement).
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    Quote Originally Posted by killfat View Post
    Everyone else has said so too but I tried eating more and I felt heavy to move? I didn't feel like running or doing much. When I cut it down I felt lighter and more energetic. MY BP has gone up w/the hdrol and so my fault, I was taking stims w/it and didn't realize i wasn't supposed to until I got that famous ear buzzing. I cut the stims out completely and took a regular dose this morning. I'm hoping this will be ok. Sorry off topic.
    "Feeling" heavy might be what you're eating more than how much you're eating. I mean, if you are achieving your personal goals then, hey, keep on doing what you're doing. I just know that I personally in the past have been impatient with weight loss and did extreme crash-style dieting with super low cals and I paid the price. Not that 1200-1400 cals is super low for 150lbs. BW but if you are trying to bulk with the Hdrol you'll probably accomplish a better bulk with more cals. Eating more meals throughout the day, rather than bigger meals, may help you with the heavy feeling you get after eating. How many meals are you eating a day? It should be at least 5.
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    Quote Originally Posted by killfat View Post
    Everyone else has said so too but I tried eating more and I felt heavy to move? I didn't feel like running or doing much. When I cut it down I felt lighter and more energetic. MY BP has gone up w/the hdrol and so my fault, I was taking stims w/it and didn't realize i wasn't supposed to until I got that famous ear buzzing. I cut the stims out completely and took a regular dose this morning. I'm hoping this will be ok. Sorry off topic.
    You don't have to eat MORE in a MEAL, but make sure that you have more CALORIES and spread them out over your meals. Eating calorie dense foods will help you get the calories in without eating heaps of food.

    What ARE your goals? For cutting 1200-1400 cal/day is far too low (even NOT using hormonals); I am only 118.8lb and I cut 2200-4000 cal/day. For bulking (which is why a female would generally use a hormonal that is usually not Anavar, Winni-V or Clen), definitely 300+ cal/day ABOVE Maintenance. You definitely won't get muscle accretion on calories that low (unless you were cycling your calories and they were your low days, and you only had 1-2 low days a week).


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    I've already been on a 30 year bulk, I am at the end of cutting. Last pounds before I'm shredded to the bone. I just came off of keto and my calories were sky high but my muscles were flat w/out carbs. Now I am eating regular low fat, moderate carb, 130 grm protein. I have a lot of muscle there already, I must post some pics, I keep saying that and never get around to it.
  

  
 

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