The No BS guide to caloric intake, dieting, and bulking (yes long)
- 04-27-2008, 03:41 AM
The No BS guide to caloric intake, dieting, and bulking (yes long)
Many people come here and ask if there bulk is done correctly (or their cut as well). Its not difficult with a little bit of time and research to find out what your macros should come up to be. From there, its easy. Plug in food to fit your macros and with smart timing, you should put on muscle or lose weight in no time.
To start...youll need a calculator or pen and paper.
Figuring out your basal metabolic rate:
Its a simple formula that brings everything into play:activity level, height, current weight and age.
Ill give you the clinical values for each of those and use myself as an example. We'll start with weight. Where I am getting these values for these numbers are the values given to me while taking courses for Dietetics at Youngstown State University.
Weight in KG:
Take your weight in kg's and multiply it by 13.75 and then add 66 to that total.
Im roughly 109 kg's x 13.75 which comes to about 1499...add in 66 calories and Im now at 1565 calories for just my bodyweight.
Take your weight in kg's and multiply it by 9.56 and then add 655 to that total. A 50kg woman (110lbs) would have a value of (50 x 9.56) 478 calories. Shed then add 655 to that number to give her a start of 1133 calories.
From here we need to figure our needs taking into effect our height.
Men take your height in INCHES and multiply it by 12.7.
Im just under 6'4, or 76". 76 x 12.7= 965. I then add that value to my weight giving me my current basal expenditure at 2530 calories.
Take your height and multiply it by 4.67 and add 2 to that total.
Our example woman at 50 kg's is also 5'4" tall, or 64". Her needs taking into effect her height add 301 (64x4.67(+2)) to the total. Her base need is now at 1434 calories.
We need to now factor in age, which works against us. The older we get, the slower our metabolism...at least at rest, but more on activity later!
Take your age and multiply it by 6.76. Im 28 years old, so my age factor would be 189 calories. Im going to SUBTRACT it from my current total.
2530-189=2341, giving me a new total.
Take your age and multiply it by 4.68. Our example is 25 years old. Her total comes to 117 calories (4.68x25). We're going to subtract that from her last value giving us age factored in, shes now at 1317 calories.
But we havent factored in our activity! Here ladies and gentlemen is the fun part! We have to be honest with ourselves when we factor in our activity level, because we also need to factor in genetics as best we can. By nature do you feel youre a hardgainer? Or do you gain easily? This will make your numbers range. Me personally....I gain crazy!
Take your total that factors in Height, Age and Weight and multiply it by the factors below.
Low activity, low/medium metabolism:1.2
Low activity, high metabolism:1.3
Medium activity, low/medium metabolism:1.3
Medium activity, high metabolism:1.5
High activity, low metabolism:1.4
High activity, medium metabolism:1.5
High activity, high metabolism:1.7
I have high activity (10 gym sessions counting cardio and weight sessions seperately and a job where Im on my feet for 40 hours a week) but a low metabolism. Id give my activity factor a 1.4.
Id then multiply my activity times my resting Basal Metabolic Rate.
2341 x 1.4 = 3277 calories
Our female example also hits 9 sessions and works a busy job, but her metabolism is naturally high.
Currently, to maintain my bodyweight, I need roughly 3277 calories. Our example female needs 2222. From there, its all on what you want to do.
To bulk correctly Id add 700 calories for men, and 500 calories for women.
On a bulk, Id take in roughly 3977 calories a day. Our example, would be at 2722. Given these rates, the men would gain a lb every 5 days, with women gaining one every 7 days.
Macro break down:
Bulking for both men and women it is imperative to take in plenty of good carbohydrates and protein. But fats are not to be neglected either. To that end, I like either 40% Protein, 30% Carbohydrates, 30% Fats or 40% Protein, 40% Carbohydrates, 20% Fats breakdowns. Some people also like 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, 30% fats.
At 3977 calories a day, saying I wanted to go 40/40/20, Id want to take in 1591 calories a day from protein (40% of 3977), 1591 of carbohydrates (40%) and 795 calories from fat. Giving me a macro breakdown of 398g of protein and carbohydrates and 88g of fat. Will this be easily attainable? 4,000 calories is a challenge, but to bulk correctly, you need to know what your up against. You MUST eat to put weight on. These macros are not an end all, maybe 40/30/30 would be more attainable. You must make your diet work for you.
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Cutting is the opposite.
With our base calories of 3277 and 2222 respectively, we'll shave 500 calories off of these. That would give a rough weight loss of 1 lb per week. You can shave more if you want, but remember shaving too much can sacrifice hard earned gains made previously.
There are literally hundreds of diets out there, low fat, low carb, keto and many others. Many are fine philosophies. Taking into effect your caloric goals, you need to choose wisely. Im personally a fan of low carb/keto diets. My girlfriend is losing weight quickly on low fat. If you take your calories down, you will lose weight either way. Thats all dieting is. It is literally that simple. Once youve made a significant weight loss, (Id say 15lbs or more), reanalyze yourself, and get new caloric values to keep yourself going strong.
In both cases, you want your heavier meals to be in the morning, pre workout and post workout. These are the times your body needs calories the most. In both cases, these times will be when you want to take in the bulk of your carbohydrates. Protein should be a bit heavier post workout, lighter pre workout, and even throughout other meals. Fats are best spread throughout the day, but lesser so in meals that are high in carbohydrates.
I have found over time, that its simpler to work within your macros, and make the meals work for you. What this requires is some label reading on your part, but thats good. You should know what your putting into your body. My philosophy allows you latitude within the parameters of your macros. There is no reason that even on keto you cant have 1 cookie if you wanted. Youd have to sacrifice for the rest of the day, but if that cookie satiates your cravings, its worth it. As long as at the end of the day, if you tallied in what you ate, that your where your supposed to be, youll continue losing. Keep track of your diet, youll be amazed how much it helps to actually see raw numbers that say what you did. Keep a diet journal with you if it helps. Dont let the difficulty of losing or gaining defeat you. Do whatever it takes to meet your goal.
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This is my guide. I have wrote this all with no help, just research throughout the years. If this helps even 1 person, it was worth the time to type it out. Any questions of PMs, Im always down to help.
- 04-27-2008, 10:06 AM
Accurate bodyweight management does require some quantitative planning and it starts with energy in and energy out.
One thing to add. These calculations give you a starting point for your diet. Due to innacuracies and unknowns one may have to adjust calories up or down do attain goals. Just because you calculate that you need 3000 calories and plan a 3000 calorie diet doesnt actually mean that you are exactly 3000 of either. You could be off by 300 each and that could be a net zero or net 600 error. The scale and mirror should let you know which.
04-27-2008, 11:01 AM
here's something to help make things easier as far as food labels go. be sure to click the link at the bottom of each page as there's several pages of info.
04-30-2008, 03:41 AM
Definitely. Its almost impossible to get an exact count of where you should be. But it should be one of your starting points if you want to be successful.
Nice link Nightwanderer (still kinda new here, didnt see a multi quote option...)
Wanted to touch some more on dieting.
I like keto or low carb diets moreso than low fat diets. While both are effective, low fat diets (under 20% of calories) can have a negative impact on sex hormones which are vital to help us maintain/build muscle and perform a whole slew of other bodily functions.
Both diets will work because all they are is philosophies of keeping you under your maintenance calories.
The only thing you do not want to cut is protein. Protein intake is the only shot you have at keeping muscle mass on you. You cant synthesize protein from fat and carbs (but you can the other way around). This is why I dont suggest cuts under 35% of calories coming from protein.
These will only define how your eating, not the grand total of calories or the effect. You can, in theory, have a bulk and a cut with the same macro philosophy. While I dont suggest it, it is theoretically feasible.
An example on a 3500 calorie bulk at 40P/40C/20F would give 350g Protein and Carbs and 78g of fat. I could run those same on a 2500 calorie cut which would give 250g of protein, 250g of carbs and 56g of fat. If I were someone who wasnt carbohydrate reactive (tend to hold onto weight when I eat carbs) I may debate going this route.
Choosing a macro philosophy really depends on the individual. Some people burn through carbs without a problem. Some people when they eat carbs have a tendency to hold onto them (like me~). While a person who is carb reactive may be able to lose weight on a low fat diet, a low carb diet would more than likely be more beneficial.
Low carb diets require a bit more discipline in this carb driven world. But they (usually) are not so strict that you cant have a little bit. Low fat diets would be more beneficial to individuals who dont have a problem with burning through carbs. Most of these individuals were leaner at one time or another and put on the "freshman fifteen" or the like.
Ultimately....you must know yourself a bit and what your body seems to do with what you eat. Choose the philosophy from that. Take the philosophy (keto, low carb, low fat, balanced) and apply it to your goal (bulk, cut, maintenance, recomp) and intake and you can do anything with your knowledge. Knowledge and discipline are the 2 keys to any successful diet.
Ill try and touch on meal planning....gotta be up in 4 hours for work~
05-01-2008, 01:44 AM
05-05-2008, 03:19 PM
05-06-2008, 03:21 AM
05-09-2008, 03:04 AM
I don't do any of that crazy math with it unless i have a special event coming up.
If you do the basics right then you will lose weight, get ripped, and have great muscle gains.
1.) Eat every 2-3 hours, so 5-6 good meals a day.
2.) Eat clean and healthy, lower carbs in the evenings. Good proteins every meal.
3.) Lift hard with intensity and consistency.
4.) Do cardio if needed during the week, but nothing crazy so you can keep your muscle mass.
Thats what i do personally and i dropped my bodyfat superquick and kept all of my muscle mass. Im now stronger than ever, but still low bodyfat and good muscle mass. Best of luck!
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