Calories and Carbohydrate Levels
When you've established your basic structure, you need to set the food intake appropriately. The first thing to do is calculate your daily energy expenditure: the amount of energy (in calories) you use each day. This baseline figure will be used to set caloric and nutrient intake during the various types of days.
• First Step: Calculating Your Basal Metabolic Rate
Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) simply means the amount of energy used by your body during a 24-hour period if no activity is performed. In other words, if you're inactive for 24-hours straight, you'd still "burn" the amount of calories equivalent to your BMR.
Your BMR is a function of your size, sex, and age. It's also influenced by your metabolic status (hypo or hyperthyroid state for example). We can calculate BMR with the following formulas (by Harris-Benedict):
BMR = 66 + (13.7 x weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) - (6.8 x age)
So for a 30 year old bodybuilder of 220lbs (100kg) at 5'11" (178cm) it comes up to:
BMR = 66 + (13.7 x 100kg) + (5 x 178cm) – (6.8 x 30)
BMR = 2122 calories per day
BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.7 x height in cm) - (4.7 x age)
So for a 28 year old figure girl of 132lbs (60kg) at 5'6" (165cm) it comes up to:
BMR = 655 + (9.6 x 60kg) + (1.7 x 165cm) – (4.7 x 28)
BMR = 1380 calories per day
• Second Step: Factoring in activity level
The amount of calories found using the **Harris-Benedict formula ** is what your body burns every day, even if you do nothing all day. Obviously, the more active you are the more you'll burn fuel. So, energy expenditure will be increased when your activity level goes up.
To get an adequate estimation you need to multiply your BMR by an activity level factor:
Activity level factor
Very light activity: 1.2
Light activity: 1.4
Moderate activity: 1.6
High activity: 1.8
Extreme activity: 2.0
• By sedentary we mean doing nothing all day (sleeping and watching TV).
• By very light activity we mean doing nothing physical. Working a desk job or on a computer and not performing any type of physical activity during your day.
• By light activity we mean having a non-physical job (desk, computer, etc.) but performing some sort of physical activity during the day (e.g. above average walking) but no hard training.
• By moderate activity we mean having a non-physical job, performing some sort of physical activity during the day, and including a daily workout session in your routine. This is where most of you are at.
• By high activity we mean either training plus a physical job or non-physical job and twice-a-day training sessions.
• By extreme activity we mean a very physical job and daily hard training.
So if our 220 pound bodybuilder with a BMR of 2122 calories/day is moderately active, his daily energy expenditure is bumped up to 2122 x 1.6 = 3395 calories per day. This is the amount of food to consume to maintain present body weight. ** YOU HAVE TO CALCULATE YOUR OWN BMR... this is an example only! ** You can also use the calculators on the following website:
• Third Step: Adjusting caloric intake to your goal
Note that depending on your body type and metabolism, you may need to adjust these figures. Ectomorphs:
* Definitive "Hard Gainer"
* Delicate Built Body
* Flat Chest
* Lightly Muscled
* Small Shouldered
* Takes Longer to Gain Muscle
... will need to increase caloric intake more than 20% to gain muscle maximally (around 30% is best for them) and they should decrease it less when trying to lose fat (by 10% instead of 20%).
* Naturally high levels of body fat (often overweight)
* Usually large boned, large joints, large frame (but not always, I am smalled boned)
* Short, tapering arms and legs
* Smooth, round body contours (round or pear shaped body)
* Wide waist and hips
* Waist dominates over chest
* Tendency to always store excess calories as fat (can’t get away with overeating)
* Keeping fat off after it is lost is a challenge
* Tendency to be sluggish, slow moving and lacking energy (... not for me)
* Slow thyroid or other hormone imbalance (sometimes)
* Fairly good strength levels
* Sensitive to carbohydrates (carbs are easily stored as fat) (YES)
* Responds better to diets with higher protein and low (or moderate) carbs
* Naturally slow metabolic rate/low set point (fewer calories burned at rest)
* A lot of cardio is necessary to lose weight and body fat
* Extremely difficult to lose weight (requires great effort)
* Bouts of fatigue and tiredness
* Often describe themselves as having a "slow metabolism"
* Tendency to gain fat easily as soon as exercise is stopped
* Tendency to lose fat slowly, even on a "clean," low fat, low calorie diet.
* Often overweight, even though they don't eat very much
* Respond best to frequent, even daily, training
... should only increase by 10% when trying to gain size, ** but lowering it by 20% is adequate for them when trying to lose fat.
Next: Adjusting intake as the diet goes along & Meal Breakdown