Hey Larn, this is all great.. but why do I need to know how many calories I should be eating and what do these numbers mean?
So this is a great question and there is a lot of confusion about Calories, Macros, Low carb, Keto, Intermittent Fasting etc.
To fully understand fat loss, maintenance, muscle building and how energy balance effects these, enter your email HERE and I will send you my Energy Balance ebook which takes you through everything you need to know about energy balance.
How to use the calorie calculator and what the numbers mean
The most common goals are body re-composition goals. Either building muscle, losing body fat or a combination.
To achieve your goals as efficiently and healthily as possible you must know your ACTUAL maintenance (through keeping a food journal on Yazio or MyFitnessPal) and what your THEORETICAL maintenance should be based on your gender, age, weight, height and activity level (the number you get from the calorie counter).
A calorie calculator will give you your theoretical BMR and TDEE.
TDEE (Total daily energy expenditure) such as exercise, non-exercise movement, digestion.
BMR (basal metabolic rate) dependent on height, weight, muscle mass, age, gender, dieting history, current eating habits, thyroid health.
This is an important guide as food is not just energy. The purpose of food, is to provide our body with vitamins, minerals, macro and micronutrients. So eating the right amount of food for our health and goals can be compared to our income. Are we earning or saving enough money to be able to achieve the goals we want with the income we have?
To use the Calorie Calculator enter your:
- Current weight
- Current Activity Level
- And choose maintenance (even if your goal is to gain or lose body weight)
- Select Mifflin-St Jeor equation
- Click Calculate and take note of your BMR and TDEE
If your TDEE is similar to what you calculated through tracking your food in your app, then excellent! You are in a great position to start your journey.
If your goal is weight gain, all tracked starting points are fine, we just need to know your exact number to get the ball rolling in the right direction.
If the calculator said you should be eating a lot more (500+ calories) than what you calculated in the app- double-check you calculated everything you ate. It is often that we forget to track oils, a handful of nuts we had as a snack or drinks. These can easily add up to 500+ calories a day. Retrack again and see if you are actually closer to your expected TDEE.
If you really tracked everything but you can see you are massively undereating- so your tracked number is close to your BMR, but your goal is weight loss then you will most likely have to reverse diet first. In many cases, it is not a healthy starting point to diet.
If you are wanting to learn more, get your hormones, weight, energy, sleep, skin and/or digestion on track then click here to learn more about my coaching offers.