How Do I Calculate Caloric Needs Based On My Goal (gain/loss/maintain)?
Listen, figuring out how many calories a day you need to lose weight, maintain your weight or gain weight really isn’t too hard. And with the formula I’m about to give you plus a very cool website, you can easily track where you are and what you need to do daily to reach your goals. So lets’ begin!
IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE YOU ARE, THEN LOSING, MAINTAINING OR GAINING WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE!
Take your current body weight in pounds (lbs) and multiply by 11.
Example: 194 lbs x 11 = 2134 calories
This is what I need to just keep what I have, without moving. But remember, you do move. So you have to then calculate your metabolic factors into this… so off to step 2…
Figure out your metabolic factor according to the table below.
But first, some definitions to help you determine where you might fit in:
Slow Metabolism: You basically look at food and you seem to put on pounds. You can gain weight by eating salads but it’s difficult to lose the weight.
Moderator Metabolism: You can gain weight if you try. You can lose weight if you try. You really don’t have trouble losing weight depending on what you want to do.
Fast Metabolism: You are the skinny guy or gal who can eat *ANYTHING* and it makes no difference. Gaining weight is difficult. Losing weight can happen overnight. Just by watching T.V. you seem to shed pounds.
Under 30 years old
Slow Metabolism- 30%
Moderate Metabolism- 40%
Fast Metabolism- 50%
30-40 years old
Slow Metabolism- 25%
Moderate Metabolism- 35%
Fast Metabolism- 45%
Over 40 years old
Slow Metabolism- 20%
Moderate Metabolism- 30%
Fast Metabolism- 40%
Example: 2134 calories x 35% = 746.90
I took my calories needed above just to sit here and not move and multipled it by my metabolic factor and I find that I need an additional 746.90 calories because of my specific metabolism.
Put it together.
2134 + 746.90 = 2880.90 calories
I need 2,880.90 calories to maintain my current weight with my current activities.
Note: You can also adjust your metabolic factor if you do something that might take you to the next level. If you are a moderator metabolism person but you do distance running, it might make more sense to put your self in the fast category since you burn a lot more calories.
Now change the above with about 500 calories every day to reach your goals!
Lose Weight: I would take 2880.90 – 500 = 2380.90
Maintain Weight: I would just leave it at 2880.90 and continue what I was doing in my activities
Gain Weight: I would take 2880.90 + 500 = 3380.90
Note: 500 calories a day is just a general term everybody uses to say that adding this amount is within safe limits. Eat too much, and you end up storing fat. Cut too many calories and your body just goes into starvation mode and ends up retaining more fat. 500 is a safe, recommended guideline.
You must track what you are eating so you’ll know if you’ve made your goal for the day. And tracking food does not have to be complicated with weights and scales.
It's a shame that so many people just start training and never figure out what they need to eat daily to reach their goals.
You can keep doing the math over and over as you reach a goal. If you are bulking, your requirements will change as you progress. And when you lose weight they will as well. You might want to lose weight, reach a target weight and then maintain. So you will do this formula again when you have hit the weight you want.
Marc David is a bodybuilder and author of the, Beginner's Guide to Fitness and Bodybuilding. You can get info on Marc's e-book at: Beginning Bodybuilding. To get Marc's free e-zine, visit JustAskMarc.com