Now that we are committed to eating healthy food, the next question is “How much food will we eat each day?” It’s time to pull out the calorie and macronutrient numbers you came up by using the online calculators with in Lesson 7. We are going to review how those online calculators come up with the numbers they give us. At the end of this lesson, you will be ready to commit to calorie and nutrient goals and create a meal plan (resources below).
BMR, TDEE and Calorie Deficit
Today, We will review our BMR, TDEE and Calorie Deficit. Everyday your body burns a specific number of calories at rest. This is known as your Basal Metabolic Rate. The BMR equation gives you an estimate based on weight, height and age. When you expend energy through physical activity and exercise, you burn additional calories. When you combine your BMR with the calories you burn through physical activity, that adds up to your Total Daily Energy Expenditure. These numbers are awesome tools for anyone who wants to gain muscle, burn fat and lose weight. TDEE is also known as your “Maintenance Calories”. The concept is that if you eat this amount of calories you will maintain your weight (as long as all of the other variables stay the same) We want to be under this number to create a calorie deficit for weight loss.
For example, if your maintenance calories/TDEE is 2000 calories and you want a deficit of 500 calories for weight loss (300-500 calories is a very common deduction), then your daily calorie goal would be 1500 calories. Breaking your calories down into Macros/Macronutrients, carbs, fats and protein, can make a huge difference when it comes to weight loss. There are 9 calories in each gram of fat. There are 4 calories in each gram of protein or carbs.
Example: Let’s say you are eating 1500 calories per day and you want to eat 40% protein, 35% carbs and 25% fat.
1500 x .40 = 600 calories = 150 grams of protein
1500 x. 35 = 525 calories = 131.5 grams of carbohydrates
1500 x .25 = 375 calories = 41.66 grams of fat
If you want to reduce your carb intake or make sure that you are eating enough protein and carbs to build muscle, these numbers are very valuable.
Note: Understand that these numbers are estimates and your individual metabolism does play a factor in how many calories are actually burned each day. These numbers also don’t factor in things like diabetes, PCOS, hormone imbalances, etc. See a dietitian or nutritionist for specific nutrition advice and a custom meal plan.
Meal Planning Made Simple
In your meal plan you will break down your calorie and nutrient goals into goals for your daily meals and snacks. Example: If you plan to eat 3 meals a day, you could review these ratios as well and break your meals into 400 calories per meal with two 150 calories snacks = 1500 calories. You can break your meal planning down by your nutrient ratios as well.
Tip and Tools
This is where using recipes where calories and nutrients are listed is very important. You can start with these websites that list calories and nutritional information…
Eat This Much is my secret weapon for meal planning. You can put in the foods or ingredients you plan to eat in your meal plan and map out calories, nutrients, grams of sugar, etc. I also use My Fitness Pal and the Recipe Planner found on Caloriecount.com.