At Lincoln Nutrition & Fitness we have many clients get fixated on consuming calories. They are interested to know if they are eating too many, not enough, if they should be tracking them, etc.
Simply, calories are energy and necessary to sustain life. You have to eat them. HOWEVER, the quality of the calories you’re consuming matters the most. Clients consuming calories from sugar and processed foods are more likely to store body fat compared to clients eating the same number of calories of whole foods.
The real issue is the quality of calories being consumed, not necessarily the amount.
Our primary focus is getting our clients to improve food quality then calories tend to fall into place.
However, there are two scenarios where it is necessary to track calories.
Scenario 1 – If you are starting at an unhealthy body composition level.
Scenario 2 – If you need to gain weight for health purposes or athletic performance.
In both scenarios, it’s important to know how many calories you’re consuming as a BASELINE only..
To determine total daily caloric needs, multiply your base metabolic rate by the appropriate activity factor, as follows:
Calculate BASE METABOLIC RATE by using this formula:
Men: (4.536 x weight in lbs) + (15.88 x height in inches) – (5 x age in years) + 5
Women: (4.536 x weight in lbs) + (15.88 x height in inches) – (5 x age in years) – 161
Then, determine your LIFESTYLE ACTIVITY and calculate the number of calories you should consume:
If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) : BMR x 1.2 = Daily Caloric Intake
If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : BMR x 1.375 = Daily Caloric Intake
If you are moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 4-5 days/week): BMR x 1.55 = Daily Caloric Intake
If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/week): BMR x 1.725 = Daily Caloric Intake
Once you know how many calories you need to consume, use an app to track your calories for a BASELINE.
Initially, you don’t need to change anything with your diet. You need to know what you were consuming before you can make changes.
After a week of tracking, begin making changes to your diet. The goal is to replace any processed foods with whole foods (vegetables, lean meats, fruits and nuts & seeds). You’ll find you can eat more quantities of food, feel satiated and have more energy!
After you know what you’re intake for calories and have established your eating habits you no longer need to track your calories.
If you’re unsure on where you need to start, our nutrition staff is here to help you. Book a free consultation or goal session with one of our coaches here: BOOK A FREE CONSULTATION
Our personal trainers and group coaches value lifting weights, and using multi-jointed, functional exercises performed at high intensity. You don’t have to guess what to do!
COACH PHIL KNIEP – Owner & CEO of Lincoln Nutrition & Fitness
Precision Nutrition L1 Coach
CrossFit Level 3 Trainer