If you know you do better with protein, then switch up the percentages for the protein and fat. By now, you've read online about the benefits of tracking your food intake and measuring out portions. Along with regular high-quality training, these four strategies could be enough to help you find that caloric sweet spot that finally ends your frustration. The stomach signals fullness based on the volume of what you consume, not the amount of calories. In an effort to promote fullness, try "preloading" your meal by drinking 12-16 ounces of water 10-15 minutes before you eat. Even when we're dehydrated, our hunger response often overrides the thirst response, and as a result, we experience a strong urge to eat, even if we just ate an hour ago! If you're serious about fat loss, you should already have kicked soda, sweet tea, and creamer to the curb. Using your hand as a consistent portion-control device will help you to efficiently and reliably ration your intake. Use the size of your fist as a guide to portion out high-fiber carbohydrates at your main meals, specifically before and after training. Some staple high-fiber carbohydrates include oats, brown rice, quinoa, and whole-grain bread and tortillas, as well as fruit. A fistful of fruit makes a great addition to snack time or part of a pre- or post-workout meal! Although fruits are rich in an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, keep in mind that they're often higher in calories than vegetables.
For liquid fats such as oils, and spreads, and butters, incorporate two thumb-sized portions 3-4 times per day, preferably not around your training session.
Not only are nutrient-dense options loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, but they're often a great source of fiber, which aids in promoting fullness. If you've been able to achieve great results without counting macros, let us know your secret in the comments! As a personal trainer and online fitness coach, I get tons and tons of questions about everything fitness-related on a daily basis.
Before I get to that, I want to make one thing clear first because I think it’s important for you to know this as a prerequisite.
There are two different ways to do this: one is by doing some basic math (less accurate), and the other is by using a calculator that takes your age, height, weight, gender, activity level, and body fat percentage into consideration (more accurate). If you find the calculator useful, then make sure to click here to get my FREE 5-day Simplify Your Fitness email course to learn how you can speed up your results without ditching your favorite foods or living in the gym. From there, it then shows your target calories that you should consume depending on your goal (-20% calorie deficit for fat loss, and +20% calorie surplus for muscle building). As you probably already know, a change in your body composition — whether it’s fat loss or muscle gain — is mainly dependent on calories.
Why subtract by 20% of your total calories instead of just subtracting a fixed amount like 500 calories, which is what we’ve always been told to do? Your rate of fat loss on a weekly basis will depend on your starting weight and bodyfat percentage. On the other end of the spectrum, you don’t want to go overboard when trying to pack on muscle while on a calorie surplus. When it comes to counting calories for your fitness goals, it’s also important that you are consuming the right amounts of macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fats) for optimal results. You see, there’s difference between eating 2,000 calories worth of Twinkies and 2,000 calories of whole foods and Twinkies. Each gram of protein contains 4 calories, so to figure out how much of your calorie intake is coming from protein, you would multiply your intake in grams by four. This equation will make much more sense when you get to the Summary section below. Each gram of fat contains 9 calories, so to figure out how much of your calorie intake is coming from fats, you would multiply your intake in grams by nine. So here’s an example with our imaginary friend named Rocky who weighs 210lbs, has 20% body fat, and is trying to shed some fat. Final Numbers: In order to lose fat, Rocky should be consuming about 1,900 calories while eating his macro requirements of 135g of protein, 67g of fat, and 190g of carbs.


The key thing to remember when it comes to your diet is to figure out your maintenance calories first.
From there, you will then figure out your protein requirement that you will try to eat every single day. Here's What to Do Now Now that you know how to calculate your calories & macros, get my FREE 5-day Simplify Your Fitness email course to learn how you can speed up your results without ditching your favorite foods or living in the gym. If you are new here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.Powered by WP Greet Box WordPress PluginWhat are macros? And when it comes to macros, people tend to feel very strongly about their beliefs…eat mostly protein, eat mostly carbs, eat mostly fats.
Some people are naturally more muscular, while some people are naturally more lean and thin, so what works for someone else may not work for you…and that’s OKAY! You need to track what you’re eating for a while until you become so accustomed to it that you know what your food looks like on a plate. What works for me may not work for you, so don’t be afraid to experiment with the percentages. Include these 4 strategies to keep the weight falling off without lugging the scale around!
For many people, this switch makes all the difference when it comes to fat loss, but perhaps it just isn't your style. Have you ever noticed you can eat a few more chocolate-covered pretzels without hesitating, but you struggle to finish the last few pieces of broccoli on your plate? For instance, it's well known that by the time you feel thirsty, you're already experiencing some of the nasty consequences associated with dehydration. Slacking on your water intake throughout the day may be the very reason you have an urge to snack every hour on the hour. If you're far below this amount at the moment, don't rush into the above recommended amount.
Water makes for a great calorie-free drink, but if you're like me, it can get a little boring sipping on the flavorless stuff all day. While drinking BCAAs or low-calorie flavorings is a great way to break up the monotony of plain water, you're still consuming some calories. Stick with lean, complete (animal, soy, or quinoa) protein options for most of your meals to ensure you're getting all the essential amino acids necessary for muscle growth and recovery.
Just make sure to time your pre-workout meal at least an hour before you hit the gym so that you have plenty of time to digest the nutrients.
For example, a standard serving of pasta contains roughly 200 calories, whereas a standard serving of spaghetti squash contains 31 calories. Calorie-dense options, such as granola, pasta, and bagels contain few nutrients and little fiber. The ones that I get asked about the most though are: 1) how many calories someone should eat for fat loss or 2) how many calories someone should eat to bulk up.
So when you take a look at nutrition labels, ever notice how there’s always a percent daily value column?
Every individual will have different targets based on things like their height, weight, age, body fat percentage, and current activity level. Here’s a calorie and macro calculator that my team put together to help make your life easier. This is essentially your maintenance calories, the amount of calories YOUR body burns based on the measurements and activity level that you enter in. The only way to lose fat is to be in a calorie deficit (expending more calories than you consume), and the only way to pack on muscle is to be in a calorie surplus (consuming more calories than you expend). If you have a lot of fat to lose, expect to drop about 1-3 pounds of fat every week when on a calorie deficit. A lot of people think that eating more than 20% of calories in addition to your maintenance will speed up results.
Both will help you to lose weight if your maintenance is 2,500 calories, but only the latter might help you to 1) preserve muscle mass and 2) keep your hormones, brain function, and immunity in check.
A common misconception is that only people looking to build muscle should bother to eat an adequate amount of protein per day.


Just like protein, you want to eat a minimum amount on a daily basis for optimal performance. Stored as glycogen in the liver, muscles, and blood, carbs are basically what helps to keep us moving. To figure out how much of your calorie intake is coming from carbs, you would simply eat your remaining number of calories after protein and fat have been added together.
Once you figure that out, you will then adjust your daily calorie intake depending on your goal — eat less calories for fat loss, or eat more to bulk up.
I workout every day and I also do weight training 3 times a week and HIIT cardio 3 times a week. As long as you are eating the right amount of calories and coming close to your percentages, you are doing great! If you can do that to start, I consider that a huge win and one that you’ll feel better for. MY PHOTOS ARE COPYRIGHTED AND THEY ARE NOT TO BE CHANGED OR ALTERED IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM WITHOUT MY CONSENT. And if you're not going to be strategic about macros, you're going to have to be doubly committed to other approaches every day. Well, your cooking might be to blame, but so is this: The broccoli is over 95 percent water. This will give your body a head start on feeling full and help to reduce your intake of calories. Be sure to keep water a consistent staple throughout your day—every day—or it won't work!
These simple sweet additions have a major impact on your total calorie intake, and once they become part of your regular rotation, it's easy to order or drink them without even realizing it. Also, choosing a lean protein can help promote fullness without using up too many calories. An additional fistful of veggies is a much better alternative to the calorie-packed cookies or chips in your pantry. If you choose canned fruit, make sure the fruit is canned in water rather than a sugary syrup. If you opt for spaghetti squash rather than a hearty pasta dinner five nights per week, you'll end up consuming 845 fewer calories, which will make a major difference!
Well, the only thing that’s actually going to do is speed up fat gain on top of building muscle. As a volume counter, your stomach responds to the increased fluid intake from the broccoli to a much greater degree than the crushed-up crumbs of the pretzels.
For instance, relying on BCAAs all day could supply you with up to 100 additional calories.
Keep in mind that potatoes, peas, and corn are starchy vegetables that are higher in calories than many other vegetables. Also, incorporate dried fruit sparingly, as it is much more calorie-dense than fresh or frozen options. American College of Sports Medicine Roundtable on Hydration and Physical Activity: Consensus Statements. When trying to shed fat, eating an adequate amount of protein is very crucial for appetite control. Therefore, to maintain and grow my muscle, I need to eat a higher percentage of protein and carbs.
Protein also helps to boost metabolism because it requires more energy than the other macros to digest. But someone who is naturally muscular may need to decrease their carbs and increase their healthy fats. Low-calorie veggies include broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, squash, zucchini, spinach, kale, and peppers.



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