WANT TO LOSE OR GAIN WEIGHT: READ THIS!!!

71 posts | Original | Recent
 
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1655 Posts
Feb 18, 2015 5:03pm

Here's a bit of science for those wanting to really know how to calculate their daily calories to either maintain their weight, lose weight, or bulk up.

STEP ONE is to calculate the total number of calories you burn up every day, aso know as TOTAL DAILY ENERGY EXPENDITURE (TDEE). This is also known as your "maintenance level". Once you know your TDEE you have a starting point depending on what you want to do.

A more acurate method of calculating TDEE is to determine your BASIC METABOLIC RATE (BMR)

Here's the science!!

*MEN: BMR = 66 + (13.7 x weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) - (6.8 x age in years)

WOMEN: 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) - (4.7 x age in years)

EXAMPLE (ME!!):

Male

39 years old

6 foot 1ins (185.4cm)

weight is 209.2lbs (94.8kg)

MY BMR = 66 + 1298 + 927 - 265 = 2026 calories per day

Once you knw your BMR, you can calculate your TDEE by multiplying your BMR by the following factor:

Sedentary = BMR x 1.2 (little or no exercise, desk job)

Lightly active = BMR x 1.375 (light exercise/sports 1-3 day per week)

Moderately active = BMR x 1.55 (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days per week)

Very active = BMR x 1.725 (hard exercise/sports 6-7 per week)

Extremely active = BMR x 1.9 (hard daily exercise/sports & physical job)

EXAMPLE (me again!)

My BMR is 2026, and I'd class myself as moderately active so my activity factor is 1.55

My TDEE = 1.55 x 2026 = 3140

Once you have this information you can begin to calculate how many calories you need to eat each day as follows:

To maintain my current weight = 3140 calories per day

To lose weight = 2826 calories (based on a 10% drop)

To bulk up = 3454 calories (based on a 10% increase)

The more weight you want to lose or bulk the higher the percentage you lose... BUT... Most reputable trainers would recommend no more than around a 20% change to ensure you can stick to the program. Any more than that and you'll begin to feel like you are (a) starving yourself or (b) gonna explode!

I hope this helps those of you who either want to take fitness seriously, want to understand why you are not losing or gaining weight or just like nerdy stuff like this!!

keep skimbling,

Scotty K

*Based on the Harris-Benedict formula - This equation is very accurate in all but the extremely muscular or the extremely overweight

18 Feb
Dude I thought you hate maths? Lol
18 Feb
I hate doing math.. I'm pretty good at it though : )
18 Feb
Hahahaha of course you are lol
18 Feb
Known, yet nicely presented. Thx Scotty
18 Feb
Thanks Matthias & you're welcome : )
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1655 Posts
Feb 18, 2015 5:19pm

Once you've calculated your numbers, in order to keep losing weight or bulking you simply see how much you weigh and do the calculation again at the beginning of each week.

Using an app like myfitnesspal will help you track the calories. Just change the numbers on the app to suit your calculations.

 

18 Feb
Myfitnesspal is great application ...always thank you Skotty ... you are very inspiring
18 Feb
Hi Rubi, yeah Myfitnesspal is awesome for tracking calories but the numbers it recommends you stick to are a bit too generic so I thought I'd share some of the stuff I use when I really wanna knuckle down and get in shape : )
18 Feb
Yes your right ... I love this calculation ...really thanks for sharing ...
18 Feb
you're welcome Rubi & I hope you are well
28 Jul
Great info. It gives me a better vision for what my goal should be.
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382 Posts
Feb 18, 2015 5:36pm
via Android

Hmm, using this calculation I get the same numbers for losing weight (TDEE minus 20%) that Myfitnesspal gives me for maintaining my weight.

Apart from that, thanks for yet another great post to refer to!

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1655 Posts
Feb 18, 2015 6:43pm
via iOS
Hi Anna, thanks & yeah I had kind of the same results with fitnesspal but it had me eating too much fats/carbs. 

I've checked the calculations against other methods & the results have been within 100 cals of each other. There's another calculation which involve using your bodyfat calculation as well but I won't be using that until April after I've shredded down a little.

I just wanted to share this with people who have been asking how to lose/bulk up. Hopefully it won't get lost amongst the topics asking people for their snapch8t details!! 
18 Feb
I'm gonna refer to this post EVERY time someone asks about calories! Did you know btw that you can alter the percentages of protein, fat etc in fitnesspal to suit your chosen diet.
18 Feb
That's sweet Anna, thanks. Yeah I'm currently using fitnesspal to track down my calories. I'm on 3200 cals atm and a percentage split of 51% carbs, 35% protein and 14% fats. That'll change in March when I start to get Summer ready : )
19 Feb
Your next post could be on carb-protein-fat ratio! There are so many different opinions on what's "right" but it would be interesting reading your take on it.
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1655 Posts
Feb 19, 2015 1:45pm
via iOS
I actually do have an opinion in the protein-carb-fats ratio Anna 

My thoughts are.... It all depends on how self-disciplined you are & whether you are going to accept feeling crappy to look good!! 

If you cut your carbs down you are going to feel weak & lethargic but your body will cut in more rapidly. If you keep your carbs around 40-50% you'll have more energy but look a little 'fluffier'. You look your best when you feel your worst. 

This month my carbs have been at 50%, by the end of March they'll be at 20% & I'll feel crappy but I'll have cut in. 

So... If you've got an iron will cut your carbs down to 20-30% but accept you're gonna feel like shit. If not, keep them at a decent level but do more cardio 
19 Feb
Yeah I kind of have to re-learn everything I believe in diet-wise now, since low carb/high fat apparently doesn't cut it when doing weight training. There are some Nordic athletes promoting low carb, paleo and such, but they're in endurance sports like long-distance skiing and triathlon. Maybe the explosiveness of weight training craves more carbs, idk. On a low to moderate activity level I don't feel lethargic at all eating low carb but now I'm as you know hungry all the time. Also I guess while shredding you don't replace carbs with fat, which should explain the lethargic state.
19 Feb
I've found that once I've established the calories I will be eating, as long as it's high in protein say 40-50%, it doesn't really matter what the carb/fats split is as long as I'm getting a mix. I do know that I can't maintain a low-carb diet plan if I'm lifting weights and doing HIIT though. It wipes you out!
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1655 Posts
Feb 19, 2015 8:12pm

Putting this back in the active topics as there are a lot of posts on losing weight/gaining weight again.

being healthy is made up of 3 main parts in my view:

(1) MENTAL - If you aren't 100% committed to being healthy you'll fail. SIMPLE. You might lose a bt of weight eating cabbage soup or fasting until you wanna gnaw you're own arm off. You might melt a bit of body fat if you run on the treadmill for a few weeks, but you'll gain it back while your gym pass gathers dust.

Sort your head out!! If you're not 100% committed to something you'll fail, and that's ok, we all fail at something. but accept that if you haven't sorted your head out with regards to being healthy you'll never get the body you want

(2) NUTRITION - I'll say this twice.... Eating healthy is far more important than working out... EATING HEALTHY IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN WORKING OUT - if you don't eat healthy at least 80% of the time, you're are wasting your time. Simple.

(3) WORKING OUT - Sweat dammit!! If you wanna lose weight you should be dripping after every workout. Not lightly dabbing your face with a wet wipe, I mean "holy shit! Did you fall in the river?!" wet. If you're trying to gain weight and bulk up SEE POINT (2)!! You've gotta eat. A lot. I mean, a lot! Try eating 4000 clean, healthy calories like I did this month. It's hard!! 'Dirty' bulking is easy. Anyone can eat 4000 calories at McDonalds.. To gain weight the healthy way is TOUGH.. see point (1)!!!

 

It's the circle of life! Nothing is easy. That's why you feel superhuman when you've achieved something worth achieving.

Why am I ranting?!?! Coz believe it or not, I actually care. I want to stop seeing posts about people needing 'motivation', I want to see posts from people telling me how great it feels to have lost weight and thanking others for helping them on here. I want to see ideas for healthy recipes, workout ideas, success stories, again and again and again!!!

(And for those that know me on here.. "NO" I'm not hungry!)

19 Feb
the most I've fasted is one day and I hated it! Seriously, why do it?? You'll lose weight sure, but you're body isn't designed to starve so you'll be weak and pathetic. Give me a body that looks like it could tear shit up any day and I'll gladly accept being a little heavier!! (maybe I'm a little bit hungry!)
19 Feb
19 Feb
Working on it!
07 Apr
hi scotty.im giing to try this myself, i was about to ask u , but i goyta try and learn this stuff.love all your posts!
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8 Posts
Mar 3, 2015 11:38pm
via Android

Ok so im not sure im my maths is severely off track or if im actually just doing really shit at my calorie intake. My BMR:
655 + 518 + 273 - 94 = 1,352

TDEE:
1,352 + 1.55 = 2095

Now to loose weight i would need a 10% drop = 1,885 cals

And my current cal intake is average of 1,300 which works out to be 62% less than my TDEE?

I currently am burning about 500 cals a day with a 50 minute workout and 1.5 hour of physcial work in my job.

- should i be working to increase my intake so its not 62% less than i need?
- in relation to my intake is there a percentage or guideline on how many cals i should burn a day?
- the 1300 cals average for my intake is a well balanced and healthy diet eating 3 meals and 2 light snacks a day.

Thanks in advance for any help cause as a begginner this is getting so confusing. in the past i went with the "if i eat healthy and do moderate exercise i will be healthy" attitude but apparently this is really not true when i bother to work it all out.

04 Mar
Hi Vanessa, message me your height/weight/age and I'll check the math & come back to you
04 Mar
Hi Vanessa, I'll help you out today after I've woken up a bit
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1655 Posts
Mar 4, 2015 6:22pm

Hi Vanessa,

Your calculations are correct & you're not the only one to be surprised at the figures that this method come out with. It's a tricky one to explain but here's my best shot!

My wife and I have fully researched this method of calculating calories for people who workout. Put simply, your body has a "sweet spot" - A calorie level that will result in you losing body fat as if it's melting away if combined with the correct macro ratios (protein/carbs/fats).

- If you eat too much and your macros are outta whack you'll either pack on weight regardless of whether you are working out or not, or you'll not lose weight

- if you eat too little your body can hold on to any little scrap of fat/carbs/protein it can get it's gruby little fingers on and again you'll either not lose weight or you might even gain! (Weird eh?!!?!)

- Hit that "sweet spot" though where you've got the calorie level right, and the macros correct, and you'll find over time that you can manipulate your weight either by adjusting your TDEE up or down, or by training more depending on your preference. I'm putting this to the test right now by doing both > training harder & dropping my TDEE by 15% this week, then 5% a week for the following 3 weeks. I've lost 5lbs since Friday.

If you wanna look at some seriously crazy stuff check out a guy called Timbawolf on google/youtube - He combines the TDEE/Macro method but eats an unbelievable amount of junk food!!! Because he's on his "sweet spot" the guy is insanely shredded!!! When I have a cheat meal I work to the same method, eat what I like but make sure the macros/calories are correct.

(Personally I don't wanna do that coz I feel gross after junk food... But it's INSANE!!!)

((**Disclaimer** I'm not promoting that people work out their sweet spot and start gorging on McDonalds!!))

I was in the "I need to eat less to lose weight" camp for long time but I now find that I can manipulate my weight with ease & I'd strongly recommend to anyone wanting to improve the way they look and lose weight in a healthy way to try this for at least 2 months.

05 Mar
Jesus H Christ, Gump...you're a g***amn genius.
05 Mar
Hi DJ, I had to google "Gump" and it said "Baltimore and DC slang for a Weak, Spineless, Soft person".... Bit harsh?!?!
05 Mar
No no no! Wrong reference my friend, google/YouTube " Forrest Gump genius " it's an army scene in the movie. when is drill sergeant asked him why he performed a task so fast his reply was "because you told me to" to which the drill sergent responded with " Jesus H Christ Gump! ...you're a goddamned genius!" Sorry for the confusion lol
05 Mar
Or something like that hahah
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49 Posts
Mar 4, 2015 8:57pm
via Android

I will try this when I get home after work.
Seriously, I eat, eat, eat, and eat and i never seem to go past 110 pounds, and for my height 5'3", im at my lowest limit i think
and now that i work out i'm sure I will need more calories. I love food but it is tough to gain weight. :/
The one thing I find hard to keep track of is the calories for homemade food since I can't really count the calories for stuff I make at home. For that reason, I usually give up on tracking my calorie intake.. :/

04 Mar
Good luck with it. I'm 6ft 1ins and was 200lbs, to bulk I had to eat 4060 calories which is a LOT of food when not eating crap! I gained 11lbs over 3 weeks before I decided I'd had enough
21 Mar
Thank you. After taking so long, I finally calculated my TDEE which is 2,113 calories; So, if I'm trying to gain weight by 10% based off my current weight, then I guess I need to consume around 2324 calories daily. The only way I may be able to do this is to eat 4 smaller daily meals instead of 3 regular meals since I always feel like I get full very quick...Once I have more time, probably after this school semester ends, I'll take my time to learn about the macros and how to approach them..
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22 Posts
Mar 4, 2015 9:21pm
via Android

Thank you for this post! I have been slowly gaining weight. I use a estimated calorie counter for workouts and food consumption and I make sure to eat just above my workout. I forgot to take into account my metabolism. Also, the science and equation helps. Here's to quicker results! :)

04 Mar
You're welcome Joseph & good luck with it. Getting the percentages right is half the battle so make sure you're getting a good mix of macros. If you nail the amount of protein you should have you'll begin to see some results fast
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1655 Posts
Mar 5, 2015 5:25pm

A BIT MORE SCIENCE!!!

Once you've calculated the optimum calorie level you should be hitting to manipulate your weight the next VERY important step is to calculate your MACROS (the percentage split of protein/carbs/fats).

This is where it begins to get a little more interesting as there are different theories on the split that is the most effective.

Here are the percentages I believe in (ME, and I'm just an ordinary guy who has tried these numbers out and they have worked for me)

BULKING (to put weight on) - 30/50/20 - 30% protein, 50% carbs, 20% fats

SHREDDING (to lose weight but not lose muscle) - 50/30-35/20-15

MAINTAINING (just stay the way you are but healthy) - 40/40/20

 

After this you can begin to mix it up a little as you find out what your body reacts to the best...

EXAMPLE

I've found over the last few months that my body reacts best to a 'CARB SLIDE' method of losing weight when I'm SHREDDING.

I begin my week on a split of 50% protein, 35% carbs, 15% fats. As each day passes I drop my carbs by 5% a day until I get down to 20%. My fats increase by 5% each day to compensate and the protein remains the same. I stack my carbs up in the morning and straight after my gym workout.

Hope this helps some of you trying to figure out how to lose or gain weight and are stuck at the minute. It's a starting point to try to help you better understand what works for you.

05 Mar
This is exactly how I do mine! It's a number game right now with my carbs! I have dropped it by 5% and it seems not to bad for me! I think being celiac helps! LOL 50/25/25
06 Mar
That's what I'm on today and I'll drop down to 20% tomorrow. It makes me lethargic as the week goes by but I only intend on doing it for 4 weeks every couple of months.. Things are going well so far, I'm insanely sore but I'm stripping bodyfat at a good pace.
05 May
Ahh-ha! This might explain why I'm in a plateau for 2 weeks now. Rather frustrating and my calories are well under my shred requirements...but it must be some of the carbs I've snuck in! I'm adjusting the macro's in the calorie counter now! Will see how that goes. Thanks Scotty!
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1655 Posts
Mar 15, 2015 6:31am
via iOS
Bumping this back up
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459 Posts
Apr 18, 2015 12:08am
via Android

Bumping this again.

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49 Posts
Apr 19, 2015 3:38pm
via Android

Question..Once I know my TDEE, that already includes all calories I burn when working out right? So I do not have to add my workout calories on top of my TDEE?

19 Apr
Hi Ricardo, this method takes into account the calories you burning when working out so there is no need to "eat back" and calories burnt when training
19 Apr
Awesome. Ima try to start doing this today. For now I'll just be trying to hit my calories needed and then i will start working on my macros. Its my only way to do this so it does not feel like a chore and fail within days.
19 Apr
I you're gonna do it that way just try to make protein the largest part of each meal & fats the lowest. Good luck with it
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342 Posts
Apr 19, 2015 5:29pm
via Android

Bump this back up!

19 Apr
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215 Posts
Apr 19, 2015 6:34pm
via Android

May I link this and the one about ectomorph/endomorph to my health blog here in forum Scotty?

23 Apr
Oh! Now nice found the question you were asking Heiko!! Lol. Of course, we all share ideas at the skimble gym!!
23 Apr
lol it's ok Scotty:)
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1655 Posts
Apr 23, 2015 2:24pm
via iOS
Bumping this back up to explain something......

I've been getting asked "why am I not losing any more weight?" using this method from some who have used it, lost weight, but have plateaued and aren't losing any more.

The answer is simple 

When you calculate your calories it is based on your weight a that point.
If you lose weight that week you have to calculate your calories again to get your new calorie numbers. Every weekend you need to do this until you get down to your desired weight. 

Example
Say I start at 210lbs & my calories are 2900.
After the firs week I'm down to 207lbs - I recalculate my numbers and I now need to have 2750 calories to keep losing weight.....
The following week I'm 205lbs and need to drop to 2600 etc etc etc until I get to my 200lb target

Hope that helps 
23 Apr
This is good..
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5 Posts
Apr 23, 2015 3:06pm
via Android

Man this is great Scott, so helpful! Thanks brother.

23 Apr
No worries man : )
23 Apr
This is nice!
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1655 Posts
Apr 27, 2015 8:52pm
via iOS
Bumping up to help Jason with his questions
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34 Posts
Apr 28, 2015 1:48am
via Android

Another question answered!  I know why I'm so dang tired and drained :/ I don't really count my calories or carbs (which I will be from now on) but I cut carbs almost completely out of my diet.  I'm not really losing though. But thanks to this I have a really good idea of what I need to do now.  I was absolutely clueless.  Awesome sauce!

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214 Posts
Apr 28, 2015 11:18am
via Android

Up!

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134 Posts
Apr 29, 2015 1:02am
via Android

Wow this has answered alot of questions for me. If I did my math right I am a little off with my diet. Well alot off!  Now I know what I need to do. Thank u!

29 Apr
So pleased you said that before I had to respond to your comment on my other topic ; p Most people don't realize how fat they're off though. Gotta be careful with those hidden calories and fats/carbs - damn fruit & nuts!
29 Apr
Yea I'm shocked I need to make some changes. I am not eating nearly as much as I need and and definitely not the right choices when I do eat. That is more then likely why I feel tired in the afternoon. U are truly amazing and I don't know if u realize how much u have helped me! Thank u thank u thank u!!!
29 Apr
Hahaha you're very very welcome : )
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5 Posts
Apr 30, 2015 3:03am
via Android

So if I did this right my TDEE is 2507

Is 1950 calories a day ok?  I have been aiming for that for 2 weeks now and am losing weight...about 6lbs so far.

30 Apr
10% drop would be 2256...should I add in those 300 calories or dont worry about it
30 Apr
The percentage drop is more about how well you can handle your cravings etc... If you can handle them then a 20% drop is manageable. You just have to make sure you get your macros right so you're getting the nutrition needed
30 Apr
My macros are all over the place right now. I was just trying to get my calories down...pretty easy without all the junk. Just trying to eat clean and in small portions
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342 Posts
Apr 30, 2015 1:39pm
via Android

Bumped up!

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214 Posts
May 2, 2015 10:50am
via Android

I think the community needs a FAQ section or something where topics like this one could be easily accessible.

02 May
We'd still get the stupid stuff anyway
02 May
Yes we will Scotty. Though maybe a FAQ only about weight, muscles and fat would reduce it.
02 May
I agree but maybe at least a few would end up reading something helpful before asking always the same questions
07 May
Agreed and agreed
26 Aug
Thank you, Scotty, for posting this. I learned this calculation in fitness class years ago and had forgotten how it works. I've been looking for this on the web for a while and couldn't find it. Been trying to figure out why my 1350 cal intake isn't helping me get the weight off. This is probably the key...

 

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