If you look around at the most successful things in life, they all have one thing in common.... they have a system. What exactly do I mean by a system? I mean a proven method that takes the guesswork and thinking out of the equation. Something, that if practiced, may be used for the rest of your life.
When I first started writing meal plans for people, the ones that followed the plan.... always lost weight. However, for some, they weren't able to follow the plan specifically. So, of course this meant...no results.
Eventually, however, it occurred to me that my own form of eating was nothing more than a system. It was a system that had proven results, but like any system, it could be adapted to each client, based on their needs.
My rules for nutritional importance are always the same, and they always follow a specific order. While this plan is flexible and may be suited to fit your needs, the rules are to be adhered to in the order that they appear.
1-Calories are King- I don't care how many crunches or power walks you do, if you're not in a caloric deficit, you're not going to lose weight. And at the same time if you're trying to gain muscle, regardless of the amount of bicep curl drop sets you do, you'll have to be in a caloric surplus.
The formula we use is a simple 3 step process:
Conversions: Weight in kg= weight in lbs/ 2.2 Height in cm= Height in inches/2.54
A) Calculate your BMR-The amount of calories required to sustain your current weight while in a sedentary state.
Men: BMR= 66 + (13.75 x weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) - (6.75 x age in years)
Women: BMR= 665 + (9.5 x weight in kg) + (1.84 x Height in cm) - (4.67 x age in years)
A) Calculate your TDEE (Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure)
TDEE- is the amount of calories to sustain your current weight based on your current activity level.
For this calculation, and based on real life experience of working one on one with hundreds of clients, I have a different "activity multiplier" than the typical online calculators.
TDEE: Multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity multiplier:
BMR x 1.1 (very sedentary lifestyle)
BMR x 1.2 (Leisurely walking for 30+ minutes 3-4 days per week/ golfing, house chores)
BMR x 1.35 (Active- Strength training 3 days per week or Circuit training 4 days per week for 30-45 min)
BMR x 1.5 (Very Active individuals Strength training 4-5 days per week and or Cardio for 45-60 minutes per session)
BMR x 1.7 (Extremely active, Super high metabolism- endurance training, heavy intense strength training 6-7 days per week)
My example: I am a 6'2", 208 lb, 38 year old male who is very active. My BMR is 2042 and I would multiply it by 1.5 = 3063 for my TDEE
Next, I would choose my goal. Am I aiming for Fat Loss? Am I trying to build muscle? These will offer two different paths. Remember the Golden Rule- The quickest way to look like you put on 10 pounds of muscle is to lose 10 pounds of fat.
Fat Loss= I will subtract 25% from my TDEE. My TDEE 3063 x .20= 765.
3063-765= 2298 for my daily caloric intake
Muscle Gain= I would add 20% to my TDEE. 3063 + 612= 3675
Now that we know our calories, its on to our macro requirements, which brings me to nutritional importance rule #2.
2) Macro nutrients are different for different people
Before we move forward, let's establish the different macros and their value:
Carbohydrates- 4 calories per gram Fats- 9 calories per gram Proteins- 4 calories per gram
Macro nutrients refer to the recommended carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for each individual.
Different people have different macro requirements, but everyone can work from a fixed protein dose of 1.5-2.5g per KG of bodyweight, whether you looking to add muscle or drop body fat.
Food isn't simple though, as most foods contain fats, carbs, and protein to varying degrees. So if you add something that is primarily carb based like oats, there will also be protein and fats included. All of these totals must be included to determine the macros you are hitting.
If Muscle building is the goal, then aim to top off your calories with carbs and fats in the following ratios:
On Weight training days use a 70% carbs and 30% fats with your remaining calories after calculating protein intake.
If your daily caloric needs for building muscle are 3,000 and you are 80 kg, then remove the 2g per KG from protein= 160g protein total x 4 (4 calories per gram of protein)= 720 calories from protein
3000 minus 720 leaves 2280
At a 70% carb and 30% fat split on the remaining 2280 calories
70%= 1596 cals from carbs/4 calories per gram of carb= 399g of training day carbs
30%= 684 cals from fats/9 calories per gram of fat= 76g of training day fats
On non weight training days go for 50% carbs and 50% fats.
Using the same 3000 calories for building muscle and the same 720 calories for protein (80kg individual x 2=160g of protein)
You will evenly split 2280 calories 50/50 towards your carbs and fats
50% carbs= 1140 cals from carbs/ 4 cals per gram of carb= 285g
50% fats= 1140 cals from fats/ 9 cals per gram of fat= 126g
Try out this protocol: Following 3 day low carb, 1 day high carb and repeat format.
70% carbs 30% fats If your daily needs for building muscle are 3000 and you are 80kg then remove the 2g per KG from protein 160g total x 4 (4 calories per gram of protein)
3000 minus 720 leaves 2280
Leaving 1596 cals from carbs= 399g carbs (4 cal per gram of carb)
And 684 cals from fats= 76g carbs (9 cal per gram of carb)
If these numbers have left you lost don't worry! Get in touch and I will give you hand - hit me on twitter @davidkingsbury
Find out more about my custom training and nutrition programmes on my website