the fitness journal
Importance of hitting calories
There will come a time when training hard isn’t enough. It isn’t the sole solution to your fitness problems. You will often here that results are 80% nutrition and 20% training. While this isn’t evidence backed it isn’t far from the truth. In order to maximise your sessions you need to seriously consider your nutrition
Eating healthy doesn’t cut it either, just because food is healthy doesn’t mean it is working with you towards your goals.
You can overeat healthy foods and gain weight or under eat them and lose weight, even with exactly the same exercise routine.
The truth is to achieve your goals you have to eat for them specifically.
Whether it’s losing weight, gaining muscle, or preparing for a competition, calories will always be a variable which needs to be thought about and tweaked.
Calories, managing your weight
Calories are a major factor in achieving whatever goal you may have, they will help how much weight you can lose, how much muscle you can gain and also your overall performance.
Before you can determine your calories you have to understand your goals.
Food can be used to add weight, gain weight or maintain weight. Which of these do you need to do in order to achieve your dream body?
Most of us need to do more than one thing, we might need to drop fat then add muscle, or add some muscle then drop some fat. We might need to do this cycle several times to get to where we want to be.
Adding weight requires a calorie surplus, losing weight requires a calorie deficit and maintaining weight requires maintenance calories.
Calculating calories, selecting macros and building recipes is far from an easy task. I have over a decade experience doing this and I can tell you it’s not easy to get right. To avoid the years of trial and error I can do all of this for you with one of my custom training and nutrition plans. Link
Alternatively, if you want to have a go and working out your calories you can use this formula
Macros, determine your body composition.
Getting obsessed with calories only will also disappoint. Not all calories are the same.
1000 kcals of marshmallows and chocolate is not the same as 1000 kcals of chicken and vegetables and this is where calories become a confusion.
For a plan to be successful It is important to either be in a positive or negative energy balance, depending on whether you want weight loss or muscle building, so that you either eat less than your body requires or more than your body requires.
However, calories will only take you so far until it becomes equally important to have the most optimal amounts of macronutrients, as this is what will affect your bodies response to the calories that are being consumed.
Different people have different tolerances of and needs for macros.
I personally use a selection of options for customers from 40c/40p/20f to 10c/40p/50f. These are based on the % of calories that come from each macro nutrient.
But if you think it’s as straight forward as swapping the gram for gram unfortunately it isn’t. They don’t all provide the same cals per gram.
Kcals from Protein per 1g =
Kcals from Carbohydrates per 1g =
Kcals from Fat per 1g =
Whatever your macronutrient split is, or if you don’t have one, figure out which split is best for you, then simply use those figures to get an educated amount of each to fit your personal goal!
I generally carb cycle also which means days of higher carbs and days of lower carbs. These fluctuations help massively to boost results but are a very custom option.
Take home message
Understanding your energy needs and counting calories is important in correlation to your goal but not the only variable that should be considered.
If you are aware of your needs and are tracking/following them you are doing an amazing job, and are far more likely to achieve your results than most.
But by being just as focused on how much of each macronutrient is required as your total calories will you begin to take your results to the next level. The difference is truly incredible!
As part of this you will receive a menu of recipes that are calculated specifically for you and your goals.