To reach your goals you have to understand how to properly fuel your body for those goals!
If you want to be successful at reaching and maintaining your goals, it is important to understand how to properly fuel your body. In this post, I am going to break it down in an easy-to-understand way.
One of the most common questions I get when someone uses a macro or calorie calculator is “How am I supposed to eat all of that food and still lose weight?”
To answer that question I need to change your mindset around the word calorie.
If you can relate to any of the statements below, I hope that you will read this post COMPLETELY
- Have you ever questioned a macro calculator thinking, “there is NO WAY I can eat that much food and lose weight!”
- You truly want to live a healthier life, free of feeling deprived by food. And you want to understand what it means to properly fuel your body.
- You want to feel better, have more energy, and sleep better!
- More than lose unwanted fat, you want to look good NAKED!
- You want to maintain your current weight but maybe gain some lean muscle
- Perhaps you want to gain weight by building more muscle
We need to change our mindset about the word “CALORIE”.
I would like to change the word Calorie to Energy. Why, because your body needs energy to function properly and we get this energy from our food, the calories we consume.
There is a base about of energy that your body NEEDS to function on the most basic level. For your heart, brain, liver, and all other vital organs to function properly. For your blood circulation, breathing, cell production, and nutrient processing. This is called your BMR.
BMR: Stands for Basal Metabolic Rate, the total amount of energy (calories) your body needs for basic, life-sustaining functions.
Your BMR does not include any other activity other than to keep you alive. It does not factor in getting out of bed, showering, going to the bathroom, cooking, working of any kind…nothing. Your BMR is what your body needs to lay in bed and stay alive.
To calculate your BMR you can follow one of two math equations, Harris-Benedict Equation or the Miffin-St Jeor Formula. Both factor in your: Weight, Height, and Age in slightly different ways, however, both come to the same calculation. To spare you the headache of following either formula, you can easily use my Macro Calculator which uses the Mifflin-St Jeor formula to calculate your BMR.
How much energy do you need to Properly Fuel your body?
Once you know the amount of Energy you NEED to stay alive…your BMR. You can then factor in your activity level to determine exactly how much energy (calories) your body needs to be able to complete your activity with enough energy for your body to feel safe, to not feel deplete, tried, and for your metabolism to function properly.
This is called your TDEE: Total Daily Energy Expenditure. Your TDEE needs to take into account your normal daily activity, as well as your workouts.
Here is a summary of how you can identify your activity level:
- Sedentary, Desk job, with little to no exercise: This is someone that works a desk job, does almost no movement throughout the day, does not workout, and when they get home they do very little other than cook dinner and bare minimum basic house chores. On average this person probably gets around 3,000 steps or less per day.
- Light Activity, Desk Job, with light exercise 1-3 days per week: This person has a desk job but they try to get up and move around throughout the day. They might have kids or a pet that requires them to be more active than the person above. They try to workout at least 1-3 times per week. On average this person probably gets between 3,000 – 5,000 steps per day.
- Moderate Activity, exercise 3-5 days per week: This person might have a desk job, but they try to get up every hour to move, they might even have a standing desk. Or this person has a job that keeps them on their feet a good part of the day but their work is not labor-intensive. They workout 3-5 times per week. On average this person probably gets between 5,000 – 8,000 steps per day.
- Very Active, Hard exercise 6-7 days per week: This person most likely does not have a desk job as that requires too much sedentary activity even if you are standing at the desk. This person probably works in the service industry or has a job that requires them to be on their feet the majority of the day, and their work requires some physical labor. They workout hard, lifting weights, 6-7 days per week. On average this person is getting 8,000 – 12,000 steps per day.
- Extremely Active, hard Exercise 6-7 days per week: This person’s job requires them to use physical strength all day long. Examples would be construction workers, bulk delivery: beer, furniture…heavy items. They also workout lifting heavy weights 6-7 days per week. On average this person is getting no less than 12,000 steps per day.
Most people will fall in the light to moderate activity levels depending on their workouts. This activity level must be added to your BMR to figure out how much energy your body is actually burning per day. Again there is a mathematical equation for this, but to make it easy for you I recommend using my Calculator I have done the math for you!
The calculator with take your Current Weight, Height, Age, and Activity level to calculate both your BMR and TDEE. Knowing both of these numbers is very important to reach any goal, and to properly fuel your body.
You absolutely never want to be eating below your BMR or you could be doing real harm to your body. If you are currently eating below your BMR I ask that you please read the rest of this post and the next one. I will walk you through how to slowly increase your energy to a healthy level which will actually help you reach your goals faster!
Your TDEE number is the amount of energy (calories) your body needs to maintain its current weight….Known as Maintenance Level!
Now that we know what you need to properly fuel your body to maintain your current weight, your TDEE. We can look at what your goals are. Click here to go to the next post: Your Goals & What Your Focus Should Be!
Learn more about what you should be focused on while trying to build muscle in my Nourish Your Body Fuel Your Goals Guide.