Lets Talk Nutrition.

Firstly check out our downloadable fact sheet:

UFH Handbook

Calories in versus calories out.

When it comes to your diet, the results you get depend mostly on your body’s battle between calories in and calories out.

The cause, effect on results of your daily calorie intake.

Calories in beats calories out = calorific surplus = muscle gain, fat gain or both.

To gain muscle or weight you need to be in calorie surplus this means you consumed more calories than you burn and that there has been a surplus leftover of calories
that never get used.

Calories out beats calories in = caloric deficit = fat loss, muscle loss or both

To lose weight or body fat you need to be in a calorie deficit this means you burned more calories than you consumed and there was a deficit of calories. Since you are consuming less calories your body will need to find an alternative source of energy.

Calories in = calories out = maintenance = everything remains the same

To maintain weight you need your daily calorie intake to equal your daily calorie output. This maintenance level of calories means there was no calorie surplus or deficit.

Determining your daily calorie maintenance level.

Your daily calorie intake is by far the most important part of your diet plan the matter what your goal is (losing fat, building muscle et cetera).

The starting point for figuring out exactly how many calories you need to eat per day revolves around something called your calorie maintenance level.

How to do the calculations

Here is an effective and simple method to try out.

Method 1: bodyweight (lbs) x 14 – 17 = estimated daily calorie maintenance level. Just take your current body weight in lbs and multiply it by 14 to 17. Somewhere between those two amounts will usually be your daily calorie maintenance level. For example, at 180 lb person would do a calculation of 180 x 14 and 180 x 17 to get an estimated daily calorie maintenance level of somewhere between 2520 and 3060 calories.

If you are female, older or less active or you have a slow metabolism you should probably stick towards the lower end of the estimate. If you are male, younger more active or have a fast metabolism aim for the higher of the two.

How many calories should I be eating a day to build muscle?

  • The ideal calorific surplus the men is 250 cal per day over the maintenance level.
  • The ideal calorific surplus for women is 125 cal per day over the maintenance level.

How many calories should I eat per day to lose weight and lose fat?

Even though your number one goal is to lose fat, there are actually three goals to keep in mind when creating a calorific deficit:

  • Maximising fat loss.
  • Minimising muscle loss.
  • Doing it all in a way that is sustainable for you as possible.

It is recommended to use a moderate calorie deficit this is ideally 20% below maintenance level.

How to count macronutrients?

Still with us? Good! It gets a little bit more complicated now. Following on from the calorie maintenance level, the most important factors filling those calories with macros. Macros refer to proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

Let’s talk about protein.

It doesn’t matter if you want to lose fat, build muscle or just be healthy, self functioning human being. Your daily protein intake plays a crucial role in allowing all of that to happen properly.

In terms of overall health, the function of the human body protein is essential for building or repairing muscle tissue, maintaining and building muscle, keeping your hunger satisfied and a thermogenic calorie burning effect are a few of the crucial roles protein plays.

Fats

Once you’ve armed yourself with the knowledge of the different types of fats you will be up to determine which ones to consume and which to avoid. For the majority of the population, the recommendations for fat intake per day almost always falls within the same general range.

The ideal daily fat intake is 20 to 30% of your total calorie intake. In order for this recommendation to truly make sense, the first thing you are going to need to know is that 1 g of fat contains 9 cal.

Now, with your ideal daily calorie intake in mind all you need to do is figure out what 20 to 30% of it is. To do this just multiply your calorie intake by 0.20 and 0.30. Then since 1 g of fat contains 9 cal just by both of your answers by nine. The amount you get now is the ideal range for how many grams of fat you should eat each day.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates tend to be the macronutrient that confuses and scares people the most. As usual, this confusion is fear mostly unwarranted. Carbs are definitely not to be avoided however they are to be consumed strategically. Types of carbs, timing of eating carbs and the amounts are all important.

How many grams of carbs should you eat per day?

Ideal daily carb intake: however much is needed to meet your ideal calorie intake after an ideal protein and fat intake been factored in. This means your total calorie intake – calories from protein and fat = calories and carbs.

Confused? Don’t be!

At this point you’ve probably figured out how many grams of protein and fat you will be eating each day. You then factor them both into your ideal daily total calorie intake to see exactly how many calories each will account for. You know all of the calories that are still not yet accounted for in your diet in order to reach your ideal in total? Well these are the calories that need to come from carbs.

Since 1 g of carbs contains 4 cal you just need to divide this leftover amount of calories by 4 to figure out exactly how grams of carbs you need to eat each day.

Finally keeping track of calories and macronutrients is by far the best way to truly control not only your eating habits but as a way of controlling the results. Calories are important but just as important is filling those calories with the most nutritious foods possible. Remember healthy eating is a lifestyle and should not be a chore or something that seems impossible. Make good choices to keep track of what you are eating focus your nutrition around your goals and daily routine.