Not reaching your weight loss/gain goals are you? It could be that you are eating too much or even too little. This guide will help you towards you goal by helping you calculate exactly how much and what food you should be eating to achieve your goals.

Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the amount of energy, measured in calories, that you body use up each day just keeping all of your bodily functions running. There are many formulas that you can use to calculate your BMR. Here is my preferred method:

Take your weight in kilograms and multiply it by 25 and the multiply it by one of the following;

1.1-1.2 if you live a fairly inactive lifestyle, vary little or no regular physical activity

1.3-1.4 if you live a moderately active lifestyle, regular exercise 3-4 times a week

1.5-1.6 if you live a active lifestyle, exercise 5+ times a week or have a physically demanding job like a construction worker.

Using this method a moderately active person that weighs 75kg will have BMR of ~2450 Kcal.

Now take the number that you have just calculated and do the following:

If you have more that 10kg to lose the reduce it by 750

If you have less than 10kg to lose then reduce by 500

If you would like to gain weight increase by 500, if you do not gain weight after a week increase it by an additional 200 until you do.

Note: Never reduce your calorie intake to below 1200 kcal. Going below this number puts you health at severe risk!

For the purpose of this article let’s stay our guy wants to lose 8kg so he reduces his BMR by 500 making his target daily intake 1950.

Now you’re probably wondering how to fill up these calories? In the next section I will discribe the 3 macronutrients and how much of each you should be eating.

Macros explained

Protein

In our bodies protein is broken down into amino acids which are the bricks and mortar of our bodies. Protein is required for many bodily functions and has even been show to promote fat loss. Protein is the most satiating of all the macronutrients. Good sources of protein include lean beef, white meat turkey or chicken, white fish like tilapia, cod or hake and egg whites.

Fats

Fats are essential for the proper function of our bodies. It provides protection for our organs and insulation against extreme weather conditions. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids actually promote fat loss as well as boost brain function and improving overall health. Good sources of these fats include oily fish like salmon and almonds.

Carbohydrates

Carbs provide most of our energy for daily activities. They provide the muscle with glycogen which is require for intense physical activities like working out. They also provide fibre to keep our digestive system running smoothly. Carbs should come from unrefined sources such as brown rice, sweet potatoes or yams and whole-wheat pastas.

Putting it all together

People should eat 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight a day. So for our 75kg (165 lb) person should eat 165g of protein a day. Each gram of protein is equivalent to 4 Kcal so 165g of protein represent 660 Kcal of their 2437 total.

You should eat half that amount of fat daily or 0.5g per pound of bodyweight. In this example that equals 83g (rounded up) of fat. Each gram of fat is 9kcal. So that’s 747 Kcal for fats.

This leaves us with 543 kcal. These calories must be filled up with carbs. Each gram of carbs is 4 Kcal. In our example this mean our guy must eat ~135g of carbs a day. Not the fibrous carbs do NOT count towards you daily total.

This may not seem like a lot but remember a most foods have a water content and are not made up purely from these three nutrients.

Using these guidelines to plan your daily food intake whil aid you in you journey towards a better body and better health. Please bear in mid that this are only guidelines and result will vary from person to person.