The most frequent questions I am asked from day to day are: How can I lose weight? How can I increase muscle size and strength? Why does my diet not work?
The answer to this is usually: You need to cut calories from your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) if you want to lose weight. In fact you need to eat more carbohydrates and more calories of your actual TDEE if you want to build muscle mass. But the most important question of all is: Do you know how many calories you need to eat vs. how many calories you are actually eating?
To lose weight or build muscles the game is mainly knowing how many calories we are ingesting. Just that! Just how many calories you eat per day!
To maintain normal homeostasis (breathing, walking etc.) we need to provide the body with fuel (calories) that allow it to work normally. Remember though, it is not solely the diet that helps you lose weight/build muscle but also a good workout and nutritional plan (contact us directly for this).
But lets start with the basics of how to calculate your TDEE. TDEE is short for Total Daily Energy Expenditure. This is the amount of calories that your body needs to burn in 24 hour between sleeping, working, exercising, playing and even digesting food. Why the TDEE is important? Because it can give you the amount of calories you need to burn to lose weight/gain muscle.
Here is some other terminology to consider. Calories required are the sum of Body Metabolic Rate (BMR): which is the amount of calories that your body needs to burn from day to day (the amount of energy your body needs during an inactive day).
Thermic effect of feeding (TEF): is the amount of energy used to burn the food after eating, due to processing and utilisation of the ingested nutrients.
Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT): the amount of energy used in all activity during normal life (no sport or heavy job)pertaining to the calories we use for useless movements (fidgeting etc.)
Thermic effect of Activity (TEA)is the amount of energy that your body needs if your doing exercises or heavy jobs. (TEA) which refers to any and all calories burned above and beyond BMR. Chores, just sitting up in a chair, and exercise all contribute to TEA.This last definition increases the TDEE.
To calculate the TDEE you need to know before the BMR; to calculate the BMR you need to have:
Female: 655.1 + (4.35 x weight in pound) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.68 x age).
Male: 66.47+ (6.23 x weight in pound) + (12.7x height in inches) - (6.76 x age).
Male: 66.47 + (13.75 x weight in kilos) + (5 x height in cm) - (6.76 x age).
Female: 655.1 + (9.56 x weight in kilos) + (1.85 x height in cm) - (4.68 x age).
Just one example: if we take one person, Jonny. Jonny is a Male and he is 34 years old. He's tall 182 cm (0.71 inches) and his weight is 78.9 kg (173.9 pounds).Jonny's BMR = 66.47 + (13.75 x 78.9) + (5 x 182) - (6.76 x 34) = 66.47+1084.875+910-229.84 = 1831.505
So Jonny’s BMR is 1831.505 calories.
Now after we have determined the BMR, it has tobe multiplied with the activity coefficients:
Example: Jonny is a doctor and he goes to the gym 3 times at week; so Jonny TDEE will be: 1831.505 x 1.49 = 2728.94.
Knowing your TDEE is the first step, and then you needto understand where you justify this amount of calories. Of course, from food, in particular carbohydrates, fat, protein; they provide the energy necessary to maintain the body function during physical activity and rest.
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The carbohydrates are dived into three major classes:
The functions of carbohydrates are: to provide energy to the cells of the body, particularly the brain; facilitate the body's metabolism of fat; spare muscle protein.
1 gr. of carbohydrate produces 4 calories of energy.
Fat or lipids are made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. In the diet, fat has an important role in general health and onset of several chronic diseases (hormonal function). There are three major types of fatty acids. The number of hydrogen atoms containing in them distinguishes one from another, saturated, monounsaturated possessing one carbon-carbon double bond, polyunsaturated having two or more carbon-carbon double bonds, in this group are the Omega-3 and Omega-6 that our body cannot make them, so Omega-3 and Omega-6 are essential fat. The Trans fatty acids are fat chemically classified as unsaturated fatty acids.
The fats can produce 9 calories of energy and they have many functions in the body:
The Trans fats are present in: stick margarine, shortening, packaged, cookies, pastries, crackers, candy, fried foods. The saturated fats are present in: meat, poultry, butter, cheese, cream and whole milk, coconut, palm, processed foods, cookies, crackers, chips, and baked. The polyunsaturated fats are present in: Omega-3: herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines, tuna, flax seeds, canola oil and walnuts; Omega-6: corn, sunflower, soy, sunflower oil, nuts and seeds. The monounsaturated fats are present in: olive, canola, peanuts oils, nuts and avocados.
The proteins are the major structural component of all cells of the body. The amino acids are the constituent of the protein and they are the basic building blocks protein. There are 20 amino acids, 9 of them are considered to be essential because the carbon skeleton cannot be synthesized by human enzymes. The remaining 11 amino acid are considered nonessential because they can be synthesized endogenously.
The 9 amino acids essential are: Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Valine. The Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine are the three BCAA (Branched-chain amino acids) and they can be taken up directly by skeletal muscle.
The proteins have many essential roles in the body including: producing antibodies for the immune system. Producing enzymes that are required for many chemical reactions in the body. Components of structural hormones: Contractile proteins for muscle tissue; fibrous proteins found in connective tissue, skin, hair, and nails. Components of transport proteins. Components of peptide hormones. Sources of fuel when muscle glycogen levels are low.
Like as carbohydrates, 1 gr. of protein can produce 4 calories of energy.
The proteins are present in milk and dairy product, whole eggs, fish, meat, poultry, soy, rice and beans, peanuts buttes, whole wheat bread.
We have seen that: carbohydrates can produce 4 calories of energy; fat produce 9 calories and protein produce 4 calories.
After to know the TDEE you need understand which is your goal, cutting - maintain - bulking.
Cutting: if your goal is to lose weight or reduce your body fat, you need reduce the amount of energy introduced in your body. To cut you need to reduce your TDEE to between the -5% at 30% and no more (our recommendation).
Maintain: if your goal is keep same weight or maybetry to change your body composition with "stress", so you need eat the amount of calories same your TDEE no more or less.
Bulking: if your goals is to gain more muscles you need more of your TDEE, our recommendation is +5% and no more of +10%, because like your muscles growth, like your belly growth.
Example: Jonny, he wants to lose some body fat, and we saw that his TDEE 2728.94 calories. He wants to lose some weight, so he starts to cut his calories of -5%, so the new TDEE (cutting) will be 2609.92 calories. With these calories the amount of energy will be low, and Jonny, with a good and specific workout make for him, he starts to lose some body fat.
But remember you need to have patience to lost body fat; it is no easy and fast.
The body fat is the percentage of fat in your body, and with weight, you can know how much o this is fat. You can check your body fat with a calliper (body fat), scale with body fat composition.
Example: Jonny has 25% of body fat (shown below), His weight is 78.9 Kg., so in his body, he has 19.7 Kg. of fat.
It is important to know this, because this is the degree of deficit you need to have calorie wise to burn off this fat. Remember 1 gr. of fat has 7 calories, so, if Jonny has 19.7 Kg. of fat, they will be 19700 gr. of fat, which are 137.900 calories to use.
This must be done by the distribution of macronutrients. So, the protein requests should be from 0.8 gr. /Kg. (0.4g. /lb.), for sedentary, at 2.0 gr. /Kg. (1.0 gr. /lb.) or more (3 gr.) for athletes or bodybuilder.
Fat should be around 20%/30% of your TDEE, because they help you in the general healthy and hormonal function.
Carbohydrates should be around 50% or 60%, but in the case of cutting they will be the first to go.
But which diet is bet?
There are lot of diets in circulation including low-fat diets, low-carbs diets, intermitted fatting, cycling carbs, paleo; but the best diet is your diet. Yes, that’s right, your diet! This is because you know your taste and your lifestyle better than anybody. So, you can make you diet better, with the best food and number of meals. It is not important which diet you do, but is important that you like your lifestyle. You need to ensure that the food you chose is healthy and you know the amount of calories and distribution of macronutrients.
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Don't forget to record you daily food, because it can help you to remember the amount of calories you have eaten for future days.
Scared about cheat meals or a cheat day? Don’t worry! Our body works at a week or a month, so if you know that on Sunday you have a party with a friend ensure that you eat less during that week and more on the part day!
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Example: Jonny his TDEE in cutting (5%) is 2609.92, at week will be 18269.44. These 18269.44 calories will be distributed differently at day.
The calories he has not eaten during the week he can keep for Sunday. More pizza ahahahahah!
To record and make a plan we will explain an example of daily plan, that you can follow or if you have time there’s some apps for phones that can do it for you, like Fatsecret, Myfitness Plan, ETC..
But remember if your goal is to lose weight, you need remember that you need to have muscles, because muscles burn more energy that fat. So don’t worry if the scales start going up, you’ll look better! Start with resistance training as muscles burn 6 kcal/lb while fat burn 2kcal/lb.
We hope this article can begin to help you achieve your goal. Please do not hesitate to contact us below if you have any questions at all.