Lets just be honest…
Life is too short not to enjoy a donut every now and then... or day.
Most of us are willing to do burpies and thrusters until we puke… as long as it gives us a little more leniency to have a few beers on Saturday night.
But… at what point do we need to put the donut down?
Lets take a look at the main culprit that holds most people back from being able to lose the weight OR gain the weight… CALORIES.
There are three different caloric “categories”
Caloric deficit- Burning more calories than you consume (weight loss)
Caloric maintenance- Net/net even calorie burn to calorie consumption (weight remains the same)
Caloric surplus- Consuming more than you are burning (weight gain)
Unfortunately… If your goal is to lose weight, you will need to spend the majority of your time in a caloric deficit.
But how much of a calorie deficit?
1 pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories. To lose 1 pound of fat you are going to need to be in a caloric deficit of…
500 calories a day X 7 days a week
Well… How am I going to know I am in a 500-calorie deficit?
To find out this… you need to calculate (approximate) how many calories you are burning in a day! For this, you will need to understand 3 different ways your body burns calories…
BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)- This is the amount of calories your body burns “just functioning”.
The average American female BMR= 1493 calories a day
The average American male BMR= 1662 calories a day
NEAT (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis)- This is the amount of calories you burn just living life. Walking while at work, playing with your kids, carrying groceries. Most people average ~330 calories a day BUT highly activity people this number can reach up to ~700 calories a day. In my experience, most people assume they are burning more from NEAT than they actually are. I usually calculate this at 330 calories daily.
Average calories burned through exercise- A 155 pound person can burn between 200-400 calories per 30 minutes of cardio exercise depending on intensity. That same person would burn ~133 calories per 30 minutes of moderate weight training.
If we have a male who is…
Training hard (~600 calories burned)
Moderately active (~300 calories burned through NEAT)
BMR (~1660 calories burned)
600+300+1660= 2560 calories burned a day…
So if we were shooting for a pound of fat loss a week (-500 calorie deficit) we would need to shoot for 2060 calories per day!
So eating 2060 calories a day is all I have to do?
Not quite… You also need to pay attention to your protein intake. Protein is thermodynamic (fancy way of saying it elevates metabolism). Your muscle tissue is always in one of two states…
Anabolic- Building muscle
Catabolic-Breaking down muscle
When you take in protein it, “turns on” muscle anabolism. The more time you spend in an anabolic state while in a calorie deficit, the more muscle you will retain!
You should shoot to consume 1g per pound of goal bodyweight per day. Protein sources should be complete (containing all 9 essential amino acids)
Examples of good protein sources- Chicken, Fish, Beef, Whey
NOT protein sources- Peanut Butter (fat source), Almonds (fat source), Cheese (fat source)
Obviously other factors can come into play (sleep-8 hours a night and water intake-1 gallon a day) BUT if you can nail down your overall calorie and protein intake you are off to a solid start!
…And it case anybody was wondering, a box of Krispy Kreme glazed donuts is 1440 calories (18g protein, 192g carbs, and 72g of fat). It’s probably not a good idea to slam a whole box no matter how many burpies you did!