Host, Living Lean With The Ultimate Body Press
Certified Trainer & Nutrition Specialist
Live Lean Nutrition Law #1
Set A Measurable & Realistic Goal
Most people come to me and say…
“Brad, I need to lose 10 lbs before summer in 2 months.”
That’s a great start. You have a set measurable goal… 10 lbs in 8 weeks. But is this realistic (and healthy)?
Typically, a healthy fat loss plan will allow you to lose 1-2 pounds of fat per week with exercise and a nutrition plan that puts you in a caloric deficit. A caloric deficit simply means you’re burning more calories than you’re eating.
However, everyone’s calorie requirements are different based on your current body composition and activity levels. Lets take a closer look.
How many calories should I be eating to lose fat?
Going into a severe calorie deficit through dieting alone IS NOT the most effective approach. Not only is this crash diet unhealthy and unsustainable, your body will also go into starvation mode. This means it’ll end up storing fat and burning your muscle for fuel. This loss of muscle slows your metabolism and adds up to a “lighter” but fatter version of your current self. Heard of the term “skinny fat”…well that’s what happens on crash diets.
The two healthiest ways to create a calorie deficit is by following a diet that puts you in a modest caloric deficit AND THEN follow that up with an intense exercise program to create an even higher caloric deficit.
But before we can figure out how we can be in a caloric deficit, we first need to calculate how many calories our body actually requires (to maintain current size) based on our specific body type.
Follow the quick steps below to begin your calculations.
Step #1: Calculate your body fat %.
This can be done using body fat calipers or a simple handheld body fat analyzer. Ask a trainer at your gym for help.
For this example, lets say your body fat analysis = 20%
Step #2: Calculate your lean body mass.
Lean Body Mass = Current weight – (Current body fat % x Current weight)
For this example, lets say your weight = 190 lbs
Lean Body Mass = 190 – (.20 x 190) = 152 lbs
Lean Body Mass = 152 lbs
Step #3: Calculate your maintenance calories.
This step calculates the amount of calories you need to MAINTAIN your current weight.
For this example:
Your body fat % was 20.
Your lean body mass was 152 lbs.
Based on the chart below, your maintenance calories would be calculated as:
14 calories x 152 lbs = 2,128 calories
Current Body Fat %
Maintenance Calories Formula
Up to 12%
17 calories x Lean Body Mass (in lbs)
16 calories x Lean Body Mass (in lbs)
15 calories x Lean Body Mass (in lbs)
14 calories x Lean Body Mass (in lbs)
22.1% & above
13 calories x Lean Body Mass (in lbs)
Step #4: Calculate your calorie requirements to lose fat effectively.
Rather than trying force fat loss by creating a substantial caloric deficit, to live lean it’s recommended to coax fat loss by focusing on eating REAL WHOLE FOODS and following a modest caloric deficit in the range of 250 calories per day. Based on this, your calorie goal per day would be:
Daily calorie goal = Daily calorie maintenance – Daily modest calorie deficit
2,128 – 250 = 1,878 calories
So there you go.
You just calculated that 1,878 calories is your daily calorie goal to lose fat effectively.
Does this mean you can eat any food you want just as long as by the end of the day you’ve consumed a total of 1,878 calories?
The quality of the calories is also very important. Keep reading.
How Many Of Those Calories Should Come From Protein, Carbohydrates, & Fat?
Step #5: Calculate your protein intake requirements.
Protein intake = 1.15-1.5 grams per pound of lean body mass. Start on the low side (1.15 grams). If you find yourself very hungry throughout the day, increase this number up to 1.5 grams).
For this example, your lean body mass = 152 lbs.
Starting protein intake = 1.15 x 152 = 175 grams of protein
1 gram of protein = 4 calories. Total calories from protein = 700 calories from protein
Step #6: Calculate your carb intake requirements.
Do you notice you gain fat easily when you eat carbs? If so, you may be insulin resistant. If this is the case, limit carb intake to .5 grams per pound of lean body mass. However, if carbs don’t negatively affect you, you can increase that intake up to .75 grams per pound of lean body mass.
For this example, we’ll say you are not insulin resistant, so your carb intake is .75 grams per pound of lean body mass.
Carb intake = .75 x 152 = 114 grams of carbohydrates
1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories. Total calories from carbohydrates = 456 calories from carbohydrates
Step #7: Calculate your fat intake requirements.
The remaining calories will come from healthy sources of dietary fat. You may think this sounds like a lot of fat, but healthy sources of fat are essential to your body’s hormonal system. Healthy sources of dietary fat ARE NOT bad.
For this example:
Calories from protein = 700
Calories from carbohydrates = 456
Equals total of = 1,156 calories
Calories requirement = 1,878
1,878 calories – 1,156 calories = 722 calories from fat
1 gram of fat = 9 calories. Total calories from fat = 722 calories
722/9 = 80 grams of fat
That’s How You Calculate How Many Calories, Protein, Carbohydrates, & Fat You Need.
If you’re NOT looking to lose fat or gain anymore muscle. Use the same steps, but just use your “calorie maintenance” number. Not the “calorie maintenance – daily calorie deficit” number.
If you’re looking to ADD more muscle, rather than subtracting 250 calories from your calorie maintenance number, add 250 calories to it.