How many calories do you think you should eat per day? There’s a good question that you may not know (or choose to ignore it). There’s also a possibility that you answered 2,000 calories, which probably isn’t correct unless you were one of the people that the FDA molded food nutritional labels off of many years ago. This figure of 2,000 calories per day was really just a gross estimate of the median amount of calories consumed per day by men, women, and children. It was a rough number calculated as average of numbers between 2,500 and 1,200 at the time that a study was conducted by the USDA/FDA. The key wording here is the calories consumed per day based on the study, as opposed to the amount that should be consumed per day. 2,350 calories was actually the amount of calories the FDA found from the study, but the number was rounded down to 2,000 calories because it sounded more reasonable and made it easier to calculate other nutritional values.
^^200 calories of chicken breast^^
I’ve personally never had an interest in reading far enough into the percentages on food packages to figure out what they really add up to (as far as a ratio of fats to carbohydrates to protein). This would probably just be based on what the participants in the study reported about their diets, so the ratio is probably not correct for most nutritional goals and outcomes. The ratio is of course different based on what your nutritional goals might be. There’s no way of determining the goals of the people involved in the study, but there is a good chance that their values were higher due to the increased amounts of manual labor in the work force at the time of the study (you need less calories if you ride a desk all day).
Lose weight: 40-50% protein, 30-40% fat, 10-30% carbs
Maintain weight: 25-35% protein, 25-35% fat, 30-50% carbs
Gain weight: 25-35% protein, 15-25% fat, 40-60% carbs
Those are the ideal ratios for all three disciplines. The swing between the high and the low number of each macro nutrient is based on the fact that everyone’s metabolism processes food at different rates. You need to figure out what works best for your body through trial and error.
^^310 calories of Boston Creme^^
This is where calorie and macro counting comes in..
Your suggested calories and macros are based off your age, sex, daily activity level, how much you exercise and what your goals are (gain, lose, maintain). For example, I eat approximately 2,100 to 2,400 calories per day (this time of year) in a ratio of 40% carbs/35% protein/25% fat. I exercise three to four times per week (those are my higher calorie days) and I’m active or on my feet throughout the majority of my days at work.
There are two essential tools you can find online that will help you accomplish your goal of macro calculation. These would be a macro calculator (IIFYM calculator) and My Fitness Pal. My Fitness Pal is an app and a site where you can create a profile and then log all of your nutrition daily. You can input what your goals are and this will make you conscious of whether you are eating well or not. It gives you the ability to manipulate the percentage of nutrition you want to get from each macro nutrient. You can also set goals such as weight loss. It will taper your diet depending on how fast you’d like to lose the weight. If you’re really interested in losing weight, you could: Enter your target weight into the app, input your macro ratios in a way as to maintain weight, and go from there.
IIFYM gives users the ability to not necessarily eat healthy as long as at the end of the day, they are meeting their goal macros and calories. I do not recommend this for someone who is new to weight loss or is serious about weight loss. Eating clean and trying to hit macros is much safer bet. Eating dirty and hitting macros is something that needs to be done with care. Its hard for some people to say “I’m only go with to eat two slices of pizza because that’s what fits my macros today”. If you’re a beginner, I’d recommend seeing what your macro values look like at the end of the before start eating dirty macros.
To be continued…