Today we're discussing some basic factors that determine how many total calories you should consume and what percentage of each macronutrient those calories should come from.
1. What are your Goals?
Be specific on your goals.
You cannot gain 5 pounds of muscle and lose 5 pounds of fat at the same time.
If your main focus is to gain muscle, you need to be in a caloric surplus.
If your main focus is to lose weight you should be in a slight caloric deficit (only once you have earned it through being consistent with total intake and improving your food quality).
2. How often do you train? What does your training look like?
Earn your carbs.
How hard you train and how often you train will determine how your body utilizes certain nutrients.
The harder you train the more you get to eat.
Remember that “training hard” is relative. Your workout might be somebody’s warm-up. Be honest about your effort.
3. How lean you are you?
If you are lean, your body probably handles carbohydrates well and you can afford to eat more carbs to fuel your workouts.
On the other hand, if you are not lean, your body probably does not handle carbohydrates and fats as well, and you should consume less of these macronutrients and make sure they are coming from high quality sources.
4. What does your life outside of training look like?
Physical activity and stress play important roles in health and body composition.
Being physically active all day is drastically different from sitting at a desk all day.
Having high levels of stress can affect your hormone levels and cause you to store fat more rapidly than others.
Sleep also plays an important role in your hunger and hormones. Getting 8 hours of perfect sleep is drastically different from 5-6 hours.
We all know someone that can eat whatever they want and not gain weight.
Genetics obviously play a role in how much you can eat. Shaq and Kevin Hart should not eat the same amount of food.
This is just another reason why tailoring your nutrition for YOU is important. Do not just do something because it worked for one of your friends. Honestly evaluate your goals, body type, activity level, stress, and sleep before your make a decision on how much food, and the specific macronutrients that you should consume.
Better yet, ask one of us. Our Nutrition Coaching offers you that accountability alongside of clear-cut goals, making it hard to fall back into old habits. If you feel your training could use more structure, check out our six-week segmented programming.