Whether you're trying to lose, gain or maintain weight, the MOST IMPORTANT thing is your Total Daily Caloric Intake.
That is to say that your total intake for the day is the first and foremost thing you should consider, before moving on to other aspects of your nutrition, such as:
The reason here is simple - Total Caloric balance and Protein are the PRIMARY determinants for your body composition. ((https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28919842))
Body composition is the ratio of fat and non-fat mass in the body. A healthy proportion of the two is a lower percentage of non-active tissue (fat) and a higher percentage of non-fat mass, such as muscle, bones and organs.
Before we go in-depth and give you the calorie calculator, let me share with you my calories.
My weight is around 200 lbs, but it can range between 190 - 210 depending on if I'm shredding or lean bulking.
Either way I'm consuming about 220 grams of protein, 90 grams of fat and the rest goes for carbs.
And so when I'm lean bulking I eat in a small caloric surplus.
My total calories average about 3,500 calories per day.
With 3500 calories, out of which I have 220 grams of protein & 90 grams of fat, I'm left with about 1800 calories for carbs.
That is about 450 grams of carbs. Heavy workouts require a lot of fuel.
Here is the look I try to maintain when "lean bulking."
Now let's contrast this to when I am "shredding".
My overall goal with shredding is to keep as much muscle as I can, while losing body fat at a rate of 1-2 lbs per week.
I accomplish this by eating in a caloric deficit, consuming about 2,300 - 2,500 calories per day.
This is based on my weight and my activity level.
Those are two of the key variables of our calculator.
Throughout the shredding period my protein & fats remain the same.
However, carbs go down, but they are not completely cut out.
I remove just enough to create a deficit, which would generally be about 125 g of carbs.
You can scroll to the end of this article to find your exact lean bulking and shredding calories, but first let's cover a few important details you are going to learn in this article.
WHAT ARE CALORIES?
So, what are calories and why do we need to monitor them, really?
Well, as human beings that are a complex biological system, we require a given amount of energy to sustain our physiological processes & weight.
That energy is derived from food and is measured in calories.
A "Calorie" is a unit used to measure energy. In sports and nutrition, calories measure the energy people get from food, but also the energy people use during exercise or other physical activity.
The reason why monitoring your calories is important, is because they are individual for everyone.
We are all of a different height, weight, age and have different levels of activity.
Therefore, by knowing your INDIVIDUAL needs and manipulating your input & output, you can change your weight and body composition
From here pops up the pretty obvious question.
HOW MANY CALORIES SHOULD I EAT?
The number of calories you have to consume on a day to day basis depends on your goals. First step is objectively determining your current physical state and goals.
If you have excessive body fat stacked, you will be consuming food at a caloric deficit to shed off that fat (Explained in a bit)
On the other hand, if you are skinny or skinny fat, you will be consuming food at a slight caloric surplus to gain muscle mass (Explained in a bit)
If you are happy with your current state and don't want to change all that much, you will be consuming as many calories as you burn - Energy Balance.
If you know all the subtleties of weight regulation which we are about to explain, skip to the calorie calculator by pressing the button above.
Now let's see the most important things about weight loss.
HOW TO LOSE BODYFAT - THE WEIGHT LOSS PYRAMID
The pyramid you see above is in order of diminishing importance - The most important things are at the bottom and the least important things are at the top.
Let's break it down now.
People complicate weight loss. It's all about consuming less calories than you burn and sticking to the plan, but also including smart training to facilitate muscle retention and metabolic processes.
HOW TO gain muscle mass - THE mass gain PYRAMID
Again - A 5 step pyramid, in order of diminishing importance from the bottom up.
This one is pretty similar with a couple of exceptions, so let's analyze.
When it comes to supplements, here are some of the very best one can use:
Whey protein isolate
Easy to digest and grant a good dose of protein to facilitate recovery.
Increases strength, strength endurance and overall muscle recovery.
Pre workout booster
Optimizes the pillars of a good workout - Energy, pump, strength and focus.
The number one thing people forget about muscle gains is that it is a slow process! Get your protein, carbs and fats, train progressively, supplement properly and stay on the track. It will all pay off in the long run.
THE CALORIE CALCULATOR
Now that you have all the factors to consider about creating a weight loss plan, let's move on to actually calculating your calories.
HOW TO USE THE CALCULATOR
This calculator is based on the most updated formulas, that use the following variables:
There are complex formulas about each of these variables, but it will be no hassle for you, as those exact formulas are well-integrated within our calculator.
What the calculator does is first, calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), then multiply that by an activity factor and finally, give you the approximate number of calories you'll need for either losing or gaining weight.
Pretty simple and straightforward.
Nevertheless, there are factors to consider that will give you the most accurate calculation and optimize the process.
Here's what we mean:
The Katch McArdle equation can be used by clicking on "settings" and choosing the 3rd option at the bottom.
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BUT ALSO, DON'T FORGET...
Though the calculator will give you a high-proximity estimation of your needs, you have to still monitor and adjust your progress.
Monitoring and adjusting is quite simple: