The fundamental theorem of health and fitness is your eating habits! This is the most critical part of reaching any health and fitness goal. Whether you're into sports or modeling, weight loss or weight gain, or even just trying to maintain a healthy body, everything is based off of your diet!
Find Calorie Maintenance Level at Rest
Your calorie maintenance level is the amount of calories your body needs to maintain its current weight. If you go beyond this value, then you will gain weight. If you go below this value, then you will lose weight. There are 3500 calories in a pound. To lose a pound, you would need to create a calorie deficit of 3500 calories. To gain a pound, you would need to eat an excess of 3500 calories.
The importance of knowing your calorie maintenance level is apparent. What we really want to know is your calorie maintenance level at rest. In other words, if you were to lay in bed all day and do absolutely nothing, how many calories would your body need to maintain its current weight. To find out your calorie maintenance level at rest, multiply your current weight by 10. If you weigh 200lbs, then your calorie maintenance level at rest would be 2000 calories per.
The number 10 represents how many calories your body needs to maintain a pound of weight. This number is accurate and works with most people. You may need to increase or decrease this value slightly as needed.
Calorie Maintenance Level for Weight Loss
By eating your calorie maintenance level at rest, you can lose weight just by going about your daily normal activities. To speed up the weight loss process, you can reduce your calories by a few 100 more and/or add exercise into your daily routine.
Calorie Maintenance Level for Maintaining Weight
If you would like to maintain your current weight, you would need to figure out how many calories you burn just by doing your normal daily activities and then add that onto your daily calorie maintenance level at rest. If you weight 200lbs, then your calorie maintenance level at rest is 2000 calories. Let's say that this person burns 200 calories just by going through his normal everyday activities. He would then require 2200 calories per day to maintain his current weight.
Calorie Maintenance Level for Gaining Weight
If you would like to gain weight, you would need to figure out how many calories your body requires to maintain its current weight and then exceed that amount.
Eat 5 to 6 Small Balanced Meals
Instead of eating the typical 2 to 3 meals per day, you will want to start eating 5 to 6 balanced smaller meals per day that total up to your daily calorie requirements. The benefits of eating this way are an increased metabolism, curved appetite, increased energy levels, and shrinkage of the stomach.
It's important to get an adequate amount of quality carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in every meal. By eating balanced meals you are supporting healthy bodily functions and overall good health.
To support muscle growth and repair from exercising, you need to consume about 0.8 to 1.0 grams of protein per pound of lean body weight. With respect to carbohydrates, you would need anywhere between 1.0 to 2.0 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight. As for fats, just eat mostly healthy meals and the natural fats in the food will be sufficient.
The Window of Opportunity
The bulk of your carbohydrates should be mainly around complex carbs. There is a special time that the use of simple carbs can be quite beneficial.
After you are done exercising, your body is in dire need for protein to help start the growth and repair process of your muscles. Within 30 to 45min after your workout, you need to consume a high quality and fast digesting protein. To ensure that the protein gets used fast and efficiently, you will need to consume a simple carbohydrate at this time. The reason for this is because simple carbs cause an insulin spike due to the sudden rise in blood glucose levels. Insulin is needed for protein synthesis. By creating a fast insulin response, you are ensuring that the protein you intake will be transported and used in the muscles as quick as possible.