How Many Calories Should I be Eating?

So many people are still very confused with the idea of calories and macros.

How much protein should I be eating?

Can I eat too much protein?

How much fat everyday and where, why and how many carbohydrates should I be eating?

Will eating carbs after 7pm make me fat?

I guess with so much information available on Google and all in a split second, it can be quite confusing.

Lets put a few of these ideas to bed for once and for all.

Firstly the myths:

Will eating carbs after 7pm make me fat?

We’ve all heard and probably most of us have believed it to a certain extent. 20 -25 years ago, back in the 90’s (my glory days) I believed it, we all did. Most of the fitness and bodybuilding publications (this was our only source of info back then) led us to believe to reducing carbs in the evening was the best way to burn body fat.

Your body is far too clever for that. What matters is how many calories you eat over the day and even the week, not the time of the day. To be honest, too many calories from protein, fat or carbohydrates will make you store body fat. I often see clients eating a tonne of protein and good fats yet still can’t lose body fat. On closer analysis of their diet we can see that they are just eating more calories than they need. To burn body fat you have to be in a deficit. There are two ways you can do this, firstly by reducing the calories you need on a daily basis and this will work to start with. The problem with this is that your metabolic rate will slow down and your weight loss will come to a halt.

You tend to lose more lean body mass (muscle) than body fat this way so you can end up in a place called “skinny fat”, which is not a look you desire, trust me. The best way is to control your calories and use exercise in the form of resistance training and the right cardio to bring you into a deficit.

Anyway back to those macros.

In terms of fat loss, protein is the most important macro and the one that is misunderstood the most. I like the 2/1/1 formula myself and I know it works because I’ve used it myself and I’ve given this formula to 100’s of clients over the years with great success.

2g of protein per kg/bodyweight

1g of carbs per kg/bodyweight

1g of fat per kg/bodyweight

What does that look like in real numbers?

Well if you take an average guy that weighs 80kg and his main aim is improved body composition and fat loss, he should be aiming for 160g of protein, 80g of carbs and 80g of fat.

This would take his calories for the day to 1680. You can work this out very simply.

There are 4 kcals in 1g of protein, 4 kcals in 1g of carbs but there are 9 kcals in 1g of fat.

160g x 4 = 640

80g x 4 = 320

80g x 9 = 720

Total = 1680 kcals.

I hope this is making sense so far. In my opinion, the only two macros that need to be manipulated are fat and carbs and this all depends on the needs and goals of the individual.

Let’s look at another example.

An 80kg man that is looking to pack on some mass. Protein remains the same at 160g (but could go higher with no detrimental effects), fat could remain the same at 80g and he could double his intake of carbs to 160g making the ratio 2/2/1. Taking it a step further, a different man of 80kg has a metabolism like a blast furnace. He can eat what he likes, never gets fat and has a lean, lithe appearance much like a whippet.

Sorry to all the chaps that this describes and yes, I did just compare you to a dog but go with me on this.

His ratio could possibly be 2/3/1. 160g protein, 240g carbs and 80g fat.

I found that with any goal, you have to look at the numbers. I don’t like to count calories as such but if you look after the macros each day and hit those numbers every day you don’t have to count them – they look after themselves. If a client is struggling with weight loss/fat loss, most times, assuming that all the other factors are in place like sleep, stress and resistance training, it’s usually the diet that needs looking at. Eating healthy is required but sometimes eating “healthy” just wont do. Before anything else, get your protein levels where they need to be and we can work on the rest.

If you get to 7pm and you’ve only eaten 100g of protein and you know you need 140 for the day, take a wild guess at what you need to do?

Yep, you need to eat 40g more of protein to hit your targets.

It takes a little effort and work to do this in the beginning but once you’ve mastered it, like anything, it becomes effortless.

The myfitnesspal app can be a good start if you are not sure. You just punch in what you’ve eaten, how much of it and it will give you the breakdown of your meals. It can be quite shocking to see things in black and white.

Very often I wont ask a client to use this. Much as its very good tool, it can some times over complicate things and good results can be achieved from just eating 3 or 4 clean, healthy, high protein meals so why complicate things.

If results start coming then Bingo! If the results don’t come, then that’s the time for MyFitnessPal.

On the subject of eating too much protein. Well, you can’t. You will get bored from eating too much before it comes a problem. No stress on the kidneys like the media like to portray. But guess what? You can get serious problems from the garlic bread starter, the seafood tagliatelli or extra large meat feat pizza and the vanilla cheesecake with dulce de leche ice-cream and none of us have an issue with smashing this type of stuff once, twice or more per week do we? So why do we worry about a little extra protein in our diet? I get my advice and knowledge from nutritional science, not tomorrow’s fish and chip paper 🙂

You’d be prudent in doing the same. No one died from overdosing on protein.

Hundreds of thousands of people are dying every year all over the planet from obesity and it’s related degenerative diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke to name a few. I won’t go into that too much, as that isn’t where I want to go with this. Taking it back to the topic in hand, why don’t you work out the macros you need?

If you are not where you want to be in terms of your health or your fat loss, it might be time to drill down and look at the numbers as they never lie. As always, if you have any questions on this on any other subject related to losing body fat and being awesome, drop us a line. Tom and I are happy to help.

Actually Tom can’t help you for the next two weeks as he is jetting off to South Africa today for the start of a 2 week honeymoon with Jess, which from the look of their detailed itinerary, is going to be amazing.

Safe trip guys. Have the time of your life.

And thanks for getting back to me on Monday about why you can’t go on the retreat in Ibiza.

We are getting a clearer picture of where a lot of you are.

Happy Wednesday.

Speak with you on Friday.

Gav 🙂

PS. For more help, you can always go here<<===

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