Saturday, July 25, 2009
Ok, the reader is now thinking, “It can’t be that complicated to gure out how many calories I need to gain quality weight!” The reader would be correct. I just wanted to show some of the methods commonly used to get exact gures for calories. A much simpler, albeit potentially less ne-tuned method for calculating calorie needs, goes like so:
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Slight Weight Gain
Greater Weight Gain
Weight Gain (Active People)
Calories per kg
20 - 25 kcal x kg
25 - 30 kcal x kg
30 - 35 kcal x kg
35 - 40 kcal x kg
45 kcal x kg
Calories per lbs
9 - 11 kcal x lbs
11 - 14 kcal x lbs
14 - 16 kcal x lbs
16 - 18 kcal x lbs
20 kcal x lbs
So, let’s return to our person who weighs 200 lb. (about 91 kg). We’ll use
the goal of “Greater Weight Gain” and a gure of 40 kcal/kg for a person -
like me - who is active, but not really an athlete. If we crunch the numbers,
we nd that such a person will need 3,640 calories a day.
This is, needless to state, pretty close to the gure of 3,509 calories we
worked so hard to come up with in the previous section. Another victory
for the K.I.S.S. principle!
Now, those numbers are not written in stone. For example, the reader could
start out using the 35 kcals per kg gure and see if that is enough calories
to start gaining weight while lifting weights and doing other activities.
In my experience however, this might not be enough calories. Another
method may be to start at the 35 kcals per kg gure and add 300 kcals per
week until weight gain occurs.
You will have to make some judgement calls and decisions on your own
regarding calories. For example, if you are naturally lean and have had
trouble putting weight on in the past, you may want to start at the higher
calorie intake of 45 kcals per kg.
On the other hand, if you are a person who carries more body fat than you
want, or have always had an easy time gaining weight in the form of body
fat, you may want to start at the lower calorie intake of either 30 or 35 kcals
I strongly suggest you keep good records of your food and supplements,
you can do this using the Diet Planner software in the Members’ Area. Us-
ing the Diet Planner will be covered in detail in the next chapter, but suf-
ce it to say, it’s a valuable tool that can help you track your diet and make
adjustments according to your results.
While it’s important to eat as “clean” as possible, past a certain point it’s
often di cult - especially for very active, younger people - to get enough
calories from the recommended foods. It’s virtually impossible to eat
4,000+ calories a day from boiled chicken and brown rice as many of the
bodybuilders in the magazines claim to do (hint: I have been with many a
pro bodybuilder who virtually lived at Taco Bell in the o -season!). Enlist-
ing the help of protein powders, MRP’s, and other calorie dense foods (e.g.,
think pizza and a few cheese burgers!) becomes necessary. A thin crust
pizza with some added tuna, for example, when your exercising hard is no
great sin. Additionally a burger on wholemeal bread, with a homemade
100% beef patty and salad, is equally in the cards when your trying to con-
sume over 4000 calories per day (and for some, as much as 7000 calories or
more per day). Anabolic nutrition requires anabolic foods, so nutrition is a
priority when creating your diet plan. Feel free to improvise, however, to
get the calories you need. Capische?
Now that we have the approximate calories gured out for making consis-
tent gains in weight, we need to gure out the macronutrient breakdown.
That is, we have to gure out how much protein, fat, and carbs a person
needs within the context of caloric intake, as gured above. The best way
to go about that goal is: a) gure out protein requirements; followed by b)
fat requirements; and nally c) carbohydrate requirements. Following this
“a, b, c” format will make the process easier to understand and follow