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:
Return to T.O.C.
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
There are several methods for calculating calories specie to the needs and
desires of the individual - in this case, men and women who want to pack
on quality weight (i.e. muscle) as a result of their hard work in the gym.
Some formulas are a tad on the complicated side while others are quite
simple. Although the following section will be overly complicated for
some, don’t despair. A far easier method for calculating calories follows,
and the entire e-book uses it for the calculations on diet and calories. Ulti-
mately, we will depend on the simple calorie calculations as our guide in
It should be noted, however, that the more complicated formulas tend to
be the more precise. An example of one of the more complicated formulas
for guring out calorie intakes based on the person’s gender, activity lev-
els, etc. is below. First, you need to calculate your RMR., then add TEM and
EPEE, to get TEE. Finally, you have to add additional calories if weight gain
is the goal.
Probably the most commonly used formula for calculating RMR., is known
as the Harris-Benedict formula. It di ers for male/female. However, an eas-
ier variant of Harris-Benedict Formula goes like so:
Formula to calculate RMR for men:
RMR = 66 + (13.7 x weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm)
- (6.8 x age in years)
Formula to calculate RMR for women:
RMR = 655 + (9.6 X weight in kg) + (1.8 X height in
cm) - (4.7 X age in years)
To calculate your total calorie needs, multiply your RMR by the appropriate
• If you are sedentary (little or no exercise, desk job): multiply your
RMR by 1.2
Chapter 2/The Harris-Benedict Formula
If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk): multiply
your RMR by 1.375
If you are moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk):
multiply your RMR by 1.55
If you perform heavy exercise (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/wk):
multiply your RMR by 1.725
Don’t forget: add 10% to account for TEM
Using the above formula and other needed information to gure out
how many calories are needed for quality gains, I plugged in my own
stats: 167.5cm tall, 41 years old, and the moderate Activity Multiplier
of 1.55. Because the e-book uses the body weight of 200 lb. through-
out as the example weight in the Simple Method and the rest of the
e-book, I used that weight (though I weigh approximately 175 lb. give
or take) in the formula. So:
Weight in kilograms: 200 lb. / 2.2 = 90.9 kg
Height = 167.5 cm
Age = 41
Activity Multiplier: 1.55
RMR = 66 + (13.7 x 90.9 kg) + (5 x 167.5 cm) - (6.8 x 41 years) = 66 +
1245.3 + 837.5 - 278.8 = 1870 kcal
1870 kcal x 1.55 = 2898.5 kcal - this can be rounded o to 2900 kcal
Now we add 10% (290 kcal) to account for TEM:
2900 + 290 = 3190 kcal
So - for the purposes of this example, my total calorie needs ( TDEE) are
3190 kcal per day.
The above still only accounts for RMR, TEM, and to some degree, EEPA, but
does not take into account the goal of actually gaining weight. We need
to add additional calories for that.
My recommendation would be to add an additional 10% to the number
you come up with if you choose to use the above formula. So, continuing
my example, 3190 kcals plus an additional 10% = 3509 kcals per day for the
above example to account for RMR, TEF, EEPA, plus an additional 10% to
that gure to gain weight.
Remember, those numbers can be quite di erent person-to-person as such
a formula has many potential variables to plug in. Thus, do not use my ex-
amples to decide on calorie intakes.
Also, one does not have to start out with an additional 10%. People who
add fat easily or already have a higher amount of body fat may need to
exercise more caution. One could start out with an additional 5% and see
if weight gain takes place, increasing calories by 5% until weight gain does
Hardgainers, on the other hand, could start with 20% above RMR, TEF, and
EEPA, to get weight gain moving.
What do I recommend? I recommend you make life much easier on your-
self and forget all about this formula and use the “Simple Method” outlined
in the next section! The point of this section was to highlight the di erent
factors that determine total daily energy needs. Some people like to make
things as hard as they can, but for the rest of us, the K.I.S.S. principle works
just as well.
Before we set calories and gure out correct amounts for proteins, fats and carbs, it’s important to understand where the calories go when we eat. Understanding what happens to the calories in metabolism helps us make smart decisions about what we should be eating for a particular goal, such as losing or gaining weight.
There is a strong synergism between the foods we eat and our perfor-
mance, muscle mass and body fat levels. People debate (make that ght!)
about every aspect of nutrition: high carb vs. low carb diets, high protein
diets, high fat diets vs. low fat diets, and so on.
Regardless of which diet a person follows, one element always remains a
constant: the concept of energy balance. The energy balance equation can
be summed up as:
Energy Intake = Energy Expenditure + Energy Storage.
It does not matter if your goal is to lose, maintain or gain body weight.
Everything ultimately revolves around this simple equation. The type and
ratios of macronutrients we eat matters as well as the total number of calo-
Brink’s Universal Law of Nutrition states: “Total calories dictate how much
you lose or gain, and macronutrient types and ratios dictate what you lose
To better understand energy balance, we must rst be familiar with the
components of energy expenditure. Total daily energy expenditure ( TDEE,
which is the average number of calories one oxidizes or “burns” in a day)
can be partitioned into three components:
• Resting metabolic rate (RMR)
• Thermic e ect of a meal ( TEM)
• Energy expenditure of physical activity (EEPA)
Return to T.O.C.
“ Brink’s Univer-
sal Law of Nutri-
tion states: ‘Total
how much you lose
or gain, and mac-
and ratios dictate
what you lose or
Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)
Chapter 2/Where Does The Food Go? Understanding TDEE
RMR makes a major contribution to TDEE and is associated with the energy
cost of maintaining physiological homeostasis.
This includes the energy cost of maintaining body temperature, cardiac
output, respiration, nervous system function and other involuntary activi-
This component of energy expenditure is in uenced by body fat levels,
gender, and physical tness, but is determined primarily by lean body mass.
Therefore, the greater the amount of lean body mass that you have at any
given body weight, the greater your caloric expenditure - even at rest.
Your metabolism is the rate at which your body oxidizes (burns) calories
to live. About 10 percent of your total daily energy expenditure is used to
convert the food you eat into fuel or blubber (fat). Another 20 percent or
so is accounted for by exercise and the everyday physical activities of life. I
don’t believe these gures are written in stone, but you can get an idea of
where the calories you eat are going, at least.
However, the biggest block of energy is consumed by your resting meta-
bolic rate (RMR), which accounts for up to 75 percent of your daily expen-
With the RMR accounting for this big a chunk of your daily calories, it be-
hooves you to focus on the RMR as a key spot to manipulate. For example,
people who are naturally blessed with a higher RMR will burn up to 200
calories more each day, even when they perform identical activities.
Can the RMR be altered? Of course! Your RMR is ultimately controlled by
your genetic makeup; but age, gender and body composition also play an
important role. Altering your body composition by increasing your muscle
mass and decreasing body fat will increase RMR.
The reader may be thinking, “how do I increase my RMR?” Fortunately,
when it comes to altering your RMR, nothing beats weight training.
over aerobics any day. Several recent studies have con rmed that resis-
tance training maintains resting metabolic rate (RMR) better than aerobics.
Studies have shown, as well, that resistance training is far superior to aero-
bics for maintaining the metabolically active tissue we need (muscle!) for a
superior fat burning metabolism, while trying to gain muscle mass.
Weight lifting is the best exercise you can do to keep your metabolism el-
evated over long periods of time. Resistance training burns approximately
the same number of calories as running or hopping around in an aerobics
class, but - unlike aerobics - the calorie burning and metabolism raising ef-
fects of weight training continue long after the activity has ended.
Aerobic exercise can never o er that bene t. After aerobic exercise, RMR
returns to normal within an hour or so, resulting in the consumption of a
few additional calories. Big deal. After weight lifting, RMR remains elevated
for up to 15 hours! The bottom line: weight training increases post-exercise
metabolism and builds muscle that is far more metabolically active than
OK, back to the energy equation and understanding TDEE.
Thermic Effect of a Meal (TEM)
TEM is the energy increase that takes place after you eat a meal containing
protein, carbohydrate, fat and alcohol.
The increase in energy expenditure is due to the cost of digestion, absorp-
tion, mobilization and storage of these macronutrients. On average this
component comprises approximately 10 percent of TDEE. Perhaps most
importantly, the thermic response to ingested foods is driven primarily by
the ratio of macronutrients.
In other words, the thermic e ect of the meal can vary widely, depending
on the ratio of carbs, fats and proteins in a given meal. While both protein
and carbohydrate will elicit notable and signi cant thermic responses, fat
does not. This is one of several reasons why higher fat diets have been
blamed for increased body fat levels over the years.
However, as mentioned throughout this chapter, the e ects that fats have
on body fat are complicated, since certain fats are helpful for reducing body
fat, blocking fat storage, and for increasing beta-oxidation, etc. Though
“ After aerobic
returns to normal
within an hour or
so, resulting in the
a few additional
calories. Big deal.
After weight lift-
ing, RMR remains
elevated for up to
15 hours! Bottom
line, weight train-
ing builds muscle
that is far more
tive than fat.”
the e ect of fat on TEM is important to know, it’s even more important - in
my view - to remember that not all fats are created equal in terms of their
e ects on metabolism.
To conclude TEM, it can be stated that TEM varies according to the mixture
or ratio of macronutrients eaten at a given meal and can be manipulated
– to either increase or decrease TDEE – by altering the composition of the
Energy Expenditure of Physical Activity (EEPA)
EEPA is the most variable component of TDEE. Translated, it’s up to us to be
either couch potatoes or gym rats! EEPA is composed of both involuntary
(i.e., shivering) and voluntary muscular activity, such as exercise.
EEPA is in uenced somewhat by body weight and composition. This
means a heavier person will require more energy than a lighter person and
a leaner person will require more energy than a fatter counterpart of the
same weight for the same activity and intensity.
However, EEPA is primarily driven by an individual’s desire and ultimate
performance of activity, which is how hard they bust their butt on a par-
Putting the TDEE Together
Finally, we can now equate a person’s caloric needs as:
TDEE = RMR + TEM + EEPA
The TDEE can help us - not just to understand what our metabolisms do
with the foods we eat - but to ne-tune our diets to achieve our goal of
either gaining weight or losing it. If your TDEE exceeds calorie intake, you
lose weight. If your calorie intake exceeds TDEE (i.e. you are eating more
calories than you are “burning”) you will gain weight.
The real question is: what will that gained weight be? Fat? Muscle? Ulti-
mately what you gain or lose will be dependent on the ratio of macronutri-
ents, exercise choices, and genetics.
What is fat? Fat is a product that when you eat foods you eat. While there is no one food group that comes, there are many things you must realize that contain higher amounts of fat. From fat is all that of animals. This type of fat that is called Saturated fat is the worst of both types. This would include: Meat of all kinds, including lean meats will have some fat levels them.
Eggs are high in fat fat.
Milk, low fat milk, even still contains a good amount of fat.
It may also be low-fat cheese, but still contain a fair amount of
Unsaturated fats are fats that come from plant products of all kinds
in varying amounts. Their oils are high in fat producers.
Unsaturated fats are the best, the healthiest type of fat to have in your
How to consume
In regard to the amount of fat you should consume, it is not as
complex as its protein or carbohydrate calories.
You should not consume more than 25 to 30 percent of their calories
fat. In general, this is not hard to do, unless they are used to
eat fried products that are covered or saturated with butter
Sorry, but the body must be covered here!
Fat in the body
Your body needs some fat though. Have you heard of the subsistence
that people cut out almost all the fat in your diet?
Let's look back on our team playing theory.
You need to consume a balanced diet of products, which shall be
different amounts of fat to balance their needs.
Your body needs only a small amount of fat, however, to help several
functions. From a standpoint of sports nutrition, fat burning is used for energy.
I remember when we said that our body burns carbohydrates first
and then draw on the protein?
The fat is next on the list of energy sources when there is not enough carbohydrate
or glycogen available to burn.
So why not load on the amount of fat you consume your body, because
appears to be an essential part of energy and fuel? There are many
reasons not to do so.
The main reason you do not need to eat excessive amounts of fat is
because of the way it is unhealthy for the rest of your body.
Too much fat in your body can cause a number of health problems from
with heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. Can
also lead to cancer, complications of other conditions and only one
If you consume too much fat, you probably do not get the right
amount of carbohydrate you need.
Moreover, when we talk about carbohydrates, you said that
carbohydrates are easily burned by the body for energy. When it comes
the burning of fat, is more difficult for the body to do.
Therefore, fat should not be consumed in order to burn for energy as
When using fats
Three times in the fat that is used to burn the energy in
or your body is required for you to have handy for this.
1. If you are in extreme or intense exercise, your body
more is needed to burn more energy than glycogen or stored in
carbohydrate readily available. Then turn to stored fat
assist in providing the energy you need.
2. When your body is at rest, or you just do low to moderate
quantities of work, then use your body to burn mostly fat as
fuel. During this time, only small amounts of fat actually
3. If you continue the exercise for long periods, like when
to make during a marathon, a long endurance race of any kind, its
body then has to build stores of fat to help to power through
needs When these terms fat and sports nutrition, is something that really
need to monitor. Consumes a large amount of fatty foods, especially those
are made from saturated fat, is put your health at risk.
As far as sports nutrition is, too much fat can cause your performance
to slip. The body does not work as well as it does with carbohydrate
or even the burning of protein when fat is consumed.