Want to lose weight and stubborn body fat ? Or do you want to increase body weight and gain muscle mass? Unsure where to start or how to start your body transformation journey?
Today we would discuss a little basic information to understand before we embark on our body transformation journey.
The main key formula for any successful body transformation process is daily calorie intake, balanced nutrition, exercise, lifestyle factors (ie sleep pattern and apnea ,stress level , hormone level,etc) and lastly supplements.
It is always advisable to meet with your doctor and discuss methods that may help you on this journey and to do some basic investigations to measure the progress of your transformation.
Today let’s talk about calories and nutrition.
What are calories? How do I calculate my daily required calories? How much should I consume to lose or to gain weight? What’s my ideal caloric intake?
A calorie is the unit measurement of energy (kilocalories or kcal). In nutrition, calories refer to the energy we get from foods and drinks we consume. Calories are also used to measure the energy expenditure from physical activities. It’s very easy to get the information about calories in a certain food source if we look closely at the nutrition facts on the packaging.
Body transformation is centered around calculating your daily required calories. To lose weight and reduce body fat you have to be in a caloric deficit. Vice versa if you would want to gain weight and put on some muscle mass, you would have to eat a surplus of calories. There are many calorie calculators online that you can use to obtain your daily caloric requirement. It would be based on your gender, weight, height, age and daily physical activity level(sedentary or active lifestyle).
Once you have your daily caloric requirement, as a basic rule you can add or subtract 500 calories from the daily caloric requirement based on your goals. Further tweaking of this can be done with a health care provider or a nutritionist later on.
We can use the Harris-Benedict formula to get your daily caloric requirement or basal metabolic rate (BMR):
For men BMR:
66.5 + 13.8 x(body weight in kilograms) + 5 x(body height in cm) divided by 6.8 x age.
For women BMR:
655.1 + 13.8 x(body weight in kilograms) + 5 x(body height in cm) divided by 6.8 x age.
Result of the equation should be multiplied by the physical activity factor.
Low physical activity 1.2
Average physical activity 1.3
High physical activity 1.4
What is a balanced nutritional diet?
Having a balanced and well rounded diet as a basic starting point is essential. You may have heard about a protein rich diet, keto diet, no carbs diet etc but as a beginner my advice to you would be to start with a well balanced diet and progress from there. This is because the food we consume and the amount of it plays a vital role in our daily energy expenditure.
Macronutrient makes up the major portions of our nutrition:
- 1 gram of protein provides 4 calories
- 1 gram of carbohydrates provides 4 calories
- 1 gram of fat provides 9 calories
- For those who consume alcohol
- 1 gram of alcohol provides 7 calories
A balanced diet that incorporates protein and a good fat source, fiber (vegetables and fruits) and carbohydrates is a starting point where we can tweak depending on our goals. The key to diet is to get nutrition dense food and as always to eat within our caloric requirement to maintain weight, below caloric requirement to lose weight and above caloric requirement to gain weight.
Here are a few examples that we recommend:
- Oatmeal (Complex carbohydrate) is high in fiber and nutrient dense.
- Eggs (a good source of protein)
- Chicken (lean source of protein with low saturated fat)
- Beans (vegetarian source of protein and high in fiber)
- Nuts such as walnut and almonds (good sources of healthy fats)
The main principle is fulfilling your energy needs depending on your goals. Being conscious about what we consume can help us with our body transformation and it can also help us reduce certain metabolic diseases and degenerative diseases from affecting us