Working out is only half the battle. The other half comes in the kitchen. You wouldn’t go into battle without the right weapons right? Well I’ve got just the tool for you to make sure you succeed on the nutrition front. Your very own Calorie Calculator! I know depending on what nutrition guide you look at the calorie calculators may be a little different, but they all give practically the same numbers. So I’ve decided to use the good ole P90X Calculator! It does a great job at determining your baseline needs while other program’s calculators may overestimate need. Some programs (T25 and P90X3) don’t use a calculator at all, but rather a points system which I find a little odd. Plus, I don’t buy into this “intuitive eating” stuff. I like structure and hard numbers.
To use this calculator all you need is your current weight and the caloric deficit you want to run. What’s a caloric deficit? It’s what allows you to lose the weight by burning more calories than you eat in a day! The P90X calculator automatically calculates your baseline need PLUS an extra 600 calories (for average workout burn). As a basic rule, if you are within 20 pounds of your ideal weight, run a 600 calorie deficit. If you are further away, run 1000 or possibly more! For example, a 250 lb person would be put in the Level II category at 2400 cals per day using the guide, but to lose rapidly might want to consider a higher deficit. I have stuck with 1900 cals per day and it’s been working out pretty good so far! Just remember males should stay above 1500 calories and women 1200.
Now that you are armed with the right weapon, go knock it out in the kitchen. Also, if you are using a tracking too such as MyFitnessPal, don’t track your burned calories. The system adds those to your profile and tells you that you can eat more. This defeats the purpose of the deficit! Now you can head on over to Tracking Proper Nutrition to figure out your macro-nutrient ratios.