I just spent two weeks changing my eating habbits which were BAD... A couple candy bars a day, ice cream at night; you know the good stuff. Well, I'm 5'9 and my weight got up too 238lbs. What did it was my doctor telling me I was unhealthy and a 150/100 Blood preasure. Enough of my life. I am done with the sugar and have trained myself to eat clean, it was hard but its done. Question is, Can you guys tell me where or how I find out how many calories I need to just maintain my body weight along with protien, carbs, and fat. In my process of eating better ive lost 8lbs, however I have a goal to reach 180lbs. I started to lift at home and mountainbike. I just need some help on the amount of the above mentioned items. Where do I find out how many calories I need to maitain so I can then cut them out to loose about 3lbs a week? Thanks all, it is this forum that has kept me motivated the last few days
As you know, your "maintenance calories" basically means the amount you need to eat to stay the same weight. If you've been the same weight for a while, then you're eating maintenance calories right now. The best thing to do would be to keep a strict "food diary" for a week or two, in which you record everything you eat and drink as exactly as you can while eating normally. You can then use a website like www.fitday.com or www.nutritiondata.com to figure out how many calories you're eating. This will be your maintenance calories.
If you actually lose weight during this monitoring period, then you're eating below maintenance. If you gain, then obviously you're eating above maintenance. For every pound you gain or lose, you've eaten about 3500 calories too few (or too many); divide that into the length of your recording period. For example, if you lose 3lbs in two weeks, you ate 3500 x 3 = 10500 calories below maintenance. This is 10500 / 14 = 750 calories per day below your maintenance level.
During the recording period, try to keep your diet constant and do your normal amount of exercise.
Once you have this number, you can figure out how many calories you need to eat. Basically, you need to eat 500 calories under maintenance to lose a pound a week, 1000 calories under to lose 2 pounds a week etc. You can do this by eating less, or by doing mor exercise, or a combination of the two. Diet is the main factor you should be looking at.
If you can't be bothered with this, you can estimate your maintenance calories using the simple forumla bodyweight in kilos x 24 x Activity Modifier.
So for you, if you're now 230lbs, that's 104 x 24 x AM = 2500 x AM.
Activity Modifier depends on how active you are day to day. If you're very active all day it would be 1.5; if you do a desk job and no exercise it would be 1.1 Most people are somewhere in between, at 1.2 or 1.3. If you were average (on your feet quite a bit and take regular exercise) it would be 1.3, so using that as an example, the formula gives 2500 x 1.3 = 3250 calories.
You would use this number as your maintenance calories, and modify it as above. However, this is just a crude estimate, and using a food diary is preferable by far.
As for what you should eat; obviously for health reasons you should eat healthful food, meaning plenty of fresh fruit and veg, lean protein, whole grains, nuts, seeds, healthful oils etc., and as little processed food as you can. However, while I'd strongly recommend doing this, for the purposes of weight loss it doesn't matter too much. Overall calories are by far the most important thing.
I'd suggest you try to do the following:
1) Eat in the region of 150g protein per day.
2) Make sure you get some EFA's (Essential Fatty Acids) - this means easting oily fish, or taking a supplement such as fish oil, flax oil, hemp oil etc.
3) Get the right number of calories every day, to the nearest hundred or so. If you have days where you exceed your target, don't fret, but get back into the swing of the diet as soon afterwards as possible. Try to limit such days as much as you can.
4) Eat whole, non-processed food as far as possible.
5) Get into a dietary habit that you'll stick to for months if not years. This is key to keeping the weight off. It's far better for you to eat a diet that's 80% perfect but you'll stick to long-term, than one that's 99% perfect but you'll give up on in 2 weeks time.
Don't worry too much about fat/protein/carb ratios - by and large they don't matter. Get enough protein (150g/day is fine) and eat at least some fat, and past that it doesn't really matter where the balance of your calories come from. If you eat healthy foods you'll find it'll balance out quite nicely between the three macros, and you'll end up eating moderate amounts of all three.
As for losing 3lbs per week, it's certainly possible but it's generally better to aim for a less severe loss, such as 2lbs per week. That's still only take you 6 months to lose 50 pounds, which would be an excellent achivement.
Good luck with your goal, and congratulations on the changes you've already made. If you have further questions, obviously post them - there are plenty of people on here willing to help .
Thanks alot Aspect for the info. It was very informative, I never thought I would need 3000+ calories to maintain. Well I began the diet in Sept 8 and I was 234, I know I have lost, just need to find a scale. What I need to do is find my body fat%. This forum is what keeps me going, alot of great information in here, thanks all.