Yesterday, you took down the details of everything you ate. Hopefully you didn't fudge it—to tell a little white lie or, more literally, to eat an entire plate of fudge. Because today, you're going to use that information to determine how many calories you'll need to consume daily over the course of the 30-Day Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Fitness.
Ultimate 30 Day Beginners Guide To Fitness: Day 8
Watch The Video - 02:43
Day 8 Challenge
- Use a calculator to estimate your daily caloric needs.
- Compare estimated needs to actual intake from previous journal entry.
- Read articles about dieting mistakes and measuring food.
As Steve mentioned, some people have trouble wrapping their mind around the idea that living a fit life isn't about calorie restriction—or restriction of any of the three major macronutrients, for that matter. It's about taking adequate amounts of healthy food to fuel your training. That may sound like what you're doing now, but to be safe, check out ON athlete Alex Carneiro's list of common fat-loss mistakes to make sure you're not sabotaging your results.
You don't want to end up overfed but undernourished. So you're going to start your journey by determining your basal metabolic rate, which is how many calories your body burns at rest. Then determine what's known as your "estimated energy requirements" using this calculator.
Total Calories Including Exercise
* Mifflin-St. Jeor Equation
This number is the amount of calories you use up over the course of an average day, including normal bodily functions and any training you might do. Don't worry about trying to stay above or below that number just yet. We'll get into that later in the trainer, on Day 22. For now, stay focused on learning.
If you've decided to continue tracking your food, then your challenge is to learn to use the apps, reference books, or one of the numerous helpful online databases to calculate how many calories you took in yesterday, today, or even better, both. Two of the most popular databases are NutritionData.com and the USDA's National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, but there are a growing number of apps that utilize restaurant data if you're not near a computer.
If you need more guidance on measuring your food, check out this article.