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How much should you eat? Do you want to lose weight or do you want to gain muscle mass?
Portion size is one of the biggest pitfalls in a diet plan. Eating the proper macronutrients (explanation of macronutrients here) but consuming too much will definitely alter our diets or fitness goals.
Caloric Intake Methods
Being in a caloric surplus means you’re eating more calories than you burn or that your body needs for the day. If you require 2000 calories and your caloric intake is 2500 calories, you have a surplus of 500 calories. Your body will use this excess calories to either build muscle or store as fat.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you need to be in a caloric deficit. To increase the ‘deficit’, you can incorporate cardio exercises which burns calories. For example, if your maintenance caloric intake is 2000 calories and you ran and burned 500 calories, without changing your diet (ie. continued to consume 2000 calories), you would have put yourself in a caloric deficit at 1500 calories. And weight loss will occur if this is continued.
Now you’re asking, how do I calculate my maintenance calories, right? I’ve used this calorie calculator to estimate my daily maintenance calories. Please note that this will give you a rough estimate since everyones body composition is never the same.
Once you have an estimated daily maintenance calorie, you can either track your daily caloric intake by estimating or you can use an app like MyFitnessPal. I’ve used MyFitnessPal just to get an idea of my daily caloric intake. I don’t recommend tracking using the app for long periods of time since there is a tendency of becoming obsessive with calories and not necessarily enjoying your meals and enjoying your fitness journey.