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Determining Caloric Intake

Determining Caloric Intake - This formula is based on putting on muscle, not strictly body fat loss.


A very active male seeking weight (muscle) gain = ideal body weight x 17

A moderately active male seeking weight (muscle) gain = ideal body weight x 16

Inactive male beginning a weight (muscle) gain exercise program = ideal bodyweight x 15


A very active female seeking weight (muscle) gain = ideal body weight x 15

A moderately active female seeking weight (muscle) gain = ideal body weight x 13

Inactive female beginning a weight (muscle) gain exercise program = ideal bodyweight x 12


A moderately active male currently weighing 160 pounds wants to put on muscle. His goal is to add five pounds of muscle to his frame. Here is the formula: 165 (ideal body weight) x 16 (moderately active male) = 2,640 calories. Please keep it realistic! If you're 160 pounds and you place 250 pounds into the formula as your ideal weight, you’ll just get fat!


Now that we know how to determine calories, let’s take a look at how to calculate ratios of protein, carbohydrate and fats. If you’re looking to put on muscle, a ratio of 55 percent carbohydrate, 30 percent protein and 15 percent fat is an excellent balance.

The 55 percent carbohydrate (keep refined carbohydrates to a minimum) will provide ample energy for intense workouts, and the 30 percent protein will provide the necessary building blocks for muscle. Also, the 15 percent fat will help with strength levels. Most people interested in building muscle will actually lose strength if dietary fat is reduced too low.

Below is an example using our imaginary male, who will be consuming 2,640 calories.

Fifty-five percent of 2,640 calories = 1,452 calories from carbohydrate

Thirty percent of 2,640 calories = 792 calories from protein, 15 percent of 2,640 calories = 396 calories

There are metabolic differences between various individuals, so sometimes these ratios need to be slightly skewed. 
Keep in mind that this is about gaining muscle, not having fat loss as your primary goal. Fat loss ratios and calorie calculations are different than the above. 


The best way to put on muscle is... carefully. You can’t expect to eat pizza and subs every day and put on quality muscle. Muscle doesn't come on quickly. In fact, it takes consistency, hard work and patience. However, I know you want to see some type of meal sample! Again, the following is merely a sample! It's not customized for you, so don’t just use it because it looks good.

Meal spacing is important in order to control blood sugar levels. However, when one wants to put on muscle, it's important to raise blood sugar levels immediately after the workout with a protein/carbohydrate shake. The carb source should be primarily glucose based, such as grape juice. This is prime time to shuttle vital nutrients into the muscle through the manipulation of insulin levels. Meals should be spaced every two to three hours except for the post-workout time frame. A sample meal schedule may look something like this:

6:30-8 a.m. -- egg white omelet, 1 cup oatmeal

9:30 a.m. -- 5 oz. tuna, 4oz. starch, 1 cup vegetables

12:30 p.m. -- 5 oz. chicken breast, 4 oz. sweet potato

3:30 p.m. -- meal replacement shake

6:00 p.m. (post-workout) -- 30-40 grams protein powder, 8 oz. of grape juice

7:00 p.m. -- 5 oz. turkey breast, 1 cup brown rice, 1 cup vegetables

9:00 p.m. -- 1 cup cottage cheese, 1/2 apple, 5 almonds

That’s it! You have most of what you need for success.
Putting on muscle is a combination of intelligent nutrition, workouts and supplementation. 

This article was provided by My Personal Trainer Network
For more information on My Personal Trainer Network, check out their full profile here.
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