Daily Calories

Daily Calories

When designing a specific calorie based diet I begin with this basic calculation, as with all estimations there is an element of trial and error for a while. The below calculations are based on an equation that looks at feeding your lean body mass with the correct nutrients for it survival and maintenance but starving your excess fat. So adhering to this principle will help you conquer the fat loss and stay nutririonally equipped for your workouts and recovery. It is not a permanent solution, with training your body will change in its make up by getting more muscle, less fat and its overall weight will drop. This means that every so often you will need to check in on the scales and recalculate your percentages. This diet is also a great way to monitor what you are eating as sticking to a calorie and macronutrient based diet means that you have a measure in which you can alter according to your results. Simple guesswork when dieting can often work but can also leave you depleted of energy or accidentally overeating. Once you have worked out your daily calories and your macronutrient breakdown you can start reading labels and working out how to build your meals specific to these requirements. As a personal trainer it is my job to monitor this for my clients, although I do not like an aggressive approach to dieting as this usually ends up in failure. My approach is slow and progressive, removing bad choices over time, offering alternatives and teaching the effects of the good and bad choices. Once a client is consistently making good choices I will then approach the subject of monitoring daily calories.

Firstly we need to work out what our lean body mass equates to so I will break this down using my own body fat and weight.

Bodyweight = 253lbs and my body fat is 14%


253lbs (bodyweight)  x 0.14 (bodyfat percentage) = 35.4lbs  (total weight of bodyfat)


We then need to subtract the body fat from our total bodyweight 


253lbs (bodyweight) – 35.4 (weight of bodyfat) = 217.6lbs (218lbs lean body mass)


So this makes my lean body mass 218lbs


I then want to take into account my activity level, this can vary but if you are training 3-5 times weekly then you will use a multiplier of 0.7  if you are doing less than this use a multiplier of 0.6

218lbs (lean body mass) x 0.7 (activity level) = 152.6lbs (153lbs)


From this we need to work out our total daily protein requirements I advise 1gram per lb for men and 0.7 for women 

So this means I will need 153 grams of protein per day 

We now need to factor into this our carbohydrates and our fats I advise that our total daily calorie breakdown looks like this 


  • 30%  Protein

  • 30%  Fats

  • 40% Carbs


So we now need to assume that our 153 grams of protein is 30% of our total calories and work this back to achieve our total figures. 

Protein is 4 calories per gram so we multiply our protein in grams by 4


153(grams protein)  x 4kcal = 612kcal (total amount of calories per day from protein)


So taking 612kcal as 30% of our total daily calories means that our total works out to be


612kcal (daily protein calories) / .3 = 2040kcal (total daily calories)


So our daily calorie breakdown should now look like this


2040 = total daily calories


30% protein = 612kcal (2040 x .3)


30% fat = 612 (2040 x .3)


40% carbs = 816 (2040 x .4)


At this point we can start to work out what our days food should look like, I am going to base my food on 6 even meals spread out over the day.


2040kcal (total daily calories) / 6 (meals) = 340kcal per meal


So I will now work out the percentages of fats, carbs and protein that my 340kcal meal should have 


Protein 340kcal x .3 = 102kcal so taking into account that there is 4 calories per gram you end up with


  • 102kcal / 4 = 25.5 grams of protein


Carbs 340kcal x .4 = 136kcal so taking into account that there is 4 calories per gram you end up with


  • 136kcal / 4 = 34 grams of carbohydrates


Fats 340kcal x .3 = 102kcal so taking into account that fats are higher in carbs than the other two at 9 calories per gram


  • 102kcal / 9 = 11.3 grams of fat