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How Many Calories Should I Eat to Lose Weight? - Chris Garrett Fitness | Dream-2-Reality | Team D2R

How Many Calories Should I Eat to Lose Weight?

How Many Calories Should I Eat to Lose Weight?

 

Quite often I hear the questions “How many calories should I eat to lose weight?”  or “How do I know when to change my calorie intake and macro-nutrients?”  These are great questions!  Nutrition is 80% of your results with the program, so you have to get this right!  Workouts can give you some results, but if your nutrition is not where it should be you will be doing a lot of work for very little results.  You will most likely get discouraged and fall off of your workouts. We don’t want that to happen!  How do you ensure you stay motivated?  You will want to see results!
I have posted some guidelines below that will help you understand a ballpark of where you need to be for different goals (lose weight, get stronger, build muscle mass, etc).  Hopefully this will make it easier for you to understand where you should be.  As I discussed in my P90X Nutrition Plan post, it is set up to be more of a maintenance plan versus and weight loss plan.  Since Beachbody didn’t intend on this being a weight loss program, some adjustments needed to be made to the nutrition plan.

Question: “So how many calories should I eat a day to lose weight?”

Answer: ”To lose 1 pound of fat in 1 week, you need to create a 500 calorie deficit per day for a week. A 500 calorie deficit over 7 days equals to 3500 calories. A pound of fat contains 3500 calories.”

***Here are our guidelines for different programs.  Please note that these are not rules.  Everybody may have different needs or requirements or may live a more active lifestyle that may need different calorie levels.  These guidelines may need to be tweaked and experimented with depending on how your body responds and feels***

How Many Calories Should I Eat to lose weight with:

Power 90 / Slim in 6 / Turbo Jam / Hip Hop Abs / ChaLEAN Extreme

FAT SHREDDER (Lose Weight)

If you are MORE than 2% away from your body fat goal, you need to be on a calorie deficit. You can start on fat shredder ratios, but don’t stick with those ratios for more than a month.  That means 50% protein, 30% carbs, 20% fat. After the first month you can start incorporating more healthy carbs into your nutrition.  If you are on a plant based diet send me an email at p90extreme@ymail.com and I will give you some info of how to follow that nutrition to lose weight.  We want to shed fat fairly quickly before changing up our nutrition again so you need to be running a good deficit of calories (taking in less than you burn in a day). As for the total number of calories, these are my recommendations:

MEN=

  • 6′ and above = 1500-1600 cals per day.
  • Up to 5’11″ = 1500 cals per day.
Here is a sample 1500 calorie diet following “Fat Shredder” Ratios”

WOMEN =

  • 5’6 and above = 1200-1300 per day.
  • less than 5’6″ = 1200 per day.

Here is a sample 1200 calorie diet following “Fat Shredder” Ratios”

 

How Many Calories Should I Eat to lose weight with:

P90X / P90X2 / Insanity / Insanity:  The Asylum / TurboFire

FAT SHREDDER (Lose Weight)
If you are MORE than 2% away from your body fat goal, you need to be on a calorie deficit. You can start on fat shredder ratios, but don’t stick with those ratios for more than a month.  That means 50% protein, 30% carbs, 20% fat. After the first month you can start incorporating more healthy carbs into your nutrition.  If you are on a plant based diet send me an email at p90extreme@ymail.com and I will give you some info of how to follow that nutrition to lose weight.  We want to shed fat fairly quickly before changing up our nutrition again so you need to be running a good deficit of calories (taking in less than you burn in a day). As for the total number of calories, these are my recommendations:

MEN=

  • 6′ and above = 1900-2200 cals per day.
  • 5’6 – 5’11″ = 1700-1900 cals per day.
  • less than 5’6″ = 1500 cals per day.
Here is a sample 1800 calorie diet following “Fat Shredder” Ratios”

WOMEN =

  • 5’6 and above = 1500 per day.
  • less than 5’6″ = 1300-1500 per day.
Here is a sample 1500 calorie diet following “Fat Shredder” Ratios”
Here is a sample 1200 calorie diet following “Fat Shredder” Ratios”

Running the fat shredder at these calorie totals will results in rapid body fat loss, which is what we are after in this stage.

 

ENERGY BOOSTER (Maintain / fine tune)

If you are within 2% of your ideal body fat, you need to be on a phase 2 diet (40/40/20) that is close to your maintenance calorie level. Your goal here is to slow down the fat loss and get your body experiencing more energy for your workouts to push harder.  You will lose that last bit of fat while building muscle at the same time.  I followed this for the remaining 2 months of round 1 of P90X and I reached my goal of 8% body fat and built lean muscle mass at the same time.

MEN =

  • 6′ and above = 3,000 cals per day.
  • 5’6″ – 5’11″ = 2600-2800 cals per day.
  • less than 5’6″ = 2200 – 2400 cals per day.

WOMEN =

  • 5’6 and above = 1500 – 1600 per day.
  • less than 5’6″ = 1300 – 1400 per day.

 

ENDURANCE MAXIMIZER (building muscle mass)

If you are already ripped or have a really fast metabolism and are naturally skinny, then it’s time to build muscle and LOTS of it!  DO NOT follow this plan until you have reached your goal with your body fat by following the fat shredder and energy booster diets.  For a muscle building diet, you need a lot of carbs to give you tons of energy and fuel your muscles. You should shoot for 50-60% carbs, 20-30% protein, and 20% fat. But make sure those carbs are GOOD carbs! Fruits, veggies, whole grains, oats, etc. You need to take in a calorie SURPLUS to help you gain weight.  You will need to watch your weight closely and make sure you are at a steady pace of about 1 lb per week. If you are gaining more than that it is most likely body fat. In a round of the X, you should be able to put on 13 lbs of muscle without increasing your body fat much at all if you do it 1 lb per week. Here are my guidelines for total calories on a bulking diet (but you’ll need to adjust based on how fast you are / aren’t gaining weight each week).

MEN =

  • 6′ and above = 3,600 cals per day.
  • 5’6″ – 5’11″ = 3000 – 3200 cals per day.
  • less than 5’6″ = 2800 – 3000 cals per day.

WOMEN =

  • 5’6 and above = 1800 – 2000 per day.
  • less than 5’6″ = 1600 – 1800 per day.

After determining your proper daily caloric intake and ratio for your body and your goals, you need to track your calories and ratio using FitDay.com, FitDay mobile or MyFitnessPal for iPhone. As you enter your foods into this site and these apps, they will automatically track your ratio of Protein/Carbs/Fat and show it to you as a pie chart. If you have an iPhone, the MyFitnessPal app has a cool bar code scanner that makes it super quick to input your foods!

A tip I highly recommend for reaching your caloric AND RATIO goals each day is to take a few minutes each night to plan your meals and snacks for the next day. This will make sure you are already on track to reach both of your targets and you don’t have to think about it during your busy day.

I hope this answered your question of  ”How Many Calories Should I Eat to lose weight?”.  Remember this is a guideline and not a rule.

 

How Do I know When to Change my Caloric and Macro-Nutrient Intake?

Another great question!  As I outlined above you will only want to maintain the ratios (macronutrients) of the fat shredder plan no longer than one month.  After that, you can switch it up to the Energy Booster or Endurance maximizer (depending on your goals).  Since the above recommendations may not work for everyone, you may need to increase calories sooner depending on how your body is responding.  IF (a big IF) you are following all the tips in my post “Not Losing Weight?” and you have cut out all cheats, you are eating nutrient dense foods, drinking Shakeology, etc. and you hit a plateau or if you feel sluggish and run down, then you might need to adjust things.  I would first start by adding 100-200 calories to your nutrition.  As your body fat gets lower it may require more calories for fuel and if your calories are too low it will slow down your metabolism and cause a plateau.  I did this during Power 90.  I was hitting a plateau, then I increased the amount of food I was eating and my weight loss started up again.

On the opposite end for those that had an issue of not eating enough before making this change to their nutrition, you might need to start with your calories a little lower since you are not used to eating that much.  If that is the case it is super important to make sure you follow the eating every 2.5 – 3 hours rule to get your metabolism ramped up.  I would not go any lower than 100-200 calories less than the fat shredder recommendations as these calories are pretty low as it is.

As far as your ratios I would try swapping out starchy carbs such as grains, squash, sweet potatoes, etc with more green veggies.  Veggies are a natural thermogenic (fat burner) and the more you eat of these types of foods, the more the fat will melt away.   If that doesn’t work you might need to switch up the ratios to be closer to the energy booster ratios (40/40/20).  If you need to make a change,  don’t change it drastically. Make sure you ease into the changes so your body can respond.  If your calories are too low, then you will want to slowly increase the calorie intake so your metabolism can improve as you increase your calories.

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