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Determining Maintenance Caloric Intake ?

Exactly as the topic says … how does one determine the maintenance caloric need for any individual ?


Thanks !

get a note book, and use it as a food log. average out the cals per day from over the week. assuming you have not shifted in weight this is your maintenance cal intake. You can use calculations (there is a couple on this site) to guess what it should be but there are so many factors that come in to play it is hard to get it right. even different diets can have different maint cal intake, i can normally eat quite a bit more on the massive eating diet which is always good…

In the future, try the search engine. There have been countless articles on this topic in the mag, and I’m sure just as many discussions. The general summary is that maintenance calories are a highly individual thing, with no “tried and true” method for discovering it without experimentation on your part. That said, John Berardi’s massive eating approach seems to be the way to go.



Massive Eating

The overall energy requirements of an individual are determined by their basal metabolic rate and level of activity.
The following are 2 methods for determining approximate Basal Metabolic Rates:
Cunningham method-

Resting Metabolic Rate for Athletes (in calories per day) = 500 + 22 x fat free mass (in kilograms).

Harris Bennedict method-

Males RMR= 66.47+13.75xWT+5(Ht) - 6.76(AGE)
Females RMR= 655.1+9.56(WT) +1.85xHT -4.68(AGE)

This BMR is then multiplied by the average activity factor for the day, calculated using the following activity factors:

Activity factor
Resting, sleeping, reclining 1
Very Light- sitting, standing, driving, typing, sewing, ironing, cooking. 1.5
Light- walking on level surface (4-5km hour), garage work, electrical trades, restaurant trade, carpentry, childcare, house cleaning, golf, sailing, tabletennis, tenpin bowling. 2.5
Moderate- walking (5 - 7km/h), weeding, hoeing, carrying a load, cycling slowly skiing, cricket, horse riding. 4
Strenuous- jogging or running (7km hour), ice-skating, roller-skating, gymnastics, aerobics, basketball, football, squash, weight training, soccer. 7
Very strenous- swimming race pace, rowing race pace, cycling race pace, squash fast pace, running (10-15 km/h). 10

So just say you are 165 lbs (75 kgs) with 10% body fat. Your fat free mass is going to be about 68 kgs. 68x22+500= 2000 cals a day. Then you would adjust accordingly. Just say you spent 1 hour a day doing strenous activity, 10 hours resting and 13 hours doing very light acitivity the equation would be.

2000x(1x7+10x1+13x1.5)/24 = approx 3050 cals.

John Berardi outlined a similar method in his massive eating part one article do a search in the previous issues section for it.

Chris, I’m pretty close to your example - 162 lbs 10% bf and I find my maintainence is around 2,000 calories.

Yeah wierd isnt it. These are not data that I made up myself they were from a couple of nutrition books. You would be just as much out by John Berardi’s calculations also… I must look into why this could be.

Yeah, using JB’s calculations, the recommended maintainence or even diet calories for me is my “personal” bulking calories (lean and slow gains).

Should you use your current weight & bodyfat % or your goal weight & bodyfat % that you are trying to achieve?

Many people have found that a good starting point is 15 x your lean body mass. Adjust from there.

Here is a good link to discover your BMR

www.hussman.org/fitness/ bmrcalc.htm

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