T Nation

How Many Calories Do I Really Need?


Hello from a new guy.

I have been going to the gym since about January and usually work out 3x a week for about an hour and I also take 3-4 hours of kung fu a week as well.

I currently weigh 258lbs and am 5’10.5" with a body fat% of 37.

My goal is to get in shape and try and stay strong and flexible to help be a good martial artist.

I have tried a few calculators to get how many calories I need, but they seem to get figures that differ a lot from one to another.

Is there a scientifically reliable way to get my caloric needs?

I want to get down to 12-15% body fat or lower, depending on how my build handles the weight.

Thanks.

Zen

Picture from late May

Pick ONE any ONE calculator and use it then you no matter which one will have to adjust it to you after an initial two weeks. None are perfect

You Might Look at The T-Dawg 2.0 diet

Phill

You don’t need to count calories at this point, try not eating sweets and deep fried shit, that’s all. Just train as much as you can and you will shape up in a few months. Use higher reps, like 8-15. Done and done.

Hi Phil, thanks for the suggestion. I found the Tdog 2.0 after browsing many excellent articles along the way and I am going to give 'er a go.

Fortunately, the calculator I used came up with the same number for calories as the article suggested, so I am on my way.

I will check in periodically with progress and new pics to prove it. :slight_smile:

Thanks,

Zen

[quote]Majin wrote:
You don’t need to count calories at this point, try not eating sweets and deep fried shit, that’s all. [/quote]

Brilliant. This guy doesn’t look like this because he ate too much steak, chicken, and veggies.

Throw out the calculator, bro. Eat as much chicken, steak, and veggies (even “bad” ones like green beans) as you want.

Just figured I would post the figures that I came up with for calorie breakdown to make sure I didn’t screw it up.

Calories per day 3886
Protein 206 grams/824 calories
Fat 295 grams/2662 calories
Carbs 100 grams/400 calories

Does this look right? The fat seems high, but I am supposing that is the intention.

Thanks,

Zen

That’s way too many calories and fat. Jesus Christ dude, are you trying to give yourself a stroke? Think rationally, man!

Does 4,000 calories really seem like a reasonable number for someone trying to lose weight?

You should keep the protein a little bit higher, elevate your carbs, and drastically drastically reduce your fat. Say 300/100/150. At 5’10 or whatever you could go much lower than that calorically.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
Majin wrote:
You don’t need to count calories at this point, try not eating sweets and deep fried shit, that’s all.

Brilliant. This guy doesn’t look like this because he ate too much steak, chicken, and veggies.

Throw out the calculator, bro. Eat as much chicken, steak, and veggies (even “bad” ones like green beans) as you want. [/quote]

I strongly agree with this ‘one step at a time’ approach.

Change your current diet of soda-pop, doritos, and pastries to a variety of fresh veggies, non-processed meats, and water.

Change the time you now spend lounging on your recliner chair to getting off your ass and doing just about any kind of physical activity.

Keep this up for at least three months before moving on to any kind of trendy diets and the next fad workout program.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
Majin wrote:
You don’t need to count calories at this point, try not eating sweets and deep fried shit, that’s all.

Brilliant. This guy doesn’t look like this because he ate too much steak, chicken, and veggies.

Throw out the calculator, bro. Eat as much chicken, steak, and veggies (even “bad” ones like green beans) as you want. [/quote]

Haha

The line about “bad ones like green beans” reminds me of the whole “I dont eat fruit because it has too much sugar” line…

Sometimes I’ll see a 350lb person and think “Man, they need to lay off the oranges”.

[quote]Zenaphobe wrote:
Just figured I would post the figures that I came up with for calorie breakdown to make sure I didn’t screw it up.

Calories per day 3886
Protein 206 grams/824 calories
Fat 295 grams/2662 calories
Carbs 100 grams/400 calories

Does this look right? The fat seems high, but I am supposing that is the intention.

Thanks,

Zen[/quote]

The mistake you made is that most calorie calculators don’t take body fat percentage into account. So ditch the calculator, stop eating and drinking shit, keep exercising and you will make dramatic improvements. Your diet has to be no where near perfect to get down to your goal of 12-15%. Don’t make things any harder or more complicated than they need to be.

Funny how many smart ass comments commence when people don’t READ the fucking post.

Did everyone skip the 3hours a week at the gym and the kung fu?

FYI, I have been tracking my food intake for about 90 days now and it does not consist of junk food. I have made gains in size reduction of about 3" in the waist and fat loss, but I think it could be better and that is why I asked about calories.

If I wanted a bunch of smart ass replies, I would have asked for them.

For those with constructive advice, thanks, the rest of you, go find someone else to insult.

Thanks

Brother, this is the best advice you will receive.

Count your calories. Reduce by 200-500 each week. Continue until you feel comfortable with your results.

Consume as little carbs as you need to feel mentally fresh and energetic.

Your workouts should have many sets of low-medium weight with 30 secs rest.

Squats and sprints are the most caloric expending exercises on the planet.

Actually yes near 4000 prob aint bad he was likely eating Many more calories then that to get in this shape. By eating 400 and GOOD food he will likely see progress, not be putting the cart before the horse and dropping k/cals to low.

At this point its more about learning to eat Right, Habits, like others said. He can then see what happens and drop intake as needed. To many ppl go nuts and drop k/cals way damn low to soon when just eating right and working hard will see great results and not lower that metabolism.

as for those #'s, Carbs and T-dawg the crabs are perfect for a training day, the protein is Low way low 258 x 1.5g = 387 grams, then make the difference with fats

Phill

[quote]Zenaphobe wrote:
Just figured I would post the figures that I came up with for calorie breakdown to make sure I didn’t screw it up.

Calories per day 3886
Protein 206 grams/824 calories
Fat 295 grams/2662 calories
Carbs 100 grams/400 calories

Does this look right? The fat seems high, but I am supposing that is the intention.

Thanks,

Zen[/quote]

Strive to improve your training performance(Volume, intensity, work/time, etc…)

If you believe you can lose weight more quickly, lower Kcal by 250-500.
After 2 weeks, if your performance doesn’t suffer, lower kcal again.
Repeat until performance stalls or @ 2000 kcal.

Keep in mind, though, that any changes in training frequency and appropriate deloading periods should be considered.

[quote]Zenaphobe wrote:
Hello from a new guy.

I have been going to the gym since about January and usually work out 3x a week for about an hour and I also take 3-4 hours of kung fu a week as well.

I currently weigh 258lbs and am 5’10.5" with a body fat% of 37.

My goal is to get in shape and try and stay strong and flexible to help be a good martial artist.

I have tried a few calculators to get how many calories I need, but they seem to get figures that differ a lot from one to another.

Is there a scientifically reliable way to get my caloric needs?

I want to get down to 12-15% body fat or lower, depending on how my build handles the weight.

Thanks.

Zen

Picture from late May

[/quote]

Hi,

I would stick with the calculated ratios and calorie amounts you came up with, but gradually increase your activity level. You say that you are going to the gym 3x per week for an hour, what sort of exercises are you doing in that time period?

What are you doing during the rest of the time when you arent in the gym or doing kung fu? those other hours are going to be more important than just the 6 hours of physical activity.