T Nation

So confused


I don't mean to sound like an idiot but i'm really confused about this whole calorie counting thing. I want to start the massive eating program but i'm not sure about how to go about it.

This is what gets me. According to nutritiondata.com a 140g peice of chicken has 231 calories, 45 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat. If 1g of protein = 4 calories (4x45=172), and 1g of fat is 9 calories (5x9=45), that adds up to 217 calories. Obviously the chicken isnt made only from protein and fat so the other 14 calories are the other stuff in the peice of meat. So how could i count this as part of my diet if i want say 5000 calories a day?

Would i count it as 172 calories from protein and 45 calories from fat and make sure that all my carbs, fat, and protein calories were 5000 a day?

If i did it that way, then in reality I would be getting a lot more than 5000 calories a day, once you add everything together.


Is it like this. I add all the calories total together (so i would take that 231 calories from the chickens total calories and get 5000 by the end of the day) and then add all my total calories from carbs, fat, and protein into a seperate number (lower than 5000) and make sure that i am getting the recommended proportions of 50% protein, 35% carbs, and 15% fat?

I HOPE i just didnt confuse the hell out of those of you that read this, I tried to exlain it as clearly as I could. I really want to start this diet but i am totally confused about how to go about doing so as this is the first time I have ever attempted to watch what i eat.

If someone could take the time and explain this to me i would REALLY REALLY appreciate it.



dude chicken meat is only protein and fat. No carbs.


The second one.

BTW, 15% calories from fat is way too low. Unless you're on roids or something.


no need to be so precise, especially since it seems as if you're eating to gain mass. you have the right idea, just keep the proportions as close as you can and you'll be fine.


I wouldn't worry about the discrepancy. There's always rounding involved, and the weight you measure for the food is not always that accurate. I figure sometimes I'll be up, sometimes I'll be down.


What I do to get my %'s is use the 4,4,9 method for calorie counting with the grams of P,F,C. To get my total count, I take the average of that count and the average of my calories that I counted. Average difference of about 30 cal, so no big deal.


Calorie counting is not as always a fun endeavour. Welcome to the world of eating.

A few quick points. I whipped out my abacus and realized the following.

4x45=180, not 172 and 9x5=45, so the new total is 225, much closer to the original projection and given that you are going to be plus or minus a gram on protien/fat due to rounding, your margin of error would be 6.5 calories (half of a protien plus half of a fat) and 225+6 gives you 231 so all is well in good in the world of calorie counting.

The place where you really run into problems is with carbs. There are many schools of thoughts on fiber. While it is standard now to not count it as a carb in terms of massive eating (the 10g a meal doesn't include fiber), there is still much debate whether in fact there is a caloric value to fiber. Given that your body can not break it down, you should not be able to get energy from it but many would say a carb is a carb. The whole thing is irrelevant however seeing as you will probably consume max 50g of fiber a day which is 200 calories in the grand scheme of things, not going to make or break ya. Just so you know though, when you eat fiber filled foods, e.g. black beans, you will see they are like 23g carb and 9g protien which would typically give you (9+23)(4) 128 calories but on the package, it is said to only be 70 calories, accounting for the 15g fiber (4x15=60) that your body will not process.

Again, best of luck on a massive eating, its a fun plan. Welcome aboard :slight_smile: