Counting calories is unnecessary in my opinion and rather pay attention to my portion sizes which gives me an easier way to measure the right amount of food I eat on a daily basis. Counting calories can still be a great tool for someone who seems to have a problem reaching their goals. For example, a 30 year old woman that has always been skinny, who’s trying to put on some muscle, but can’t put on any weight even tho she says she “eats a lot”. I have friends like that and they all have two things in common:
1. They all feel like they eat a lot.
2. They actually don’t eat enough.
You could be also one of the very rare cases with some type of rare condition that is preventing you from any weight gain, but before you jump into any conclusions, it would be wise to check the numbers.
First you have to find out what “Activity Level” you’re at. There are 3 levels:
1. Sedentary – minimal exercise, maybe yoga or aerobic exercise, mostly sitting at work.
2. Moderately active – sedentary job, but following ZGYM’s workout schedule daily.
3. Very active – Doing 2 ZGYM workouts daily, or following ZGYM daily plus doing a lot of sports and activities, having an active job, basically moving all day long and doing high intensity workouts regularly.
Once you figure out what is your activity level, we can calculate how many calories a day you should be eating based on your goal. Here’s an easy to use calorie estimator:
To demonstrate how this works in practice, let’s have a look at a couple of examples.
A 150lb, moderately active ZGYM member interested in fat loss would begin by taking in between 1800 (150lb x 12) and 2100 (150lbs x 14) calories a day.
A 120lb very active ZGYM member interested in muscle gain would start by taking in between 2400 (120lb x 20) and 2640 (120lbs x 22) calories a day.
**please note that these guidelines are really only helpful if you’re eating clean, nutrient-rich foods – for example #1 if you eat 2100 calories a day of fast food or junk snacks then it’s doubtful you’ll lose much, if any, weight at all
If you look at your grocery list, I can guarantee you that most of us stick to about 20 basic ingredients (it better be super foods) that we buy on a weekly basis. If you get familiar with your favorite foods, and learn the amount of calories that they contain, you’ll always be able to tell how many calories are approximately in the meals that you make out of these ingredients.