Step 1: Set Your Daily Caloric Intake Goal
The Resting Metabolic Rate calculator will help you understand how much calories you need daily. Your goal should be adjusted to include how many calories you burn through exercise.
Macros (macronutrients) comprise of carb, protein, fat. Select a goal that sets macro ratios, taking into consideration Fitness Goal, Body Type and Gender. Visit bodybuilding.com for details.
- Carbs: carbs should be 75 to 200 grams per day for body fat loss and maintenance.
Fats: recommendation of 30% or less of total daily calories (20% total daily calories to be lean)
The body stores a limited amount of carbs as glycogen (max 500-600 grams of carbohydrate at any given time). If you exercise longer than an hour or multiple times per day, than you should replenish your glycogen store.
Pre-workout: slowly absorbed carbohydrates. A meal that has a 2 to 1 protein-to-carb ratio should be ingested 1 to 2 hours before exercise. Otherwise, a smaller snack in the same proportion, 30 minutes prior to exercise.
During workout: 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrate per hour of exercise can yield performance and endurance benefits
Post-workout: 2:1 ratio of protein to carbs immediately following exercise (within 15 minutes to 2 hours after) is crucial to the refueling, maintenance, and growth of your muscles. Ingest carbohydrates that are rapidly absorbed by your bloodstream for glycogen replenishment and combine with protein for faster muscle recovery (examples, include Gatorade as a liquid source of carbs, or sports supplements like gels and sports bars for carbs/protein).
Monitor your body composition weekly and adjust as needed. Here are some tips:
- If you’re losing muscle and fat, increase protein.
If you’re losing muscle and gaining fat, increase your overall calories by 250-500, including carbs and protein.
If you’re gaining fat and muscle, decrease calories (starting with carbs)
If you’re losing fat and gaining muscle, stay on course!
Oxygen, nutrients, and waste products are transported through water.
- Daily: 9-18 cups or 75-150 oz
- Before activity: 16-24 oz
- During activity (every 15 to 20 minutes): 8 oz
- After activity: 16-24 oz