Tuesday, August 16, 2011


All too often I hear the word diet used as a “4-letter word”, a highly negative thing that evokes nothing short of total disgust from all those within ear shot of the poor tortured soul that dares to mutter such a disgraceful word. I feel strongly that this should not be the case, because diet should simply be a word used to describe what your daily and or typical food and nutrient intake consists of. So you see your diet is merely what you eat and drink, and when you view it as such you will be able to remove all those negative connotations attached to the word and move forward toward reaching your goals by controlling your nutrient intake to produce the desired results.

Now, let’s take a look at different ways we can alter our diet and the results those changes will have on our body’s and our goals. To keep things simple we will split the possible outcomes from diet modifications into 3 categories; 1 Loss, 2 Gain, and 3 Maintenance. Before we dive in to any of the preceding categories we will first need to determine and establish what our B.M.R. (Basil Metabolic Rate) and T.D.E.E. (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) is. For information on how to determine your B.M.R. and your T.D.E.E. read my article on calories in vs. calories out, you can find the full article at, http://changeisachievable.blogspot.com/2011/06/diet-makeover-continued-day-2.html, but the most relevant part follows.
The first thing you want to do is use the Harris Benedict equation to calculate your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), next factor in your daily activity level and this will give you the amount of calories you need to consume to maintain your current weight, otherwise known as your T.D.E.E. (Total Daily Energy Expenditure), decrease that by 500 calories a day, and your weight loss will be about 1 lb per week (+/- 500 calories a day = 3500 a week, it takes about +/- 3500 calories to gain or lose 1 lb of body weight). Now that you know the amount of calories you need to lose 1 lb a week, this is when we will factor in macronutrients and their ratios. The ratio I recommend starting out with is 40% protein, 35% carbohydrates, and 25% fat, and once you see how your body responds to this you can tweak these percentages to what works best for your body. So for example if the amount of calories you needed to lose weight was 1500 you want 40% protein, 35% carbohydrates, and 25% fat, (keep in mind that protein and carbohydrates are 4 calories a gram, and fat is 9 calories a gram). So 40% of 1500 = 600 calories, divide that by 4 calories per gram = 150g protein, next carbohydrates, 35% of 1500 = 525 calories, divide that by 4 calories per gram = 131.25g carbohydrates, and finally fat, 25% of 1500 = 375 calories, divide that by 9 calories per gram =41.6g fat. So your new diet will be 1500 calories a day consisting of 150g protein, 131.25g carbohydrates, and 41.6g fat. I know it sounds somewhat complicated but it’s really not, just Google the Harris Benedict equation and it will walk you through the entire process. Just keep in mind you want your carbohydrate sources to be complex carbohydrate, and your fat sources to be healthy fats.
Ok, good news, once you have your B.M.R. and your T.D.E.E. all you have to do is determine what your desired outcome or goals are and you then select one of the 3 categories, (1 Loss, 2 Gain, and 3 Maintenance). So for example if you goal falls in to the loss category then you would want follow the example above and take your T.D.E.E. and subtract 500 calories a day, this will result in about a 1lb loss per week. If your goal is to gain, then you will want to add 500 calories a day to your T.D.E.E. this will result in about a 1lb gain per week. Then finally if your goal is to maintain then you would want your intake to equal your T.D.E.E. this will result in no change in either direction.
If you have any queations about this or if you would like to open this topic for discuession you should head over to http://forums.fitlifestyles.com.