Calories in vs Calories out and how to lose or gain weight.

Everyone’s body is a little different and uses a little more or a little less calories per day to maintain it’s current body weight given your activity level. The one thing that doesn’t change is that you have to have energy to burn and that is obtained from food and the calories it contains.

To gain weight you add calories and to lose weight you subtract calories. It sounds pretty simple yet people still wonder why they are over weight.

Many people just don’t think about how many calories they are consuming in a given day or what is actually in the food that they are eating. Take a few seconds to actually read the label on a soda and then figure out how many sugar calories you are actually taking in on any given day. I have heard of people drinking five to ten sodas a day or more. That is a lot of empty calories.

Now losing or gaining the desired weight (Fat or Lean Muscle) requires the right combination of macronutrients (macros; which are basically the break down of what your food is made of; protein, carbohydrates, and fats), and calories per day.

The specific macros for gaining lean mass (Bulking) or loosing fat (Cutting) will differ for each person but try going with the numbers that are generally accepted and raise or lower based on what your body responds to.

There are many different ideas about which specific macros are needed so do a little research and see what works for you and adjust accordingly.

Remember what works for one person may not work for you so you will need to watch what you take in and adjust for your body.

I found a workout and nutrition program online. Should I stick with the meal program as it is laid out?

Any bodybuilding program that you follow online with a food list and menu of what to eat and when, isn’t necessarily optimized for your body and goals. I urge you to look through articles online; find as many books as you can regarding how to find your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), and adding or subtracting calories and Macro Nutrients (Macros) for your activity level and creating a meal plan with your goals in mind.

If you are overwhelmed with all of the meal planning and weighing food and determining portions and when to eat; it’s understandable, it’s something new and something you probably weren’t taught when you were younger.

If it is really that difficult then run through the program as it is laid out for you; just know that your results may not be as drastic as you hoped. Running through the program and learning along the way will help you in the future as you keep going forward in your training and learning what to eat. Just remember, learn something from your experience and try to understand the concepts. If there is something you are doing and you don’t know why, stop and ask someone, research online or pick up a book and learn why. This will help you in the future.

A good resource is as well as a couple of great magazines; Natural Muscle is one that I like.

Ask around and see what other people are doing and why; just make sure you ask people that you trust and that are truly knowledgeable and not just regurgitating something out of context.